November 2022

New Monograph: What is Sea Moss?

If you spend any time on TikTok or other social media sites, you’ve likely heard of sea moss. It’s increasingly touted as a “superfood” and sold in trendy (expensive) smoothies and supplements. Many claim that it offers a wide range of health benefits, including improved skin health and immune function. So, what is sea moss? And does it really offer any benefits?

Sea moss is a type of red seaweed found in the northern Atlantic. It’s sometimes called Irish moss and has been used traditionally in teas to treat cough. It’s about 80% water. It’s also a source of carbohydrates, monounsaturated fatty acids, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals. As for its benefits, there isn’t any strong evidence supporting its use for any condition. Research on its common uses, such as skin health and immune function, are limited. There’s also no strong evidence supporting its use as a digestive aid.

Although there’s limited evidence supporting its use, sea moss is likely safe when consumed in typical food amounts. If people want to try an expensive sea moss smoothie, there aren’t any major safety concerns beyond potential stomach side effects such as diarrhea. But, it’s not clear if using sea moss in higher doses as medicine is safe. Sea moss is rich in iodine. Iodine is naturally found in the diet, as well as other supplements – taking too much of it on a daily basis can alter thyroid function.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more. For now, check out our new monograph to learn about some potential drug interactions to keep an eye on.

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2024 NatMed. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. NatMed is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.