Uses for Irish Moss

Irish moss is scientifically known as Chondrus crispus, and also commonly known as carrageen moss. It is a variety of edible seaweed that appears in rugged sections of both North America and Europe's Atlantic coasts. The plant exists in various colors, such as brownish-purple, deep purple, yelllowish-green and red. There are several health-related uses for Irish moss.

Nutrients

Irish moss is a good source of several nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Skin

Irish moss offers benefits for the skin. The seaweed can help to smooth out the complexion and assist in battling skin disorders and conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, sunburn and rash. Irish moss can also protect the skin against signs of aging, such as the development of wrinkles, fine lines and crow's feet around the eyes.

Coughing

One of the most common uses of Irish moss is for the treatment of chronic coughing, as well as bronchitis. The seaweed has strong expectorant properties. It helps you cough up phlegm that has accumulated within the respiratory passages. It also works to soothe mucous membranes that are irritated and dry to manage chronic cough symptoms.

Digestive and Urinary Disorders

Irish moss is also useful for the treatment of several digestive disorders, particularly ulcers located on the duodenum lining and stomach ulceration. The seaweed offers soothing properties that can manage serious cases of inflammation that are related to the urinary tract.

Caution

If you are taking anticoagulant medications, you should abstain from use of Irish moss because it can increase your chances of bleeding. Irish moss also can potentially raise the hypotensive actions of antihypertensive medicines. Avoid Irish moss if you are breastfeeding because its effects are unknown. Children also should avoid the seaweed, as it could lead to the suppression of their immune systems.

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About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.