Sea moss (Chondrus crispus), also called Irish moss, is an edible red seaweed that grows along parts of the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America, particularly along rocky shores. It is commonly used as a source of carrageenan, which makes up about 50% the dry weight of Irish moss. Carrageenan is used in foods and supplements to improve texture or as a thickening agent (Chopin, J Phycol 1995; Chopin, Botanica Marina 1999), although a specific type of carrageenan (sometimes called "poligeenan") has been linked with adverse health effects.
Sea moss (typically as a powder or gel) has been promoted for variety of health applications relating to thyroid health, Parkinson's disease, fertility, as well as to boost immunity and energy, improve gut health, to reduce pain, and improve skin and hair, but none of the purported health benefits of sea moss have been confirmed in clinical studies.
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