Irish Moss: another AMAZING wonder herb.

March 12, 2012

Irish Moss: another AMAZING wonder herb.

My ear was hurting last week so I went to go see my Naturopath, Michael Schpak, L.Ac. (a really amazing guy). He did a couple of “muscle tests” and he told me that I had a viral ear infection, rather than a bacterial one, so he prescribed Irish Moss nose drops….he warned me that they smell awful (which they do) and they’re no fun to drop into your nose (which is also true :))….but that if I kept up with them they would do wonders for my ears and sinuses (which I am now noticing).

I did a little research on it this weekend…and WOW, the benefits are huge….Irish Moss, also called pearl moss, is considered by many as wonder seaweed as it can be used to treat a number of  health problems naturally. Irish moss has been used for thousands of years by the Chinese to treat common cold and flu. It contains 15 out of the 18 elements that make up the human body: nutrients such as sulphur compounds, protein, iodine, bromine, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, pectin, vitamins: A, B, C and D…plus amino acids like taurine all of which are like nectar for the body (especially for those that are vegetarians).

The great thing about Irish Moss is that you can take the drops like I am now for my ear infection or you can cook with it, blend it into beverages or throw it into a dessert (don’t worry, when using dried irish moss, it’s suppose to be odor-less).

There’s a raw foods place in Berkeley called Cafe Gratitude… their desserts are DE-lish and they actually use Irish Moss in most of them…so if you get a chance, it’s a great place to check out and enjoy guilt-free desserts (they use no gluten, dairy or refined sugar :)). There desserts are like magic. Click here to see Cafe Gratitude’s directions on how to prepare the Irish Moss for cooking.

As soon as I get a chance to pick up some of the dried moss, I will post a recipe…anyone out there reading this right now, ever used Irish Moss before? I can’t wait to start using it!!!

Here’s what I found out about Irish Moss from various medical and herbal internet sites:


  • Irish Moss has long been recognized for its ability to cure and abate the symptoms of colds and flu. Irish Moss contains potassium chloride, this chemical helps to dissolve catharrs, which is responsible for congestion associated with chesty coughs, therefore, Irish Moss provides a healthy natural alternative to man-made, over the counter pharmaceutical cough and flu remedies.


  • Irish Moss is a demulcent that has a soothing effect on virtually all the mucous membranes throughout the body. This sweet, salty, mucilaginous herb has a softening effect on tissues and helps many respiratory problems including bronchitis and pneumonia. It is especially effective for pulmonary (lung) complaints with its ability to absorb liquid and eliminate it from the body. As an expectorant, it relieves dry, unproductive coughs, and the high mucilage content alleviates catarrh (inflammation) of the nasal passages and eases sore throat. Its mucilaginous nature soothes a dry cough and also acts as an expectorant.
  • It also contains antimicrobial and antiviral agents to treat infections, which makes it a good source for soothing mucous membranes and alleviating respiratory ailments, such as bronchitis, sore throat, dry cough, pneumonia and other lung problems.


  • Irish Moss is found to relieve digestive problems as well, including indigestion, ulcers and stomach issues.
  • Irish Moss helps to reduce the symptoms related to gastritis, peptic ulcer, dyspepsia, nausea and is also used to prevent vomiting. It also helps stop diarrhea.
  • It has been used to treat stomach conditions like diarrhea and ulcers.
  • It can also be used to treat a hangover, as it replaces iron content that is leached from the body as a consequence of dehydration.


  • Irish Moss is a wonderful tonic for maintaining youthful and clear skin and promoting a healthy glow. Since it contains vitamins A, B, C and D which nourish the skin, it has been used to treat eczema, psoriasis, dry and chapped skin, rashes, dermatitis and sunburn.
  • Irish Moss is a wonderful emollient that softens and soothes the skin and other exposed tissue. It has cosmetic applications by helping rid the body of varicose veins to reducing the appearance of wrinkles. It eases sunburn, chapped skin, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and rashes. It is used to prevent premature aging when used topically for smoothing wrinkles on the skin, bags or dark circles under the eyes and it promotes a bright, healthy glow.


  • Irish Moss herbal supplement can be used as a weight loss medication to fight against fat and cholesterol buildup. Irish Moss herbal extract is useful in helping to thin out the blood, removing blood clots and in regulating blood sugar in individuals with diabetes. The herbal remedy is also used to speed up recovery time for individuals suffering from debilitating illness, including tuberculosis.


  • Irish Moss has an amazingly high iodine content and is used for thyroid health and to relieve low metabolism, fatigue, sallow skin and stringy hair resulting from thyroid malfunction, goiter, hyper-sensitivity to cold and slow heart rate. The escalated metabolic rate caused by improved thyroid function helps to increase energy and burn fat and may be helpful in weight-loss regimens.


  • Irish Moss is thought to help reduce the appetite by virtue of its ability to absorb moisture, increasing its volume and filling the intestinal tract with a mucilaginous, bulking-type material, increasing the feeling of “fullness” and also aiding in the elimination process of waste through the gastrointestinal tract.


  • Irish Moss is a seaweed and is found to be an effective herbal laxative and a regulator for the colon and bowel systems. And unlike pharmaceutical-grade laxative, you can’t become addicted to using an herb as a laxative or for laxative purposes.


  • Irish Moss is reported to be effective against cancer and radiation poisoning due to its iodine content. Iodine is hard to come by and many people don’t get enough in their diets, so Irish Moss is beneficial for that purpose alone. Iodine also has other functions in the body, e.g. it aids in the release of tension, especially nervous tension, which enhances overall well-being. Along with iodine, Irish Moss contains calcium, sulfur, potassium and vitamin E.
  • As an expectorant, it aids in the formation of stools pulling toxins from the bowel, including radiation poison.


  • This is a nourishing food for those recovering from illness. A superior nutritive, Irish Moss carries all the positive qualities and rich elements that the oceans produce and has been used as a healthy and nutritional food that can help restore health in recovering invalids.
  • Because Irish Moss contains blood-thinning properties and is considered an anticoagulant, early research has claimed that Irish Moss may reduce high blood pressure and the risk of arteriosclerosis. It helps to prevent the the build up of cholesterol, and protect against obesity. By helping to prevent these problems, Irish Moss can help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Irish Moss has shown antibacterial activity and may be useful for kidney and bladder infection, and it has also demonstrated antibacterial activity against Streptococcus mutans.
  • Irish Moss or carrageenan, is also an ingredient being tested for its effectiveness in a microbicide. A microbicide is a substance that can reduce the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) when applied either to the vagina or rectum. Studies have shown Irish Moss to be a potent invitro inhibitor of herpes simplex virus, human cytomegalovirus, vesicular stomatitis, and Sinbis virus and clinical trials are being conducted on Irish Moss as a preventative in the sexual transmission of HIV as well.


  • Irish Moss is considered an anticoagulant, and as such, should not be used by those who take prescription blood thinners (Coumadin, etc.). Irish Moss should be avoided by those suffering with Crohn’s disease.
  • If you choose to use drops in your nose or for other specific healing uses, it’s always advised and best to check with your local Naturapath to make sure that you do not have any specific contraindications before using.

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