|Name: Irish Moss
Name: Chondrus crispus
Names: Irish Moss, Carragheen, Carrageenan
Used: The dried thallus. It is a seaweed.
Polysaccharides. The extract, also known as carrageenin, consists of sulphated, straight chain galactans. There are two different types, a gelling fraction known as k-carrageenin and a non-gelling fraction known as l-carrageenin. They are both composed of o-galactose and 3,6-anhydrogalactose residues with a high proportion of sulphate esters, but are differentiated by the relative proportions and the number, type and position of the sulphate esters. There is a variety of grades of different molecular weight, including a food grade which has a molecular weight of about
100,000 to 500,000. Vitamin A and
Expectorant, demulcent, anti-inflammatory
Traditionally the main use of Irish Moss was in respiratory illness where it is often the core of prescriptions to treat irritating coughs, bronchitis and many other lung problems. It may be used in digestive conditions where a demulcent is called for, such as gastritis and ulceration of the stomach and duodenum. The soothing activity is also seen in inflammations of the urinary system. It has been used as a food in maintenance diets for diabetes patients.
The primary role of this herb was in speeding recuperation from debilitating illness, especially
T. B. and pneumonia. Herbs such as Irish Moss and other tonic nutritive remedies have much to offer in facilitating proper recovery of health.
Recent animal research has shown an anti-viral property against the influenza B and the mumps viruses. This research supports the traditional use of Irish Moss in such conditions. The studies have also confirmed the herb's value in treating ulcers and to use it as an anti-coagulant.
Found in the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America.
To use fresh, wash it well and add one cup of Irish Moss to three cups of milk or water and flavor to taste. Simmer slowly until most of the seaweed has dissolved. Remove any undissolved fragments and pour into a mould to set.
The dried herb is best made into a decoction. Steeping half an ounce of the dried herb in cold water for 15 minutes and then boiling it for 10-15 minutes in 3 pints of water (or milk). It is then strained and often combined with
licorice, lemon, ginger or cinnamon. It may be sweetened to taste.
No information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.
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