What's The Difference Between Irish Moss and Sea Moss?

Many people have been using the term sea moss wrong. They've used it to describe all different types of seaweed for years, not knowing the difference. There's a good chance you may have been calling Irish moss just sea moss by mistake. Technically, you wouldn't be wrong, as Irish moss is a type of sea moss. 

There are thousands of different types of mosses in the sea, however two in particular are becoming increasingly popular in the wellness world. Many beauty gurus are beginning to notice all of the perks sea moss and Irish moss have to offer. To be fair, it can be very difficult to tell these two mosses apart from each other. This is especially true once they have been dried and packaged. 

Once they are packaged, people will have to rely on the labels in order to tell them apart. Regular sea moss will be labeled as Genus Gracilaria, and Irish moss will be labeled as Chonrus Crispus. However, even the experts get these two mixed up and sometimes they get mislabeled. 

Even though there is a bit of confusion looming around between these two, the good news is that they are both super ingredients and if used properly they have potential to improve a person's health, beauty, and diet. Sea moss and Irish moss are so similar that you can be forgiven if you've been mixing them up. 

A Closer Look At Sea Moss

Including sea moss in your diet has so many health benefits. People are using this ingredient to turn their smoothies, shakes, and even ice cream sundaes into a more nutritious way to fuel up. Some people blend dried moss into their beverages, while others use products like sea moss gel to easily add a boost to their snacks.

Sea moss grows in warmer climates, most commonly found in Jamaica and St. Lucia. It usually grows on rocks, but can also grow on anything that's been left in the water. Sometimes sea moss can be found growing on ropes that have been underwater for a period of time. 

This moss is really thin and stringy. It is usually a golden yellow or amber color, but will sometimes take on blue, purple, or red hues. Often the sea moss will have a honey color on top with darker hues taking on another shade towards the bottom. However, yellow isn't the only color of sea moss. Purple sea moss can also be found in Jamaica. 

Benefits Of Sea Moss

Sea moss doesn't have a growing season, so it will continue to grow all year long. This is amazing because that means it is readily available at any point in time. Companies that have started using this popular ingredient don't have to worry about running out of it any time soon.

Another perk is that sea moss is jam packed with nutrients. This ingredient has been trending as a superfood and more people are trying to get their hands on it. People are finding new ways to add it to their diet every day. It can be added to a number of dishes, including smoothies, sauces, and cakes, without affecting the taste.

There are two different ways that sea moss grows: pool-grown sea moss and ocean farmed sea moss. Since ocean farmed sea moss grows in the most natural state it has more nutrients than pool-grown. Often pool-grown sea moss grows in water that has been tampered, which is why it has less nutrients.

Since this ingredient is so potent, there is no reason to overindulge. Actually, anyone who does consume sea moss regularly should keep in mind that it is naturally grown. This means that companies can't just make more appear if they happen to sell out. A little bit goes a long way, so self-discipline is important for making your supply last.

A Closer Look At Irish Moss

Irish moss gets its name because it grows on the coast in Ireland. In the 1800s this seaweed was a survival necessity for people during the Irish Potato Famine. This essential ingredient that once kept the people of Ireland alive and healthy, is now globally acclaimed as a superfood. 

Even though this moss was discovered and made popular in Ireland, that's not the only place it grows. It can also be found in other cooler climates, like Canada and Great Britain. It grows on rocks, but unlike sea moss it can't grow on ropes or other objects. This is why Irish moss is more rare than sea moss. 

Irish moss also looks different from sea moss when it's growing. (It's not until they are dried out that they look similar.) It has a wider shaped top that almost resembles little fans. It's usually a darker purple color and looks to have little flowers and leaves on it. However, Irish moss can vary in color and sometimes appears much paler.

Uniqueness Of Irish Moss

Irish moss can only be harvested during the summer, and since it's only able to grow on rocks it's a lot more rare than other types of moss. Since it's so rare, it can be hard for people to get any at all. One good thing is, this moss can't be duplicated. People don't have to wonder if they're buying the real deal when they spend money on Irish moss. 

This moss has a lot of the same health benefits as sea moss, which is part of the reason people confuse them. However, it is much more potent. Although people may get more nutrients out of a smaller amount, the taste is quite present. Sea moss can be added to a snack and go unnoticed, but Irish moss has a much more distinct flavor.

Benefits Of Irish Moss

Purple fruits and vegetables are known as superfoods and an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. The reason is because they all contain Anthocyanin, which could help to improve memory and prevent cancer. Anthocyanin is also present is Irish moss, making it the super ingredient everyone wants to get their hands on. 

This moss is loaded with Vitamins, including A, B, E, F, and K. It's also a great source of calcium, sulfur, and potassium. Iodine is another mineral present in Irish moss that can be hard for many people to include in their diet no matter how healthy their choices are.  

Irish moss could also help improve people's skin. Many people have noticed that it helps with their dry skin, and it has also been linked to helping with eczema and psoriasis. 

What Do These Mosses Have In Common?

The biggest difference between sea moss and Irish moss are:

  • Where they come from
  • Where they grow
  • When they can be harvested
  • What they look like
  • How they taste

Now that you know how to tell the difference between these two mosses, it may be easier to understand why people get them confused with one another. It's not just everyday people who are getting these two mosses mixed up with one another either. Even professionals are having trouble.

When wellness companies are mixing up sea moss and Irish moss, it's more than likely an honest mistake than a trick to fool customers. Although the mosses are actually different from one another, they have a lot of the same properties that people could benefit from.

Either type of moss could be used to help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms. People have been using it as an immune booster to keep them healthy all year long. Potassium chloride is present in the moss and it is used to help dissolve phlegm and mucous. This may help relieve congestion and fight infections.

Some of the icky flu-like symptoms that sea moss and Irish moss could help with are:

  • Chest coughs
  • Sore throat
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Tuberculosis 

Both types of moss are also linked to helping with digestive health. Regular consumption of moss may help improve a person's gut health because they have probiotic effects which are helpful for increasing production of the fatty acids that are in the colon while reducing the amount of harmful bacteria. 

Potassium is another mineral present in both types of moss. It is a natural mood booster that may help people who are struggling with depression or anxiety. Since it is also an excellent source of vitamin B, it could be beneficial for reducing stress and supporting the nervous system.

Final Thoughts: The Difference Between Irish Moss and Sea Moss

If your favorite celebrity is promoting sea moss or Irish moss, you can trust they are actually using it. Both of these ingredients found underwater could have tremendous health benefits if a person makes it part of their healthy lifestyle. Even though both sea moss and Irish moss have similar properties, there are some key differences between the two.

Irish moss is more rare and potent, which means that people may experience more health benefits from a smaller amount. However, sea moss is easy to come by and has a more neutral flavor. Many people find consuming sea moss more pleasant because of its flavor.