Irish Moss

Scientific name: Chondrus crispus

Common names: Red Seaweeds

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: Caraggaheen

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    الطحلب الإيرلندي (attuhlub al irlandi)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Rhodophyta

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Whole herb

Collections:  Usually collected from near the shore when the tide is low



Actions: Anti-catarrhal, demulcent, expectorant, pectoral, vulnerary

Known Constituents: Up to 75% mucilage, bromide carageenans, iodine, iron, vitamin A & B

Constituents Explained:

Chemical constituents  Significant phytochemicals include carrageennan. (8) Pharmacy  Macerate half an ounce of Irish moss in water (cold or warm) for ten minutes; then boil in three pints of water or milk for fifteen minutes. Strain. Sugar and flavourings may be added. History Chondrus crispus is a maritime algae found growing close to the shores of both the Old and New World . Its pharmaceutical name, Carrageen, comes from the town in Ireland where the official drug was collected in the last century. It contains muco-polysaccharides that rapidly go into solution when heated in water. Owing to this facility, it was used widely in medicine and as a culinary item. The drug was used to prepare Blanc-mange, a formerly popular desert.  In the British Isles , Chondrus was used for a variety of complaints including pulmonary and urinary tract affections. Most significantly, it was used to speed convalescence and to stabilise wasting diseases. (6) In the Caribbean Islands , residents report it to be a powerful vitality boosting drug, restoring physiological functions in those taken low by disease or age. Throughout that region it is a popular aphrodisiac said to increase male strength and virility. The drug was official in the National Formulary. Eclectic uses (1–5)


Traditional Use:

A seaweed, like many seaweeds such as bladderwrack or kelp, that is used for its nutrient content from what it absorbs from the ocean, especially iodine.  Sometimes used to bind food, to make jellies, and in cosmetic products to soften the skin.

Medicially it has been used to ease the stomach and for respiratory complaints.

Clinical Studies: