Sea Moss has, in recent years, become a superfood of sorts that many are eager to try for health benefits. Two popular species often get confused because they sometimes resemble one another. When it comes to Irish sea moss vs. St. Lucia sea moss, which is better for you? Knowing the differences can help you make an informed decision.
St. Lucia sea moss is more readily available than Irish sea moss, and it typically comes at a lower price as well. Both forms of sea moss contain similar benefits, so it will come down to personal preference, method of growing, and accessibility that will sway you in one direction or the other.
Keep reading for more information about the differences between both species of sea moss and which is the better choice for your health and wellness regimen.
Which One Is Better: Sea Moss or Irish Moss?
Though sea moss and Irish sea moss are similar to one another, there are some key differences between the two. They often get confused for one another because they can be the same color and they can be the same texture as well. However, one is extremely rare and the other is common and easy to purchase.
What Are the Differences?
The primary difference between Irish sea moss and St. Lucia sea moss is primarily where it grows and its availability. Irish sea moss grows in Europe and North America, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It grows on rocks and it is ready for harvest in a few months between the end of spring and the beginning of summer.
St. Lucia sea moss is more readily available, it grows year-round, and you can replicate it on a pool farm for this reason. This version of sea moss doesn’t grow in the same geographic area as Irish moss. St. Lucia sea moss grows closer to Jamaica.
If you try to purchase Irish sea moss online, you’re probably getting St. Lucian sea moss, mainly because it’s hard to get Irish sea moss outside of the summer. Additionally, you have to harvest it in a very specific way, as opposed to St. Lucian moss that can grow on ropes or rocks, though it won’t contain the same nutrients if grown with this method.
Irish sea moss is usually a yellow color with tinges of green, but it can also be dark purple, brown, and other colors as well depending on various factors. St. Lucian sea moss is usually dark, but it can also come in a variety of colors, making it challenging to distinguish between the two varieties of sea moss.
Irish Sea Moss
Irish moss and sea moss are the same things, except it is actually seaweed. The botanical name, Chondrus crispus, is a red species of algae that grow in abundance along the Atlantic coast of North America and Europe, where the ocean is rocky.
Irish sea moss is cartilaginous and soft when it is first harvested, and it comes in various colors. It can be a yellowish-green color with strands of red, all the way to a dark purple variation that has a shade of brown/copper. The main component of the sea moss is polysaccharide carrageenan, a mucilaginous substance that makes up 55 percent of the dry weight of Irish moss.
Chondrus crispus first became more notable as the source of nutrition for the Irish because of the Irish Potato Famine occurring from 1845 to 1849. During this time, there was little food available in Ireland. Millions of people perished from being malnourished and succumbing to diseases. Thus, the Irish began getting food from the sea, so it’s called Irish moss.
Farmers in Ireland harvest the sea moss around the spring tide. They venture into shallow waters and scrape the seaweed from the rocks using rakes. The farmers can do this using horses or by boat. The Irish sea moss lays out in the sun for around two weeks before it gets packaged.
Chondrus crispus is very rare as it only becomes available in late spring/early summer, and this Irish moss or sea moss grows on rocks. Therefore, it’s not easy to replicate at a pool farm.
[Also read The 5 Best Sea Moss Capsules For Daily Use]
What Are the Benefits of Irish Sea Moss?
There are numerous health benefits associated with consuming Irish sea moss in various forms, such as flakes, gel, capsules, etc.
One of the main benefits of these sea vegetables is that it has 92 of the 102 minerals contained in the human body. It also has a high amount of bioavailable iodine, vitamin C, B vitamins, fiber, calcium, protein, magnesium, and beta-carotene.
If you’ve been sick for a while, it’s good to take the recommended dosage of sea moss to help recreate balance in your body and replenish any nutrients that have been depleted.
2. Congestion Relief and Improved Respiratory Health
For centuries people have used sea moss gel as an expectorant to help soothe the lungs and throat when consumed in gel form. This supplement has potassium chloride, which helps alleviate congestion by dissolving phlegm and excess mucus. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, making it an excellent option for respiratory ailments and chest colds.
3. Stronger Immune System
Some studies conclude that sea moss might effectively boost the immune system by aiding your body in fighting against pathogens. Some trials have demonstrated its ability to suppress certain strains of pathogenic bacteria while also enhancing immune defense and possessing antiviral properties.
4. Better Thyroid Health
The thyroid gland is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and active metabolism. One of the most crucial nutrients necessary for optimal thyroid functioning is iodine. As a critical component of Irish sea moss, it can help to improve thyroid health.
Sea moss also has folate, selenium, and riboflavin, three essential nutrients that assist with energy and a speedy metabolism.
5. Improves Digestion
Fiber is essential for good digestive functioning, and in its raw and whole form, Irish sea moss has high levels of fiber. It also serves as a prebiotic to promote good gut bacteria and a better digestive system. The soothing gel might also be helpful with conditions such as constipation, upset stomach, and more.
6. Might Aid in Weight Loss
While there aren’t studies that declare the efficacy of Irish moss for weight loss, it certainly can help you control your appetite by reducing your cravings. Similar to foods like chia seeds, the jelly-like substance and fiber give you the feeling of being full. That doesn’t guarantee weight loss, but it helps when added to a weight management regimen.
7. Improves Skin Health
There are benefits of Irish moss for your skin when you consume it internally and when you apply it externally. It has vitamin A and contains omega-3 fatty acids, both suitable for skin health. It also helps with collagen production.
You can make sea moss into products that hydrate skin and soothe irritations. It also contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may fight signs of aging.
You can find sea moss online with a few reputable vendors. The best Irish sea moss is the Wildcrafted 100% Organic Irish Sea Moss. It is full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, and you can soak it in water for up to 24 hours until it becomes a gelatinous substance. Feel free to whip it in a blender and add a squeeze of lemon juice to store it in the fridge.
- Boost energy levels
- Improve immune health
- Curb appetite
- Gluten-Free formula
- Ethical sourcing
- Better digestive health
St Lucia Sea Moss
St. Lucia Sea Moss is the most commonly recognized version of sea moss. Interestingly, this sea moss is often mistaken for “Irish Moss” when this kind of moss doesn’t grow close to Ireland.
This sea moss species is called Genus Gracilaria, and it grows in warmer climates in the world, such as near St. Lucia and Jamaica. These aren’t the only places where you can find this species, but they are the most popular distribution places. This moss grows on rocks as well as ropes.
There’s a push to make this a more appealing product and several companies are changing from organically farmed sea moss to sea moss that’s cultivated and pool grown. However, this farmed moss often rushes its growing process, and it doesn’t have the same benefits and nutrients as sea moss that is naturally grown.
Furthermore, pool grown sea moss usually lacks crucial nutrients and other components because the water it’s grown in is not the same as the water where they naturally grow.
However, if farm-grown products happen to be your only option, they’re not a bad choice to make. What’s more, buying farmed sea moss does not deplete the natural ecosystem and allows it to stay balanced as a natural resource.
This moss, in particular, grows in yellow or golden strings with some red strands mixed with the moss. As a result of how the moss is affected by nature, it can be blue or purple. However, note that this shouldn’t be confused with Irish sea moss.
St. Lucia Sea Moss has a very high nutrient count, and it grows all year long, which means that it is always available when you need more.
Furthermore, due to its accessibility, it is more affordable than the other sea moss and seaweed products.
[Also read The 5 Best Sea Moss Gel for Smoothies]
What Are the Benefits of St. Lucia Sea Moss?
Both Irish moss and St. Lucia Sea Moss have nearly the same benefits and properties. Below you’ll find some additional benefits of sea moss, whether it’s St Lucia Sea Moss or Irish Moss:
1. Better Heart Health
Seaweed is considered a superfood. Moreover, this has more fiber content than most vegetables. Fiber plays a pivotal role in our body’s digestion seaweed is proficient at providing it.
Fiber also has additional properties, such as it can lower your cholesterol, improve blood sugar, and reduce your risk of serious diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Sea moss may help to reduce cholesterol, as many studies have shown. High cholesterol is one of the leading factors for heart disease. Sea moss may also lower blood pressure, another factor that influences heart health.
2. High Levels of Iodine
Iodine is a substance that our bodies do not produce, and as a result, we must attain it through our diets. Iodine is one of the factors in having a healthy thyroid.
Sea moss is an excellent source of iodine, especially if you don’t consume seafood, iodized salt, and dairy products—these are additional where you can acquire iodine through your diet.
3. Muscle Recovery
Sea moss is rich in taurine, an amino acid that helps build muscle. Additionally, for every 100 grams of sea moss, there are six grams of protein. Consuming sea moss can help with muscle recovery to get you ready for your next training session.
The best St. Lucian sea moss is the Wildcrafted 100% Natural Sea Moss from St. Lucia, endorsed by Dr. Sebi. It comes from the protected St. Lucian waters, is a vegan formula free of preservatives, and will help to boost your immune system. You can add the sea moss to water and allow it to expand before blending it into a gel.
- Supports thyroid health
- Improves digestive functioning
- Higher energy levels
- Alleviates joint pain
- Boost libido
- Healthy skin
Here are the responses to the most commonly asked questions regarding sea moss:
Is Irish sea moss good for your kidneys?
Sea moss is full of potassium, which helps minimize kidney stones. However, suppose you get diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. You may want to consult a physician before consuming sea moss to ensure that the salt content won’t be problematic along with the fiber, which can irritate your condition if it worsens.
Does sea moss detox your body?
Sea moss is a great food source for good gut bacteria. Moreover, it contains fiber which helps with healthy digestive function. Sea moss is good at drawing out heavy metals and toxins, making it great for detoxing your body.
What happens if you take sea moss every day?
If you ingest sea moss every day, it can help to regulate your blood sugar. It lowers your cholesterol and simultaneously reduces the risks of illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. It would be best to take sea moss daily at a dosage of four to eight grams.
Can sea moss make you gain weight?
It’s quite the opposite. Sea moss is excellent to use when staying in shape and very useful when trying to lose water weight. It has high levels of the compound citrulline-arginine, which positively affects the body’s metabolism.
Furthermore, it’s a natural source of iodine that can help improve digestion. Lastly, it’s great for keeping you satiated, which can help to reduce cravings and assist with weight loss.
Does sea moss make you poop?
In short, both types of sea moss can make you poop. That’s because sea moss has high concentrations of fiber inside of the algae.