Learn how to use Irish Moss seaweed in a number of different ways - a functional food, or a home remedy for coughs and colds or to boost immunity. We also offer some DIY beauty treatments with super easy recipes you can try at home. This is a remarkable red marine algae (seaweed) which offers many health benefits and has a surprising number of applications.
Although Irish Moss has lots of culinary uses we don’t use it in the same way we may sprinkle or chop other seaweeds into our foods.
It is advisable to first make it into a gel which can be safely stored in the fridge for a few weeks.
There are two options for making Irish Moss gel.
- Simmer (using heat)
- Soak (if you prefer raw)
When one soaks Irish Moss seaweed in water, the soaking water will become very gelatinous and will set into a gel bursting with nutrients and minerals. View our suggested recipes for both options here – the raw version is likely to retain it’s nutrient density more than the simmered one but both options will offer excellent nutrients and minerals which would be hard to match using other natural ingredients!
Once you have made the gel, store it in the fridge in a clean container, or freeze into containers.
Using Irish Moss Gel
Once you have made up your Irish Moss gel, there are three key areas where it can be very useful:
- Use Irish Moss as a food supplement or functional food
- Home remedies using Irish Moss – coughs and colds, for boosting immunity
- Irish Moss and DIY beauty treatments
Note: As always, the quality and source of ingredients is important. Irish Moss grows naturally in different shades of purple, red and brown, and it is available in many locations along the Atlantic. It may be presented in different forms such as powdered, flaked and whole. Pacific Harvest’s Irish Moss is wild harvested from Organically certifiend areas in Ireland or France, and is tested for contaminants. We recommend avoiding commercially altered forms of the plant like some of the powdered Irish Moss, sand cured Irish Moss and carrageenan gum which are likely to have been heavily processed and lost much of their natural goodness.
1.Using Irish Moss as a Food Supplement or Functional Food
This gel is a fortifying functional food that can be used any time you want something smooth, thick or creamy without having to use heat. Irish Moss also has the added benefit of being able to be prepared completely raw, which is perfect if you are committed to eating raw and unprocessed foods.
- Irish Moss and Deserts - Irish Moss pudding has been served for generations as a nutritious dessert. In Ireland and parts of Scotland, Irish Moss is boiled in milk and strained, before sugar and other flavourings such as vanilla, cinnamon, brandy or whiskey are added. The end product is a pudding similar to panna cotta.
- Irish Moss gel - a vegan gelatine substitute - Like Agar, Irish moss gel is frequently used as a vegan substitute for gelatine because of it’s jelly-like texture.
- Use Irish Moss gel to give a creamy texture to drinks. Whether you are working with smoothies, nut milks or juices, you can adjust the quantity of gel to achieve the perfect texture. As a rule of thumb, add ½ tsp of gel per cup of liquid, and blend. One advantage is that it makes it easier to chew the drink and activate the digestive enzymes, which gives a feeling of fullness while adding so few calories!
- Use Irish Moss gel to thicken sauces - Add ½-1 tsp of gel per 1 cup of liquid, and blend.
- Use Irish Moss gel to replace fat or oil in dressings - Replace the fat (oil, coconut butter or dairy cream cheese) by the equivalent amount of gel.
- Use Irish Moss gel to give a light, fluffy texture to frostings, dips, nut cheeses and deserts - Cut back on the nuts, process all your ingredients and add the equivalent amount of gel to the amount you removed at the very end.
- Use Irish Moss gel to firm up raw cheese cakes and fruit leathers - Replace some of the coconut oil, cacao butter or nut cream with Irish Moss gel. The result will be fewer calories, and it’ll retain its texture for longer outside the fridge. See Blueberry Fruit Leather
- Use Irish Moss gel to replace eggs in vegan baking - Irish moss gel can also be used in raw vegan baking to replace eggs and other ingredients to give a bread-like texture and appearance.
2.Home remedies using Irish Moss - Coughs and Colds, for Boosting Immunity
Irish Moss has a long history of medicinal use for respiratory and digestive ailments. It is said to have a softening effect on the tissues, and helps many respiratory problems such as bronchitis, the common chest cold and pneumonia by soothing the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. Read more here about it's substantial health benefits.
Try the Irish Cough Remedy to relieve chronic coughs and sore throats below.
Irish moss Cough Remedy
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp boneset
- 1 tbsp licorice root
- 2 tbsp Irish Moss gel
- 6 drops hyssop essential oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Bring the water to boil, then add the boneset and licorice. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain the liquid and return it to the pot.
- Add Irish moss, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Strain the liquid into a jar and discard the herbs.
- In a small dish, mix the essential oil into the honey and add to the tea along with the lemon juice. Take 1 tbsp as needed.
Irish Moss Restorative Jelly (to eat)
- 1/2 cup Irish Moss raw seaweed
- 3 cups water
- Cover the Irish moss seaweed with water and soak for 10 minutes.
- Wash and clean thoroughly, strain (reserving strained water for use in house plants or for a facial wash) and rinse multiple time as this helps reduce sea flavour.
- Bring the water to boil and add the soaked Irish moss seaweed.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes at a medium heat.
- Strain, reserving the liquid.
The liquid jelly has traditionally been used as a base for soup, or added in small amount to broths and juices for a healthy restorative beverage.
Both recipes are from ‘Seaweed’ by Valerie Gennari Cooksley
3.Irish Moss and DIY beauty treatments
Used externally, Irish moss softens and soothes the skin. Put it on your wrinkles and any dark circles under your eyes! It also soothes and eases sunburn, chapped skin, eczema, psoriasis, and other rashes or damaged tissue. Try out our DIY Irish moss beauty treatments below.
Irish Moss Sunburn Soother
Inspired by Janice Cox.
- ¼ cup Irish moss gel
- 1 cup distilled water
- ¼ cup aloe vera gel
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- A few drops of essential oil
- Measure ¼ cup of the seaweed jelly, then mix it with the aloe vera gel.
- Pour the seaweed mixture into a blender and blend on a low speed while slowly adding the oil in a thin stream until blended. You will have a light lotion.
- Pour the lotion into a clean container.
To use, massage a small amount into your skin. Because it’s largely aloe-based, this lotion sinks into your skin quickly and absorbs well. It does a great job of moisturising without making your skin feel greasy.
Irish Moss Hydrating Face Mask
This mask works wonders for mature, wrinkled and dry skin. It will impart a beautiful glow.
- 1 fully ripe fresh avocado
- 1 tbsp of honey
- 1 tbsp Irish moss gel *
* Note: for an antioxidant-rich face mask, make the Irish Moss gel with green tea instead of water.
- Remove the skin and seed from the avocado and mash the flesh into a creamy pulp in a bowl.
- Stir in the honey and Irish Moss gel, and blend until it turns into a uniform paste.
- Apply to skin and leave it on for 15-30 minutes. You should feel your skin getting tighter as the mask dries. Rinse the mixture off with lukewarm water and pat dry your face with a soft towel. The skin will feel taut but not dry at all.
Get started today with Irish Moss!
Disclaimer: This material is provided for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This information is generic and may not include the latest research. We encourage you to do your own research and discuss your findings with a qualified health practitioner who can help you validate the outcomes in the context of your specific & individual health situation.