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History of Sea Moss: How Cultures Have Used It Over the Centuries

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Like many elements of the aquatic world, sea moss has long been imbued with a sense of mystery.

For all their diversity, many sea mosses are similar in appearance with a common frilly look and a tendency to be found on rocks and rock pools along the shore. They are edible and grow naturally along rocky coasts like the northern Atlantic ocean and Europe.

While sea moss is often red, it can also grow in a wide range of other colors depending on the particulars of water temperatures and the local climate. 

  • Over the centuries, many cultures have embraced different uses of sea moss, it’s even been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. There is some evidence that people around the world have leveraged the benefits of sea moss for as long back as 14,000 years, or even as far back as 600BC in some parts of China. [1]
  • You may be interested to learn that sea moss was regarded as a core source of nutrition in the British Isles around the same period. [2] Of note, it was also cultivated near the Irish coast as well, which is where the term “sea plant” was first coined.
  • It has especially tended to be used by cultures where it is found in abundance, with local communities adding it to food or used as a supplement given its abundance of vitamins and minerals. An example is using sea moss as a thickener for Irish pudding.
  • It would also go on to play an important role in Ireland during the Irish Potato Famine that dominated the 1800s [3], when it emerged as a sorely needed source of nutrients. Many Irish citizens, desperate for affordable nutrition options, would add red seaweed to warmed milk in order to create a nutrient-enhanced beverage to help them contend with the shortage of edible options. This sea moss drink happens to still be drank by some across Ireland and the Caribbean to this day.

Some examples of sea moss-based products you’ll find at Alkaline Herb Shop include Sea Moss Supplement Capsules, Raw Chondrus Crispus Sea Moss Gold, Raw Chondrus Crispus Sea Moss Purple and Gold, and Sea Moss & Bladderwrack Supplement Capsules.  

You can learn more about these and other products online throughout the Alkaline Herb Shop. 


[1] International Food Additives Council - https://www.foodingredientfacts.org/irish-moss-the-history-of-carrageenans-roots/

[2] US News Health - https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/what-is-irish-moss-is-it-a-superfood

[3] Irish Times - https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/eat-up-your-seaweed-1.238698

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