Spanning over 360 million square kilometers at an average of two miles deep, the ocean is a veritable treasure chest of secrets we’re just beginning to crack open.
It’s full of extra-terrestrial-looking plants and animals we’ve never seen before, in shapes we can hardly imagine. Though it may take centuries to experience all the wonders of this glorious space, there are a few “ocean secrets” we’ve managed to tap into.
One such secret is a well-known substance that grows close to the water’s surface. It’s sea moss
What is Irish sea moss?
Sea moss, also called Irish moss
, is a spiky red sea vegetable similar to sea algae and seaweeds. It grows year-round in inlets and cold tidepools in areas like New England. Sea moss has typically been harvested for its concentration of carrageenan, a vegan thickening agent used in baking, cosmetics and other products.
Though more research is needed, there are some promising health benefits to the gel form of this underwater ingredient!
What is sea moss gel?
Sea moss gel is simply water and soaked sea moss that’s been blended up! It has a thick gel-like texture, is golden creamy in color (depending on the sea moss color you choose) and has a faint “ocean-like” smell.
Benefits of sea moss gel
Infused with ocean secrets in the form of vitamins and minerals, sea moss gel is a powerhouse ingredient, containing:
- 92 of the 102 essential amino acids
- Low sugar, fat and calories
- A small amount of plant protein
- Antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties
- Iodine (which is important for thyroid health)
- A plethora of antioxidants
All these ingredients combine to help create healthier hair, skin and a stronger immune system. Some people even say that sea moss gel boosts energy and raises their libido, too!
Depending on which health benefit you’re seeking, you can add sea moss to foods or use it directly on your skin or hair as an antioxidant-rich mask.
How to make sea moss gel
3 cups distilled water
20 g sea moss
Airtight storage container
Step 1: Source out dried sea moss
The first step is to find and purchase some (ideally) ethically-sourced dried sea moss. It comes in a variety of colors—from gold and green to dark purple— but they all carry the same health benefits. Be sure to research different sea moss vendors and read reviews to make sure you’re getting real dried sea moss. We recommend BareOrganics Raw Irish Moss
Step 2: Soak sea moss
Once your dried sea moss is in hand, you’ll need to cleanse it. Place a couple of handfuls, about 20 grams (whatever color you choose), into a large glass bowl, then pour 2 cups (or more) of distilled water over top until the sea moss is completely submerged. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 12 to 48 hours
Step 3: Stir sea moss
After 12 to 48 hours, remove the sea moss from the bowl and drop it into a blender. Add in 1 cup of distilled water, then blend away! Depending on the texture you’re looking for, blend the concoction until you reach your desired consistency (less time = chunkier, more time = silky smooth).
Step 4: Store sea moss
Your sea moss gel should be thick and ready to scoop/pour into your airtight container (a mason jar works well) for storage. You can store your sea moss gel for up to three to four weeks, using it daily, or as you need.
How to use sea moss gel
Note: As always, when considering any new ingredient, be sure to check with your doctor– especially if you’re concerned about any allergies to sea moss.
Add a dollop (one to two tablespoons daily) of sea moss gel to smoothies
–even in coffee–for an added health boost to all your recipes. Sea moss doesn’t have a particularly strong taste, so your “ocean secret” should blend right into most recipes—which is especially helpful for picky appetites!
You can also use sea moss gel as a natural hair or face mask to help replenish your cells.
- Face mask: Scoop out a dollop (about the size of a nickel) and apply a thin layer to your face. Leave sea moss gel on your skin for five minutes, then rinse clean and pat your face dry.
- Hair mask: Scoop out a dollop (about the size of a nickel) and work sea moss gel through freshly cleaned hair. Leave on for about five minutes, then rinse clean.
What does sea moss gel look, smell and taste like?
Depending on the color of the sea moss, it can be faded gold, bright green, red, purple and thick like sour cream.
There may be a faint mineral or grassy smell. Most of this smell should diminish significantly after soaking the moss.
It should have a very mild taste, slightly minerally but not too much like anything.