Sea Moss Ultimate Guide 2024

Over the past few years, this seaweed has grown substantially in popularity. Commonly referred to as ‘Sea Moss’ it is a marine gem that has surprisingly undergone some quite extensive research.

Packed full of nutritional value, you’ll be amazed at what this gift from nature has to offer. So, grab your goggles and snorkel because we’re about to take a deep dive!

What You’ll Learn about Sea Moss

  • What Sea Moss is
  • Where it has its roots
  • How this seaweed is becoming a food source that could change our Planet for the better
  • How to make it a part of your day
  • The value that it brings you as a source of nutrition
  • The benefits of this seaweed being a part of your diet and daily routine, and
  • What to know before you buy your Sea Moss

To help you save some time, we’ve added a menu of topics on this page. This will make skipping straight to the area you are interested in much easier.

What is Sea Moss?

Sea Moss is a generic name given to a collection of different species of seaweed.

When you start to look deeper into this Seaweed you begin to see that there are some challenges with labelling.

This adds to the confusion and makes it harder for people to identify what they are looking for. - sea moss shown on various online listings that are using the incorrect botanical name - top left 5 images of golden sea moss using incorrect botanical name - bottom right purple image of chondrus crispus using correct name

What people are looking for is typically known by several different botanical names. This also adds to the confusion. By the end of this article, you’ll have all you need to know so you can make an informed choice.

Eucheuma Cottonii (referred to as Kappaphycus Avarezii), Gracilaria, and Chondrus Crispus are some of the more popular species commercially available on the market today. They are all referred to as ‘Sea Moss’ or ‘Irish Moss Seaweed‘ but they are very different from each other. 1 2 3 4

So, which one is the right one? Which one has been studied for specific beneficial health purposes and applications? Stick with me and I’ll show you.
Eucheuma Cottonii – commonly referred to as Sea Moss
Gracilaria – also commonly referred to as Sea Moss
Irish Moss Seaweed - How Can I Eat Seaweed Everyday - What is Chondrus Crispus - rich and deep purple dried chondrus crispus seaweed leaf on white background
Chondrus Crispus – also commonly referred to as Sea Moss

The species, Eucheuma Cottonii and Gracilaria, (shown above) grow abundantly in warmer waters, typically the:

  • Java Sea
  • Celebes Sea
  • Solomon Sea
  • Caribbean Sea, and
  • the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans

The waters that Eucheuma Cottonii prefers are by no means still. They are normally consistently flowing open ocean currents, and they tend to be much clearer waters too.

While Chondrus Crispus is a species of seaweed that is rarer by comparison, it tends to grow more slowly and is found in the cooler waters of the Northern Atlantic.

So, why are people discovering Sea Moss as a superfood today? Where did this all start?

The History

Chondrus Crispus is also known by many as Irish Sea Moss, or Irish Carraigín. This is because the Irish consumed a lot of it in the 1840s during the Irish Potato Famine.

It became a primary source of sustenance for the Irish people who lived in coastal areas between 1845 and 1849 during the height of the famine.

As a result, it is believed that it was later looked upon as ‘peasant food‘ when harder times had passed. It was reported that by the end of the famine it had fallen from grace and was not consumed as frequently. 5

According to the history books, people would wait until the tide went out and collect the red flat-leafed seaweed. They would then lay the seaweed on the rocks to sun-dry. 6

Like many other foods that were intended for later consumption, storing for longer periods required some form of preservation. The seaweed would occasionally be cut, dried in the sun, and then layered with salt to help keep it longer 7

Some made the seaweed into delicacies, more commonly it was added to stews.

This is not unusual even by today’s standards. For example, in Vietnam, people make desserts with different types of seaweed. They are also used widely for medicinal purposes.

Sea Moss salad made from rehydrated sea moss that has been sun bleached to change the color to a golden, almost light fawn. Dressed with fried kang kong and tossed with toasted peanuts
About 90% of this salad was seaweed, and it tasted amazing! Find this image on Instagram.
sea moss jelly desert made with a species of seaweed referred to as spinach or duckfoot by the locals. This looks like a golden white cake with the consistency of quince paste. The duckfoot gives this a distinguishable appearance with chunks of opaque white seaweed in the golden sea moss jelly mix
Seaweed for food – this desert was so yummy! Find this image on Instagram.

Today, seaweed use is more widely spread than at any other time in history. 8 9

However, most people aren’t even aware of just how often seaweed or it’s extracts feature in the different products they use and consume. 10

Seaweed; A Future Sustainable Food Source

Many of us are becoming more and more aware that there are extensive pressures on our Planet as a result of our activity as humans.

How we have cultivated and developed the land is one dimension that has had a measurable impact.

Not only have we impacted the forests of the world, the oceans have also borne the brunt of our activity. And if we’re not careful, they will suffer further. 11

Thankfully, there is a growing awareness, and movement with sustainability consciously in the front of mind.

People motivated to reduce their footprint are discovering Sea Moss and other species of seaweed. And they are learning about how these can be used in an impressive number of ways.

Responsible seaweed farming is doing a lot to return oxygen to the waters of the Ocean, reduce their acidity, and provide a more plentiful source of food for marine life. All of this is contributing towards making significant progress to a healthier future. One that has benefits for people and the Planet. 12 13

green sea turtle grazing on seaweed that is growing on a sandy white seabed. The rays of the sun are cutting through the clear water giving off ripples of white and bright blue across the sea floor. The seaweed is a very thin covering with flat lettuce leaf looking seaweed scattered among occasional grassy looking strands. The image of the turtle grazing is set to the bottom right of the picture in a white border overlaid on a red background. There is text on the top left of the image which reads "Sea Moss. It's not just humans who love seaweed" in white font
A food source for more than just humans. Find this image on Instagram.

Some impressive innovations are also being made in other endeavours associated with the seaweed world.

One notable advancement is the area of biodegradable plastics using seaweed. There have even been edible pods made where single-portion water bubbles featured in the London Marathon. 14 15

So, we’re on the right track. We just need to work on increasing awareness and adoption, while being mindful of where our seaweed comes from, and how we’re getting it.

Supporting Sustainable Seaweed Harvesting

Over the past few years, we have found ourselves diving deeper and deeper into the world of seaweed.

We have been in different locations around the world visiting Seaweed Farmers and learning about their operations.

We have worked with these same Seaweed Farmers to pool our collective knowledge so everyone can benefit, including you.

Sea-Moss-Ultimate-Guide-How-to-get-The-Best-in-2020 map of the world which shows with red pins where we have been in communication with Seaweed Farmers evaluating their operations
Click for a larger size map of where we have engaged Seaweed Farmers over the years.

Sharing techniques and ideas on how to better protect open ocean crops, improve yields, enhance processing, and deliver a higher quality product for the market are a few of the things we have been involved with behind the scenes.

We have also had laboratory analyses of numerous seaweed samples from different countries completed and shared these with the Farmers. This has been done in the interests of helping them better understand their crops, and approach the market from a more informed base.

For us, this has helped with identifying the best quality seaweed, and zeroing in on the cleanest areas to grow it in. As a result, we have been able to find the highest-grade seaweed to bring to you.

group photo of the Vietnam Seaweed Farmer and his family with Matthew Carpenter sitting on the back step of the porch at their home during a sunny day
Visiting Seaweed Farmers. Find this image on Instagram.

Why Our Seaweed Isn’t Wildcrafted

I can appreciate that the desire to find a food source that is as close to as nature intended is valuable. But, at what cost?

I don’t mean the retail cost to you as the consumer. I mean the cost to the Planet.

It is staggering to think just how much seaweed is collected and sold (all too often falsely) under the label of being ‘wildcrafted’. Have you stopped to think about what that means?

Far be it from me to want to make this sound like a beat-up on any one business, but many sellers are perpetuating the ideology that anything that is not wildcrafted is fake. Fake Sea Moss is really easy to spot once you know what you are looking for.

Many who are selling under the label of ‘wildcrafted’ are not wildcrafted at all. Many are farmed in open ocean waters in some form or another. 16

For those of you who are buying from Sellers who are strictly wildcrafting, I would like to invite you to consider the impacts of this on a commercial scale.

Is Wildcrafting Really That Bad?

As much as there is a trend towards wildcrafting seaweed, I’m personally against this methodology for commercial purposes as it presents a couple of issues just on the surface in my opinion:

  1. Wildcrafted seaweed is taken from a balanced environment that needs it to be where it is as a food source for other localised marine life, and it is a key part of sustaining the immediate habitat, and
  2. The quality of the seaweed that is collected under the wildcrafting approach may be unfit for human consumption due to a lack of transparency and monitoring of the conditions and environment in which the seaweed is collected.

Some seek to make a point that wildcrafted seaweed is more nutritious than seaweed that is harvested through open-ocean sustainable techniques.

As you can already tell, the wildcrafting approach brings about too many issues that conflict with my values. It lacks in fundamental areas and does not support cleaning up the oceans.

In fact, it promotes quite the opposite in what is little more than an opportunistic market. Even though there are businesses that state that they sustainably hand-harvest their wild seaweed, I’m still not buying it.

What wildcrafting seaweed fails to do is to put ‘more’ seaweed into the oceans than it takes out.

Increasing the seaweed content in areas where sustainable farming can take place provides another food source for marine life in the area. 17

As mentioned earlier, responsible open ocean seaweed farming increases the health of the water by helping to reduce the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and acidity (pH) levels in the water.

With the impacts of Ocean Dead Zones being something that is no longer able to be hidden, it is my opinion that stronger steps like sustainable ocean farming need to be taken to combat this. 18 19

Think of this as the Ocean’s version of a tree planting program. With more seaweed comes more oxygen, and the water is also alkalized as a result.

This is something that our planet needs us to do on a bigger scale than we currently do. You can play a part in supporting this when you buy seaweed from a supplier that sources and grows sustainably.

As a responsible consumer, the more you can get to know about how your seaweed gets to your table, the better off you, the Seaweed Farmers, and the environment can be.

The question is; does wildcrafting as a practice align with your values?

How to use Sea Moss

Being a very versatile marine vegetable, Sea Moss, along with other seaweeds, can be added to almost any type of dish. One of the things that love about our Sea Moss is that it is a plant-based alternative to gelatin.

Over the years I have made this a part of many recipes to help with binding and doing all of the things that I previously did with gelatin.

It is also really easy to add to things like:

  • Smoothies
  • Smoothie bowls
  • Juices
  • Cakes
  • Sauces, and
  • Plant-based ice cream

Some of my favourite recipes that I’ve developed around Sea Moss include:

Not only do I use it in my food, but I also use it for a range of other purposes, such as:

The longer I’m around this amazing seaweed, the more I find that I can do with it.

Sounds almost too good to be true, right?

If you’re new to it, why not ask others in various online forums about their experiences with Sea Moss? It may surprise you what you find out.

There are some other really cool things you can use your seaweed for that you might like to give a try. Some of these can be quite decadent, and others more traditional.

Also, see our articles “What are the Benefits of Eating Seaweed Everyday?” and “How Can I Eat Seaweed Everyday?

Irish Moss Milk Drink

This Sea Moss Milk drink is known by some as Sea Moss Gold. To make this yourself, simply add milk (you can use plant-based – I prefer Oat Milk) to a pot and heat gently with clean Sea Moss.

You can also flavour the milk with honey, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. You can drink the Sea Moss Gold with (or without) a nip of whiskey if this ticks your boxes.

A cool desert option to keep in mind is that when the Sea Moss Gold cools, it can take on a pudding-like texture similar to tapioca if you haven’t used too much milk.

This works really well with other plant-based milks too. One trick I love to use is to make a 50/50 mix of coconut cream and soy milk. The coconut helps to take that nutty soy flavour out. This is great for cream-based pasta alternatives too. The Sea Moss helps to thicken these up nicely.

Or you could try this lovely island treat. In the Caribbean, they make a drink from this by first cleaning the seaweed thoroughly. The next step is to soak the seaweed in lime juice overnight.

Add some water, cinnamon and the seaweed lime mixture to a pot and bring to a boil. Allow the mix to cool down and then add some sweeteners like sugar, Lakanto, or stevia, with vanilla, condensed milk, and some dried fruit to taste.

More Recipes Ideas

As you can tell from the ideas shared above, this magical seaweed is a great natural thickening agent. It can be added to many different foods. By adding it to hot meals broths, soups and stews, the mixture will thicken nicely.

I love to add the gel to my smoothies. It gives them a beautiful silken texture.

A Sea Moss Bath

For a bath like no other where your skin feels hydrated and refreshed, adding your seaweed can help to give your body a touch of luxurious pampering that is like nothing else.

To do this, simply clean and then soak your raw Sea Moss in fresh (preferably filtered) water for twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) hours. Then add it, with the water it was soaking in, to a bath and allow it to rest for a few minutes.

You may choose to leave the seaweed in the bath if you wish, or remove it before getting in, that’s up to you. The properties of this seaweed and its ability to stimulate collagen deposition are impressive. 20 21

Making Sea Moss Gel

Check out our guide on “How to Make Sea Moss Gel” for more step-by-step instructions. Also, check out our article on “When does Sea Moss Gel Expire? How to keep it Fresh” for some tips on getting the longest shelf life you can without adding preservatives.

What Seaweed is Good for

Seeing as you’re reading this guide, I presume that you’re already aware that Sea Moss is an amazing superfood. Top of the charts if you ask me. But, if you’re still wondering what all the buzz is about, let me explain.

As it turns out, this seaweed has a heck of a lot of benefits. I’m so pleased that more and more people are coming to realise this.

Did you know that our bodies require an astonishing 102 minerals for optimal health? These are found in the form of trace minerals and macrominerals. 22

According to all accounts, Sea Moss is popularly believed to contain a whopping 92 minerals. This may be why it is regarded by many as a Superfood.

And that’s just the beginning. Because Sea Moss contains so many beneficial minerals, and much more, it is great for people who are malnourished.

Usually, people focus on the 16 essential minerals. If you’ve ever bought those multi-mineral tablets from the pharmacy, they will typically consist of:

  • Calcium
  • Fluoride
  • Iodine
  • Sodium
  • Chloride
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Molybdenum
  • Sulfur, and
  • Zinc

As you will have been able to tell so far, I prefer eating a diet full of variety so that I can consume all the minerals my body needs. Getting these straight from whole foods, the way nature intended, is much more effective in my opinion.

Sea Moss Improves Skin Conditions

Apart from being a great source of minerals and good gut food in the form of insoluble fibres (long-chain polysaccharides). It also contains antiseptic properties. 23 24

When it is applied topically to the skin it helps to relieve and treat a variety of conditions from minor burns (including sunburn), to acne, rashes, psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. 25 26

I have been applying raw (uncooked) Sea Moss gel topically to my skin for over a year now. Since I started doing this I have noticed a visible improvement in my skin.

Below you will see the results of a topical application of the gel. There are zoomed-out photos too which will give you context.

My skin texture appears smoother, I experience fewer pimples and a reduction in the fine lines around my eyes. I have also seen a significant reduction in the number of visible pores, and pore size.

I will apply the gel after a shower in the morning, and at night before going to bed. Yes, I sleep with it on as an overnight mask.

Seaweed as Medicine

With a history spanning back hundreds, if not, thousands of years, seaweed has been used for a range of natural medicinal purposes. 27 28

So, what is Sea Moss good for from a medicinal perspective?

The research is ongoing and it looks like the list seems to be endless at this stage. But I’d like to cover a few that I found interesting within this guide.

Expels Excess Mucus from the Body

Sea Moss has been identified to possess antiviral and antibacterial properties which have been relied upon to help the body recover from colds and flu. 29 30

Having a long history of being used to treat respiratory problems ranging from coughs to phlegm, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and more for generations, this seaweed is attributed with providing the body with a means to purge mucus.

One of the fundamental teachings of Doctor Sebi was that there is only one disease; mucus.

According to Sebi, the manifestation of inflammation arising from the build-up of mucus in the compromised membranes causes varying degrees of congestion. Sea Moss is believed to be highly effective at helping the body purge built-up mucus.

Reduces inflammation

Sea Moss, when consumed may help relieve muscle and joint pain. It possesses naturally occurring anti-inflammatory properties. 31

Some people also consume this for improved gut health. It is believed to reduce the inflammation of the stomach and intestines while increasing the presence of good bacteria.

Eating this amazing seaweed regularly, according to the research, has been shown to improve digestive health. 32

Balances Hormones

Our hormones are managed by the thyroid gland which is found at the base of the throat. The thyroid gland is responsible for balancing our hormones and managing the immune system.

If the thyroid is not functioning properly, people tend to experience either an overactive or underactive thyroid. Various species of seaweed contain Iodine which helps to balance the thyroid function and strengthens the immune system. 33

This is a vital nutrient for someone who actively avoids consuming common iodized sodium chloride, or table salt. Iodized salt is better than salt that is not iodized, however, I firmly believe that mineral salts are better on the whole. 34

According to various trusted sources of nutritional information, some mineral salts can be lower in iodine than what you would otherwise need. Himalayan Salt and Celtic Sea Salt are full of minerals, but they can at times lack suitable iodine levels. 35

A healthy iodine level helps to protect against a range of complications and is a natural way to regulate hormones and metabolism. 36

Be careful when taking pharmaceutical thyroid medication as this may conflict with the natural properties of Sea Moss. Consuming too much, or not enough Iodine, may lead to more serious issues down the track. 37

Blood Builder and Cleanser

Consuming seaweed is also recommended by advocates of old for the natural treatment of high blood pressure. 38

My Grandmother, who was a Naturopath in the 1940s, relied upon seaweed in many of the treatments she administered. We even got seaweed as children in the ice cream she made at home.

Sea Moss is understood to help clean the blood through a process of detoxification and controlling free radicals. 39

It has also been identified that it can help the body regulate blood sugar levels through specific means. 40

You could say that this makes this seaweed a good natural product for people with diabetes to consider discussing with their trusted specialist to potentially help manage their blood sugar levels.

When it comes to building stronger blood, seaweed provides a mass of nutritional power to support this. Healthy blood needs a supply of: 41 42 43 44 45

  • Iron
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A

As a natural source of iron, Sea Moss helps to build healthier blood cells. Recent research has shown that maintaining healthy iron levels helps to prevent dangerous blood clotting. 46

To help improve your body’s ability to absorb iron it is recommended by Dietitians and Nutritionists that you also have sufficient Vitamin C at the same time.

With these essential building blocks, the body can produce red blood cells more effectively. This means that oxygen can be transported within the body to where it needs to be.

Libido Baby

Some people believe that Sea Moss plays a key part in enhancing or even increasing their libido, and claim that it’s a great aphrodisiac. This is the case in countries in the Caribbean where seaweed is even available as a canned drink.

As much as this may sound like it is anecdotal, there are results of studies done by the International Journal of Marine Biology and Research that indicate this is proven. 47

So, it sounds like the verdict is in; seaweed can enhance libido.

Other things that could impact libido are various health complications and even persistent pain.

Dr. Sebi explained in detail how a change in his diet, where he fasted and moved to consuming alkaline foods had cured his obesity, diabetes and impotency. He explicitly attributed his impotence to his overall health at the time.

Sea Moss for Weight Loss

My wife was previously a weight loss coach, and I must admit that the concept of eating healthy seemed to be a vague and sometimes poorly concept defined for her clients when they first came to her.

When she spoke with people about choosing healthy options there seemed to be an assumption that ‘healthy’ must mean food that was boring, like plain flavourless salads and nasty-tasting health products.

In my experience, this certainly does not need to be the case.

There are lots of amazing healthy meal options available on the market. And adding seaweed to a variety of healthy meal options makes this a really simple process.

Did you know that Sea Moss is low fat and low cholesterol and that research has shown that a balanced approach including consuming a low-calorie diet and seaweed could help with weight loss? 48

There are plenty of accounts of people you’ll be able to find who have shared their weight loss successes when they’ve consumed this seaweed as part of a healthy diet.

We are also frequently told about the benefits of consuming fibre in our diets. The great news is that Sea Moss contains dietary fiber which is essential for gut health and a good digestive system. We’ll dig into that a little deeper in the next section.

Other Sea Moss Benefits

Previously we have spoken about the Top 10 Benefits of Sea Moss. These covered quite a few of the positive outcomes that we have experienced, and those around us have communicated that they had experienced too.

Here, we will take a closer look at some of the other benefits that our Customers have shared with us, and we have since looked further into the research behind Sea Moss, which:

1 – Contains Taurine
2 – Is rich in Long Chain Polysaccharides
3 – Strengthens Connective Tissue
4 – Helps to Improve Digestion
5 – May be Effective for Fighting Prostate Enlargement
6 – Can Help to Control Appetite
7 – Can Promote Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
8 – Supports Healthy Gums
9 – Can Help to Clear up Acne
10 – Can Help to Reduce Pore Size
11 – Is effective at Reducing Dandruff
12 – Helps to Improve Circulation, and
13 – Reduces the Impact of Radiation Poisoning

As we dig deeper into the benefits and side effects of this seaweed, we need to understand that it has been attributed with many benefits and is constantly being studied.

As a natural product that has been used for generations, it has a long list of loyal believers. Many Naturopaths and Herbalists will administer different seaweeds as a natural treatment for a range of conditions.

Rather than waiting to find out that you’re struggling with a particular complication, you may want to take preventative steps and consider the following benefits of sea moss in conjunction with professional advice.

It is a Valuable Source of Taurine

A mineral that lowers blood pressure, taurine is known to support a healthy metabolism and assist the body with binding bowel fats. As a result, it is actively involved in promoting the breakdown, digestion and absorption of nutrients. 49

Taurine is also essential for healthy heart function and helps the body to maintain mineral balance within cells. 50

As an amino sulfonic acid found in this seaweed, taurine is accompanied by kainoids, domoic and kainic acids, and laminin. 51

Sea moss is rich in Carbohydrates called Polysaccharides

Polysaccharides from certain seaweeds have been studied and found to help strengthen the immune system. There are even some that have been found to assist with the reduction of tumour growth and autoimmune diseases. 52 53

These long-chain polysaccharides are an interesting form of insoluble fibre, and they have been found to help manage cholesterol, inflammatory bowel disease, and they may also hold the key to tackling one of the biggest health concerns today associated with carcinogenics. 54 55

Sea Moss helps to Strengthen Connective Tissue

Found to contain bioactive compounds known as fucoidans, this seaweed is a great support to healthy hair, skin and nails. Some people have even reported that it helps to stimulate the regrowth of hair.

But, as mentioned earlier, any source of nutritional value your body gets that will support life will be used for this purpose primarily.

Collagen plays a key part in healthy bones and connective tissue. As these are more essential to keeping you alive and healthy than fighting wrinkles, this is where any bioactive compounds (where TGF-β stimulates the production of collagen) will be used as a priority when you ingest them. 56

When you stop to think about the aging process, the skin changes in a more pronounced way when it is exposed to UV rays. These rays can stimulate the production of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) which contributes to the degradation of collagen. 57

As we age our genetics may see us being exposed to higher secretions of MMP and the resultant deterioration of collagen type I and collagen type III.

Sea Moss helps with Digestion and Digestive Functions

As a source of natural insoluble fibre, this is described as having a regulatory effect on the intestinal tract as a result of it being sparsely fermented. Some people describe Sea Moss as having a very gentle laxative effect.

The accounts I have shared with me are that the almost slimy or filmy nature of it when it is made into a gel helps to line the bowels and keep them moving and healthy.

This is believed to reduce the potential for matter to stick in your gut during the digestion and excretion process.

By enhancing transit time, and being a prebiotic, it is a great form of gut food that helps with soothing complications and helping to heal previous gut damage.

Sea Moss could hold the key to Treating Prostate Enlargement

In more recent times there has been research conducted on a range of seaweeds potentially providing a natural option for the treatment of various forms of mutagenic cellular growth.

Various species of seaweed have been looked for the isolation of specific structural forms including bryostatin 1. 58

Even though this research has proven to be slow-paced and dogged with resource challenges, it is believed that Sea Moss and Bugula Neritina could provide a degree of hope to many. 59

Can Help to Control Appetite

If you’ve been trying all sorts of ways to drop those last few stubborn pounds or kilos, this seaweed might be just the thing to help you reach your goal.

Various studies have pointed to the presence of a specific type of dietary fiber in seaweeds like Sea Moss, and fucoxanthin. It is through these that the body can receive messages that tell it that it has had enough food.

I have been able to fast while on Sea Moss for as long as 2 weeks, and have found the feeling of higher energy, better mental clarity, and dropping a few kilograms has helped me.

Before looking at doing something like this it is highly recommended that you speak with a qualified professional first who can assess your specific circumstances.

Can Promote Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

My wife can attest to the value of making this seaweed a part of her routine in that she believes it has helped her overcome depression.

After years of seeing one specialist after another, across a range of modalities, she decided to stop taking the medication that was prescribed and change her diet.

This is not intended to be a call to action for anyone else to follow in her footsteps. This is simply an anecdotal account of her journey. If you are on a particular course of medication or a treatment plan for depression, you need to speak with your specialist before making any changes.

She complimented the addition of Sea Moss to her diet with other plant-based whole foods and progressively phased out animal products.

Having spent so much time and money working on herself in a number of areas, she has put together a book that outlines the steps she took and the changes she made.

This is a holistic approach that you may find interesting. But, to emphasize again, this is an account of her journey, and not intended as an instructional guide.

Studies have shown that alterations to the composition of metabolites and microbiota in the gut through dietary fibres found in seaweeds like Sea Moss have had a positive effect here too.

Interestingly, our bodies have no real means of storing or conserving potassium yet it is a necessary element for a healthy life. Potassium has also been attributed to supporting good mental and emotional health.

There have also been studies conducted where the benefits of potassium have been linked to improving ADHD, agitation, anxiety, depression, and even moodiness. 60

Supports Healthy Gums

I have been using Sea Moss gel as a mouthwash for a few years now, and I’m able to say that the previous occasional cases of seeing blood when brushing my teeth are no more.

Using this as a dental aid was something I moved towards instead of using colloidal silver. The organified silver (a biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles) found in seaweeds is much more effective in the human body. 61 62 63

Silver has a long history of being beneficial for good health. If you’re able to get the silver content you need from plant-based sources rather than other non-organic sources, you’ll be much better off in my opinion.

Can Help to Clear up Acne

My wife previously had occasional breakouts of acne from time to time. Since using Sea Moss gel as a topical application at night as a mask, and in the morning, she has seen a significant reduction in these.

The effect of this can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of the seaweed. I would also go so far as to say that the presence of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) in this seaweed has a significant part to play in skin repair here. 64 65

I previously found that after shaving I would experience ingrown hairs on my throat. Changing the direction of shaving and going with the grain instead of against it helped a bit.

Since I’ve been using Sea Moss gel as a topical application I have not experienced any ingrown hairs. This is with no other changes to how I shave.

Can Help Reduce Pore Size

After using this gel as a topical application to support the healing process on a spot I treated with a drawing slave, my wife noticed some changes in the pore size on the skin around my nose and upper cheeks. The images of this can be seen earlier in this article.

Algal polysaccharides, specifically Galactans are believed to have a key role to play in promoting healthy skin and repairing the extracellular matrix. I firmly believe that these elements of the gel are what contributed to the reduction of pore size in my case. 66

I have also had feedback from Friends and some Customers who have made their own gel that they too have had similar experiences.

With a skincare option this natural and this cheap, why would you spend hundreds of dollars on something that has been isolated or synthesized?

Is effective at Reducing Dandruff

Another case of anecdotal evidence with some supporting research comes from a friend of ours who has been an avid Sea Moss fan since she learned about it from us.

She’s been using it as a part of her hair care regime and has provided feedback that it has completely eliminated her dandruff.

This is promising for anyone who struggles to control a case of dandruff, and the science behind this points to the minerals and natural salts as one component of what Sea Moss absorbs from the sea.

Particularly when combined with specific essential oils, this seaweed has the potential to provide relief to those who are looking for it. 67

Helps to Improve Circulation

Extensive research into Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) and other elements of failing health that lead to poor blood circulation have yielded some interesting results. 68

The filing of patents on the use of extracts from Sea Moss in the treatment of PAD and other complications including the presence and build-up of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque appears to provide a promising future for many. 69

Being a natural source of Fucoidan, under targeted studies this seaweed was identified as having arterial and venous antithrombotic properties and was even reported as being capable of forming new blood vessels in animals under controlled experiments. 70

From my late 30’s I would experience tingling sensations in my left thigh at different times. This could be while standing, sitting, or lying down.

My Doctor told me it was most likely the result of pressure on my upper thigh which came from having my wallet in my front left pocket.

I kept it here to reduce the impact on my spine from sitting on it. If you can avoid having a chunky wallet in your back pocket it will help your back health immensely.

After about 2 years of taking Sea Moss Gel regularly, I can report that the tingling sensations are no more.

I also changed how I deal with my wallet which has helped too, although this step was implemented early on and there was still tingling and numbness for about a year after from time to time.

I’m putting the improvement down to both the change in what I was doing with my wallet, and taking Sea Moss Gel daily.

Reduces the Impact of Radiation Poisoning

Seaweeds have been known to possess a range of benefits. But did you know that specific types of seaweed have been looked to for their capacity to treat the effects of radiation poisoning? 71

After the fallout at Chernobyl, the contamination of the area as a result of the radioactive matter left many with health complications and still does to this day. One highly radioactive substance that was released was a radioisotope that proved to be particularly problematic; Iodine-131. 72 73

The preferred method of treatment for exposure to Iodine-131 is to do with potassium iodide. The potassium iodide blocks the uptake of Iodine-131 by the thyroid. 74

Sea moss is one species of seaweed that has been identified as containing potassium iodide. This is not to say that your best option for treating radiation poisoning is to chow down on seaweed but to highlight that it naturally contains what is used to deal with such complications. 75

When you stop to think about how Nature has bundled up the amazing gifts we have been given, it’s quite humbling.

You may also like to check out “You Should Eat Seaweed; Benefits Galore!” for more about how seaweed plays a key part in nutrition.

Known Side Effects of Sea Moss

The range of known side effects of Sea Moss can best be summed up to include:

  • It has anticoagulant properties
  • It has laxative properties

With all things that are good for you, there is what you could call an upper limit. That is to say that you can have too much of a good thing.

Sea Moss is not excluded from this. So some things require consideration before you make it a regular part of your diet. Speak with your trusted specialist first.

Looking more closely at these known side effects, it is worth keeping in mind that:

It has anticoagulant properties

Different species of seaweed, including Sea Moss, contain naturally occurring blood thinners.

So it is not recommended to consume them when taking any type of blood thinning medication (anticoagulants) or blood pressure medication (antihypertensives). 76

People who use various seaweeds like this while taking antihypertensives can experience negative side effects. Antihypertensive medication is used to treat high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

Side effects that may occur can include feeling a sense of dizziness, a sense of being lightheaded and syncope, which is a momentary loss of consciousness and posture. 77

If you have suffered from stomach ulcers or other medical issues where you have encountered internal bleeding then you would be best advised to avoid this and other seaweeds in the case that a preexisting medical condition is aggravated.

It has laxative properties

As touched on earlier, Sea Moss can have other side effects such as diarrhea in cases where there is excessive consumption.

However, the same could easily be said for anything that you have too much of. Your body is going to look for ways to flush it out if there is too much of it.

Provided you don’t suffer from any of the above conditions, this seaweed can be a great addition to your diet by bringing in plenty of additional nutrients and minerals for almost no side effects.

Are Sea Moss and Carrageenan the same thing?

Carrageenan is an extract from specific species of seaweed and it’s used to make beauty products, toothpaste, beverages, confectionery and many different types of dairy products.

Unfortunately, carrageenan, being an extract of seaweed, doesn’t contain all the amazing properties that whole raw seaweed has. It’s simply an isolated component that serves a very basic function and provides next to no nutritional value. 78

Carrageenan, as a processed product, has been linked to digestive issues and some other health complications. 79

It is important to note that through the processing of carrageenan-rich seaweeds, all other elements that provide benefit to those seaweeds are lost.

Keep in mind that Sea Moss is not carrageenan, and carrageenan is not Sea Moss.

woman in white shirt holding out waffle cone ice cream which is slightly melted that has two scoops of ice cream. The top scoop is raspberry ice cream and is hanging over the right edge of the cone. The bottom scoop is chocolate ice cream and is packed tightly into the cone. She has purple fingernail polish on and is blurred into the background with her arm stretched out towards the camera holding the ice cream in focus
Did you know that ice cream and other food products have seaweed in them? Find this image on Instagram.

What to Know Before You Buy Sea Moss

Before you buy Sea Moss it is worth considering a few factors beyond just the price.

Origin, cultivation techniques, environmental impact, local laws, local ecology, local economics and a few other factors are what we consider before buying our seaweed.

For us, it is more about what we are contributing to with our purchasing power rather than just getting the cheapest price on the market.

So, let’s take a closer look at the factors within our decision-making process.

When it comes to your health there are often several factors that will influence your purchasing decisions.

Not all products are created equal, on that we can agree. So in this section of our guide, I’ll share with you what I needed to know before I decided to buy Sea Moss.

There are a few different places where this seaweed is cultivated around the world. Some are more favourable than others for some reasons. The basic considerations I make before choosing where to buy from include:

  1. The environmental conditions in the area
  2. The quality of the waters that the Sea Moss is grown in
  3. The farming practices applied to cultivate the Sea Moss
  4. The practices used to harvest and process the Sea Moss
  5. The quality of a finished product
  6. The prevalence of diseases that can affect Sea Moss in the area
  7. The logistics of getting it to my door, and
  8. The cost of the Sea Moss

A long time ago, as I began to look into where I was sourcing my seaweed from, I found that what I learned about the various practices applied in different parts of the industry was troubling.

We know that the oceans have a history of taking a beating from the pollution that has been pumped out from the land.

Factories, farms, power plants, rubbish dumps, sewerage and stormwater runoff, and commercial operations even on a smaller scale all have an impact.

From the blatantly obvious dumping of materials into the ocean to the often forgotten stormwater drainage systems that feed from factories, transport yards, shopping centre car parks and other high vehicular traffic areas.

Every decision that is consciously or unconsciously made with what you buy plays a part in painting one picture or another.

So, it’s more a question of values in where I choose to buy my seaweed from than simply the purchase price of the product.

If you are not motivated by points such as these, there are some good reasons that link to the quality of the product that are worth considering too.

Sea Moss is a very responsive seaweed. As it spends its life submerged in the water, it is directly impacted by what is in that very water.

The last thing you most likely want is a batch of seaweed that has been exposed to nasty chemicals, or worse. So, what can you consider before you buy Sea Moss that will help you avoid that?

Where does Sea Moss come from?

Sea Moss is cultivated in many different countries around the world. There are very large seaweed farming operations based in:

  • Indonesia
  • the Philippines
  • the Caribbean
  • Zanzibar
  • China
  • Korea
  • Japan
  • Brazil, and
  • Thailand to name a few.

There are more and more seaweed farms popping up all of the time. Australia is becoming known as a place where seaweed is grown for human consumption, and this offers immense value to the market as a result of our pristine natural environment.

As more and more countries wake up to the commercial opportunity presented by this growing industry, the number of farms continues to increase.

With different countries come different dynamics. Most notably, standards.

As an emerging industry, seaweed farming is for the most part unregulated. Many operations tend to be small seaside villages where farmers plant rows of seaweed on submerged string lines.

What to Know Before you Buy Irish Sea Moss -
Sea Moss being cultivated on underwater lines

These types of farms have virtually exploded in some parts of the world, while others are struggling to gain exposure to the global market.

With this type of opportunity, there comes the potential for exploitation. And in an unregulated industry, the potential for this is even more likely.

In recent years the Thai Government has worked towards establishing farming standards for the cultivation and harvesting of sea grapes, a different type of seaweed.

In my experience, the quality of these sea grapes is not to the same standard in Thailand as in Vietnam where there are much higher standards with foods.

Further to the south, the Indonesian Government has supported local Seaweed Farmers with funding contributions. This has helped them establish a presence in the market, but more work needs to be done on standardisation and water quality control.

With regards to standards, our Sea Moss is grown and prepared to meet the strict food and bio-security regulations in Australia. This is laboratory tested and checked for a range of things that can occur in any ocean which may present a threat to health and safety.

As detailed in the opening, this seaweed comes in a range of different species, and within those species, there can be a range of slightly different characteristics. The most obvious is a colour difference.

Aside from species variations, this can be the result of the waters that the seaweed grows in, the mineral composition of the area, or even the quality and quantity of sunlight.

Although I could choose from many countries before I bought my Sea Moss, geography and exchange rates were among the last factors that I needed to consider.

I needed to know that with the decision I was making I was contributing to a sustainable process on multiple levels.

As you read on in this guide, you will see that as important as the end price of the product is, it is just one dimension of the decision-making process.

Cultivation and Harvesting Considerations

Before you take the plunge and buy Sea Moss online, consider this. Typically, seaweed companies need to jump through quite a few hoops before they can get their product on the market.

This is not an easy process and Farmers and Companies involved in processing can spend a lot of money just in getting set up, let alone seeking certifications and processing lab tests on their crops.

water fasting is easier to break and move back to solid foods when you introduce sea moss towards the end of the fast. This image is a picture of dark olive green sea moss growing on lines in the open ocean. The deep ocean waters are clear and blue under a soft afternoon sun
Growing in the open Ocean – sustainable harvesting practices at work. Find this image on Instagram.

Processing and Packaging

Watch out for unwanted additives and chemicals used in the drying and preservation process. The whole reason you are looking at how you can come up with ways to eat seaweed every day is to improve your health.

Some companies may opt to bleach their seaweed, particularly in the case of Kappaphycus Alvarezii. Naturally dried seaweed should have some signs of variations in shade or maybe even color.

This is an algae (think ‘plant’ if algae sounds too strange) that grows in varying conditions, and like any other algae, it will not look consistently the same as the next specimen.

As much as bleaching can take place, so can artificial colouring. If your seaweed is very bright to look at, like a brilliant green, chances are there are artificial colours in it.

Naturally, dried seaweed will look a little dull compared to fresh seaweed. But, that’s not what sells, so the manufacturers pump them full of colours or bleach them to make them look pretty.

sea moss inside a clear plastic bag that has been exposed to the sun to help sweat the color out of the seaweed. This sea moss is now a milky white color, and also translucent in some parts. The bag has water collected in the bottom which is also milky white. This has dropped out of the seaweed which was originally olive green, through exposure to the heat of the sun and the sea moss being encased in a controlled environment in the plastic bag.
Naturally Sun bleached seaweed without the use of any chemicals. Find this image on Instagram.

Check out the video of what this looked like on our Instagram before the colour dropped out.

But what if it’s Coated in Chunky Looking Table Salt?

You really don’t want to eat that stuff! Typically Sea Moss is dried in the sun, and the longer it is dried the lower the moisture content.

If you are getting seaweed that has a higher moisture content, it may have a shorter shelf life, which is why it is later coated in salt. This is a step taken to help preserve the seaweed.

Another step in preservation is that bags or jars, once packed, are charged with food-grade nitrogen gas. This is a standard practice in the food production industry, even in Australia.

Flooding the packaging with gas purges the remaining oxygen out of the package and slows down the degradation.

Nitrogen gas makes up about 78% of the air that we breathe. It is oxygen that is responsible for oxidisation and decay occurring.

If the seaweed has been dried to the point that salt does not need to be added, the shelf life is going to be a lot longer. This is a sign of quality.

However, many people think that a bigger piece of Sea Moss is better, and the ‘real deal’ when it really only has a higher moisture content.

Think of this like you might when you think of dates. You know the Medjool Dates that you can buy which are big and juicy? They tend to cost a lot more when they are dried than when they are fresh.

This is due to the reduction in mass, which means fewer raw dates to the kilo, or pound, and there’s the processing (drying) time and handling that needs to be added too.

Dried Sea Moss, typically with a moisture content below 10% is of a very high grade. It will rehydrate to be much bigger than what you may first expect. When it is higher in moisture content (or fresher), there needs to more salt to help preserve it.

What type of Sea Moss is the Best?

Without going back over the various species and the market confusion, we will look at the type of Sea Moss you buy as an end product.

When you buy your seaweed it is much better to choose one that is naturally dried, and not baked. Take a leaf out of any Raw Foodist’s book with this; if it’s cooked, it’s dead.

Roasted seaweed of any kind has much less nutritional value when compared to the fresh or naturally dried varieties you can purchase.

Flakes are also something I avoid buying. It’s a personal preference thing; I’d rather have the whole piece of seaweed that I can work with rather than a packet of dusty fragments.

If your Sea Moss is in a powder form, it may as well be thrown in the bin as far as I’m concerned. It’s no longer a whole food, and there’s no telling what else has been done to it in the process.

Powdered Sea Moss is often irradiated as a part of the process, and it can also be easily bulked up with fillers.

Diseases and Quality Degradation

Different species of seaweed are prone to different pests, and different diseases. One such disease that can affect seaweed is called ‘Ice-Ice‘. 80

Ice-ice can severely impact the yield when farming Seaweed. Taking on the appearance of being frozen, ice-ice occurs when the seaweed is exposed to dramatic changes in the surrounding conditions. These can include:

  • Fluctuations in salinity
  • Shifts in water temperature, and
  • Variations in the strength or intensity of sunlight as a result of sediment buildup on the seaweed
What to Know Before you Buy Irish Sea Moss -
Ice-Ice on Gracilaria
sample of seaweed that has been infected with ice-ice which is sitting on a timber board. The seaweed is a species of sea moss that is dark olive green. The area that has been affected by the ice-ice is clear white and at the end of a main thalus or branch of the sea moss
Ice-Ice on seaweed taken straight from the Ocean. Find this image on Instagram.

When species of seaweed such as Kappaphycus Alvarezii are identified as being exposed to Ice-Ice, the affected areas are described as taking on a ‘moist’ form which then provides an opportunity for bacteria, specifically Flavobacteria and Aeromonas, to compromise the plant. 81 82

Once these have been introduced to the surrounding water, the seaweed then takes on an iced white appearance, causing the plant to harden.

As a consumer, this renders the plant useless and is comparable to a woody pineapple, or a powdery stone fruit or apple. There’s little you can do with it, and it’s far from palatable.

The presence of excessive sediment in the water can play big a part in impacting the quality of the seaweed.

When you are shopping around, before you buy any seaweed from a new supplier, see if there is a clear photograph of a new, or current, batch. Look out for high levels of impurities and debris.

A thick or heavy layer of sediment could indicate that the seaweed may have been susceptible to exposure. A very dirty-looking specimen will have more than surface debris to contend with.

Often, due to the nature of the algae, there can be fragments and sediment inside the specimen. This is normal to a much lesser extent and can be washed out, however, when you see a soiled specimen you’ll know it!

Sediment typically comes from the seaweed being farmed in rapid moving, turbulent water, or after a natural event that causes the seabed to become much more disturbed than it normally is.

Seaweed Farmers who are impacted by waters that are too murky to grow their crops in will not have much success when it comes to a viable harvest. Normally, the waters a much clearer than other areas and can often have good underwater visibility for 20 meters or more.

Often algae that are heavily soiled by sediment aren’t even harvested for processing. They are far too damaged to have much value in the market, and a good Farmer will not risk their reputation passing off a second-rate product.

Quite often, crops in these cases are simply abandoned. This is not a bad thing, as they still fulfil a function to support the ecosystem, even in their lesser-grade state.

The resources required to clean the sediment off the seaweed often mean that even if it were able to be sold, the price required to make a profit would be too high for the consumer.

While we are on the topic of grades, there are different grades for this seaweed, which is why there may be significant price differences. Like any other produce, the higher the grade, or quality, the higher the price.

Given that there are a number of factors to consider before you buy Sea Moss, this should have provided some context on what to look for, and why.

For your benefit, we have included the comments from previous articles that have been consolidated and redirected to this article as a part of the update. If you have anything you would like to add about your Sea Moss journey, we would love to hear from you!


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Last Updated on 2 months by D&C Editorial Team


About the Author

Matthew has been on an active journey towards living a healthy life from a young age. Influenced by his Grandmother, a practicing Naturopath who served her community from the 1940's to the 1980's, his views on living holistically were shaped from a young age. Growing up in different parts of Australia, his connection with the Ocean and a passion for sustainability comes through in everything he does and shares.

"I'm not a Doctor, and I don't play one on the Internet." - me

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