Sea moss, more commonly known as Irish moss, has been used for thousands of years due to its various benefits in health and wellbeing. Harvested originally from the rocky terrain of the North Atlantic Coast, seas moss is currently being grown in many countries to exploit its health benefits.
Only a handful of research studies have investigated the benefits of consuming Irish moss on humans; however lab and animal studies have shown that it can help boost brain function and digestion, improve thyroid health, and also support the immune system.
Sea Moss – Things to Look Out for
When eaten in normal quantities, sea moss is generally considered safe and quite beneficial. However, if too much is ingested, it could result in adverse effects.
For starters, sea moss is a rich source of iodine, which helps promote optimal thyroid function. Consuming too much sea moss means you’re consuming too much iodine, which can potentially lead to thyroid disorders, and even thyroid cancer. More importantly, if you have Hashimotos (where damaged thyroid cannot make sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones), thyroiditis (swelling or inflammation of the thyroid gland), or any related issues concerning hypothyroidism, consult your doctor before taking such iodine-rich foods.
Apart from affecting the thyroid gland alone, consuming too much iodine can also cause a burning sensation inthe mouth and throat, fever, stomach discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.
Hence, moderation is key; the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends taking 150 mcg of iodine per day. A single sheet of seaweed – that’s one gram – can have as much as 16 to 2,984 mcg of iodine, so it's crucial to pay attention to the nutrition labels on sea moss products if you're concerned about iodine consumption.
A low-quality or unstandardized sea moss supplement can cause serious side-effects and adverse reactions. So before starting a sea moss supplement, whether it is a powder or a pill, always consult your doctor to ensure it is safe for you. As with any supplement, the FDA does not regulate it, so always buy a quality product by looking for stamps by United State Pharmacopeia (USP), National Science Foundation (NSF), UL Empowering Trust (or simply UL), or Consumer Labs. These stamps guarantee that the product has been tested by mean third parties for any dangerous impurities or toxic substances, and also ensures that the label tells exactly what's inside the supplement.
And lastly, if you start experiencing negative effects, such as an itchy throat, difficulty breathing, bloating, or nausea (common signs of a food allergy), stop taking sea moss immediately and consult a doctor.
If you’re using sea moss topically, watch out for irritation, redness, and burning or stinging. Stop use immediately if you experience these symptoms and consult dermatologist right away.
Bottom line: Sea moss may have many health benefits, but moderate and careful consumption is extremely important. Check out our collection of the best and most organic sea moss products.