Exploring the Different Types of Sea Moss: Which Form is the Best?
Calling all seafood lovers! Are you ready to delve into the different types of sea moss? Here you go.
Sea moss, the ocean’s superfood, comes in various varieties and types. From the purple and daring Chondrus crispus to the golden Genus gracilaria, every type has distinct features and perks.
This marine ingredient has been used in the skin and beauty industry for decades. Moreover, it is a primary ingredient in many recipes and health supplements. All this is due to seaweed's amazing nutritional value, making it a superfood for your skin, hair, and physical health.
Whether you suffer from acne, have dry, brittle hair, or want to boost your immunity, sea moss can help you to deal with them. Want to know more about red algae, its types, and its benefits? Then keep reading.
Types of Sea Moss
Sea moss has several varieties, which include the followings:
- Chondrus crispus
- Eucheuma cottonii
- Kappaphycus Alvarezii
- Mastocarpus stellatus
Each type of sea moss has distinctive properties and is commonly used in traditional recipes or carrageenan production. Let's take an in-depth look at the most common types of sea moss and their characteristics.
What are the Different Types of Sea Moss?
Although Chondrus Crispus is the most well-known sea moss type, it is not the only one. There are various forms of seaweed, each with its unique features and benefits. It would not be wrong to say that thousands of seaweed types grow in the ocean.
But, for now, we are sticking to the top five types of sea moss and their distinct characteristics. So, without further ado, let’s check out the details of different types of sea moss:
- Irish Moss
Scientifically known as Chondrus Crispus, Irish moss is the most popular sea moss and is used widely due to its health benefits. It is a species of red algae most commonly found along the Atlantic Ocean coasts. Irish moss contains over 18 essential minerals and nutrients, including iodine, iron, calcium, etc.
For centuries, people have used Irish moss for its healing properties. Also, it is commonly used in cuisines as a thickening agent. It is because Irish moss contains carrageenan, a polysaccharide that provides thickening properties to when added to anything.
Besides, Irish moss helps support the immune system, the digestive tract, and various body organs. It also promises multiple skin and hair benefits if applied regularly.
- Red Gracilaria
Scientifically known as Gracilaria chilensis, this sea moss type is found in the Pacific Ocean, especially around South America. Red Gracilaria also contains essential nutrients, including high fibre, protein, and minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Red Gracilaria offers benefits similar to Irish moss and is excellent for overall health and wellness. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Red Gracilaria make it a good health supplement.
Furthermore, it offers skin and hair benefits like hydration, wrinkle prevention, scalp soothing, etc. It is consumed in various forms, like gel or capsules.
- Cottonii Sea Moss
Cottonii sea moss or Eucheum cottonii is another red algae growing in tropical regions like Southeast Asia. This sea moss is high in fibre, protein, and minerals like calcium and potassium.
It is long, thin, translucent, and has reddish-brown fronds.
Again, Cottonii sea moss also offers various hair, skin, and health benefits. Moreover, it is an excellent source of carrageenan and is therefore used as a thickening agent in different foods.
- Gigartina Sea Moss
Gigartina sea moss is another red algae derivative that shares characteristics similar to Chondrus crispus.
The main difference between both is Giartina grows in rocky areas in the North Atlantic, while Chondrus crispus is typically found in more sheltered areas. Also, both red algae variants contain carrageenan, but the quantity and nutritional value differ.
Gigartina sea moss is usually reddish-brown and can get as long as 20cm. Due to its high nutritional value and presence of carrageenan, Gigartina, like other red algae, is used in beauty products and food preparations and consumed in gel/capsule form.
- Eucheuma Seaweed
Eucheuma Seaweed is scientifically known as Euchema spp. Eucheuma typically ranges in color from shades of green to red to brown, depending on its growing conditions and the species.
The main areas where this sea moss grows are shallow tropical waters. Additionally, its branches can go as long as 1 meter in length.
Like most other types of red algae, Eucheuma also contains carrageenan and other essential nutrients, making it a healthy food option. The best thing about Eucheuma seaweed is it is easy to cultivate and can grow all year round. Additionally, it grows fast and requires no special fertilizers for growing conditions.
Differences Between Gold and Purple Sea Moss
The different types of sea moss have different colors.
The purple sea moss is Chondrus crispus since it is purple in colour. The sea moss may show reddish hues as well.
The golden sea moss is, Genus gracilaria, which is gold in colour. However, it can vary in shades, with some being yellowish.
Now that you know the gold and purple sea moss, let’s explore their top differences.
- Growing Environment
The main difference between gold and purple sea moss is their growing environment. Chondrus crispus mainly grows in shallow waters. On the other hand, Genus gracilaria can be found in both shallow and deep waters.
- Shade Ranges
Although Irish moss is called purple sea moss, its shade can range from reddish brown to brown and purple, depending on where it's grown. Gold sea moss is usually gold, but its shade varies from light golden to yellow.
- Nutritional Value
Gold and purple sea moss have high nutritional value and many health benefits. But, due to slight differences, they have different nutritional values. Purple sea moss is a good source of iodine, iron, magnesium, calcium, and other vitamins.
It also has a higher carrageenan content than gold sea moss. However, vitamin A, E, and K levels are found in higher amounts in purple moss as compared to golden one.
The taste and texture of golden and purple sea moss vary slightly. Here’s what they are:
- Gold sea moss has a more neutral texture with an earthy and salty taste.
- Purple sea moss has a more dense and more robust taste. It tastes more like the ocean and is high in saltiness. But it’s more tender and delicate than gold sea moss.
Which Sea Moss Is Better?
Now you might be wondering, among the different types of sea moss, which one is the best? Don't let the tons of sea moss varieties confuse you. Although every type of seaweed has pros and cons, knowing which has the most nutritional value is vital.
So, if you plan to add sea moss to your diet, here is the best among the bunch!
Yup, that’s right. Irish moss is the market's most widely known and popular type of sea moss. Its high nutritional value and essential minerals and vitamins make it the best choice for hair, skin, and body care.
Irish moss contains over 18 essential nutrients that are found in our bodies. Therefore, it helps all the major organs, like the heart, lungs, digestive tract, and immune system, to function correctly.
Similarly, Irish moss is also great for cognitive and mental health. It boosts thyroid function, which helps balance the hormone levels in the body. All in all, these fantastic benefits make Irish moss the most used and loved sea moss type.
You can learn more about the incredible benefits of it here.
After learning about the different varieties of sea moss, and knowing the best type, are you tempted to use it and see the benefits for yourself? Give Myla’s moss a go!
Myla's moss contains the best sea moss for all your needs. Our Irish moss comes in gel form, making it easy to apply and maintain. Additionally, it is packed with all of nature's goodness to give you the best experience.
Myla's moss contains 100% organic and natural sea moss obtained from the rocky waters of St Lucia. Our sea moss gel has all the essential nutrients and minerals to aid your body and mind. So, visit us today and grab yours now. We’re sure you’ll keep coming back for more!
How Do Different Types of Seamoss Look Like?
Below we have discussed the differences among the various types of sea moss:
- Chondrus crispus: This is the most well-known type of purple or reddish-brown sea moss. It has a flat, fan-shaped appearance with many small, finger-like branches.
- Gracilaria: It is also red seaweed that is commonly used in Asian dishes. It has a reddish-pink colour and a more delicate, feathery appearance than Chondrus Crispus.
- Kappaphycus alvarezii: Alvarezii has a thin, ribbon-like appearance and is usually a reddish-brown colour.
- Eucheuma cottonii: Cottonii is mainly used to make desserts and sweet dishes. It has a more stringy appearance than other types of sea moss and is usually a lighter shade of red.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sea moss
Although sea moss offers plenty of benefits, there might be a few side effects if it is over-consumed than the usage limit of 4 grams a day.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind before incorporating sea moss into your routine.
- Rich in Minerals
Sea moss contains a long list of minerals and vitamins. This help to improve the functioning of the lungs and heart and improve immunity. According to a study, sea moss’s iodine content helps the thyroid function. 2
- Thickening properties
Sea moss contains a thickening agent called carrageenan. This compound has thickening properties and is used in different sorts of foods like soups and stews to improve their texture and stability.
- Best for Skin Health
It also has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, which help prevent acne, pimples, and other skin conditions. Besides, its antioxidant content and carrageenan compounds help keep skin problems at bay.
To discover more about the skin-friendly properties of sea moss, check out our blog on the skin benefits offered by sea moss.
- Helps the Digestive Tract
Sea moss contains fibre which helps soothe the digestive tract and aid in bowel movements. Fibres are also amazing for constipation and may help alleviate symptoms of other digestive disorders.
If you consume sea moss in a safe amount, it's less likely to harm you. However, sea moss is not suitable for everyone, so it's better to look at its side effects before starting to use it.
Here are some of its prominent side effects.
- Metal Poisoning
Sea moss mainly grows in oceans and rocky waters. So, it absorbs some of the metal content in those waters, including mercury, arsenic, etc.
- Skin Allergies
Lastly, sea moss is not for everyone. Although it offers extensive skin benefits, seaweed can cause worse allergies and reactions in some users. So, always do a patch test to see whether your skin reacts to the seaweed.
At Myla’s Moss, we follow the utmost hygiene practices to bring you the best sea moss. Our honesty and commitment have made Myla’s Moss UK’s no.1 sea moss retailer. Our gels come in different-sized bottles so that you can use them conveniently.
Difference Between Pool Farmed and Ocean Farmed Seamoss
Now that you know the major sea moss types, let’s have a look at sea moss grown in a pool vs. an ocean.
Sea moss that grows naturally differs from artificial pools and shallow waters. Due to its lack of nutrients, some people might consider pool-grown sea moss as 'fake sea moss.'
But what exactly is different between both of them? Here’s a rundown.
- Physical Appearance
Both kinds of sea moss vary in colour and appearance. For example, pool-grown sea moss has a more uniform shape and usually is lighter in colour. It is because the sea moss is grown in a regulated environment with controlled exposure to sun, light, water, and temperature.
On the other hand, ocean-grown sea moss shows variations in physical appearance. That’s because of the varying degrees of temperature, sunlight exposure, waves, currents, etc. The result? The sea moss is sometimes darker, denser, or lighter and has no uniform appearance.
- Nutrients Content
The ocean-grown sea moss has a broader quantity of nutrient content, while the pool water only contains the nutrients added to the set-up. Hence, there’s a big difference between the nutritional value of sea moss grown in both situations.
According to a study, the nutrients found in ocean-grown sea moss are comparatively higher than those grown in artificial ponds. It is because the ocean contains a wide range of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins absorbed by the sea moss. 6
- Contamination Risk
The contamination risk of pool-grown sea moss is higher because of the man-made surroundings. For example, the pools or artificial environment may contain dirt, bacteria, or harmful chemicals if improperly cleaned.
On the other hand, the ocean is a bit safer as it's the natural habitat of sea moss. However, polluted water and contaminated litter in the ocean can increase the risk of sea moss contamination.
Sustaining a man-made environment is pretty hard and requires a lot of effort. That’s because you need to mimic the ocean and consistently add clean water, nutrients, etc., into the water.
Therefore, it’s harder, more time-consuming, and more expensive to sustain pool-grown sea moss. On the contrary, the ocean is an autonomous body that requires no extra effort to grow sea moss.
- Harvesting Time
Sea moss grown in the ocean is usually ready in one year. However, pool-grown sea moss may take up to 2 years to fully grow and be ready for consumption.
Finally, we’ve reached the end of the article on sea moss types.
Please note that although there are wide sea moss varieties, they all have a high nutritional value and contain carrageenan content. And even though the Irish moss is the most well-known sea moss currently used, the other types also offer users the same (if not more) benefits and perks.
Visit Myla’s moss if you are looking for some naturally grown sea moss!
Which Sea Moss Is Better?
Irish sea moss is better since it has an amazing nutritional profile and offers multiple health benefits. It can improve your blood flow, helps in weight loss, and improves immunity and gut health.
Which Sea Moss Should You Buy?
Always prefer to buy naturally grown sea moss since it contains fewer contaminants and is safe to consume. For example, Myla's sea moss gel is completely organic and 100% natural hence, it can provide you with all the goodness of sea moss.
What type of sea moss is best for the skin?
Irish moss is best for your skin since it helps keep it smooth and healthy. It has antibacterial and non-comedogenic properties. This ocean's superfood delays the signs of aging, keeps your skin hydrated, and helps to remove dark spots.
What are the two main different types of sea moss?
Irish sea moss and Jamaican sea moss are the two main types of sea moss. The significant difference between them is that Jamaican moss has a finger-like appearance while Irish moss has a multi-branched fan-like structure. However, both are widely used due to their nutrient-rich profile and health benefits.
Which form of sea moss is most effective?
Irish moss is most effective since it contains a good amount of antioxidants, has high mineral content, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It's good for physical health and improves mental and emotional health.
- Lomartire, S., Marques, J. C., & Gonçalves, A. M. (2021). An overview to the health benefits of seaweeds consumption. Marine Drugs, 19(6), 341.
- Pradhan, B., Nayak, R., Patra, S., Jit, B. P., Ragusa, A., & Jena, M. (2020). Bioactive metabolites from marine algae as potent pharmacophores against oxidative stress-associated human diseases: A comprehensive review. Molecules, 26(1), 37.
- Pilkington, S. M., Watson, R. E. B., Nicolaou, A., & Rhodes, L. E. (2011). Omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: photoprotective macronutrients. Experimental dermatology, 20(7), 537-543.
- Smyth, P. P. (2021). Iodine, seaweed, and the thyroid. European thyroid journal, 10(2), 101-108.
- Jaishankar, M., Tseten, T., Anbalagan, N., Mathew, B. B., & Beeregowda, K. N. (2014). Toxicity, mechanism and health effects of some heavy metals. Interdisciplinary toxicology, 7(2), 60.
- Pereira, L. (2011). A review of the nutrient composition of selected edible seaweeds. Seaweed: Ecology, nutrient composition and medicinal uses, 7(4), 15-47.