Chondrus crispus is the scientific name for a plant that is commonly referred to as the Irish or Carrageen moss. This plant is a kind of red algae, and bears many characteristics typical of seaweeds. True to its name, the plant is found in abundance in Ireland, and generally along the rocky parts of the Atlantic Ocean in Europe.
The plant also grows well along the Atlantic coast of the North American continent. As expected of seaweeds, the Irish moss does not grow to towering heights. In fact, it grows only as high as 20 centimeters.
The moss is a powerhouse of minerals and other nutrients. 15% of its composition is entirely mineral matter, while 10% of its composition is pure protein. The minerals that are found in high concentrations in this plant are sulfur and iodine.
When the plant is boiled, it turns into a jelly-like matter. From time immemorial, communities around the world recognized that this plant had certain healing properties. Thus the plant has great medical and cultural significance for different people across the globe.
The Venezuelans, for instance, use the plant to help heal colds, sore throats, and clear chest congestions. People from Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica boil the plant and use the resulting jelly to add to some of their drinks. The case is the same for the Irish, who make a special drink using this plant and other additives such as milk, sugar, and flavors like vanilla.
Today, the plant has diverse uses. In addition to its healing properties, Irish moss is added to certain products in order to increase their viscosity and make them denser. Additionally, researchers have found out that the plant is laden with many benefits for the skin.
This is really no surprise given the many minerals and nutrients the plant contains. The list of benefits that can be gained from this plant is evidently endless. Here are some of the major uses and benefits of Irish moss.
Chondrus Crispus Skin Care Benefits
Chondrus crispus is a natural water-binding agent. Simply put, it helps bind water to your skin and hair. With Irish moss, you can say goodbye to dry and scaly skin that is not only unsightly, but which can also be a source of discomfort.
It is therefore not uncommon to find this plant on the list of ingredients used to make many skin care products. For these products, an extract of this plant is used. The extract is in the form of a polysaccharide.
2. Increases stability
Another property that this Irish moss extract has is that of making products more stable. The stability of a given product is gauged depending on the ability of oil-soluble and water-soluble ingredients to stay together.
This property of Irish moss also gives products a thick, creamy, and smooth texture. A body cream that is both creamy and stable is the ideal cream, which explains why Chondrus crispus extract is common in many skincare products.
3. Nutrients for the skin
The skin is one of the most important organs of the body. And just like any other organ, it requires some nutrients in order to function correctly. Some of nutrients that are absolutely essential for healthy skin include vitamins A, E, and K.
The good news is that these very nutrients can be found in abundance in the Irish moss plant. This is yet another reason why the plant extract makes it to the list of ingredients of many skin care products.
4. Protection of the skin
Additionally, the Irish moss plant has been shown to be able to protect the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. UV radiation is an arch-enemy to healthy skin. Not only does it cause unsightly and sometimes painful rashes and sun burns, it has also been closely associated with increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Irish moss extract can however be used as a shield, protecting your skin from the harmful effects of UV light. It is for this reason that Irish moss is a primary ingredient in many sunscreens and skin protection products.
5. Fights Skin Blemishes
Everybody desires to have clear and flawless skin. Unfortunately, there are many skin conditions and blemishes that make this a nearly impossible feat to achieve. Some of these blemishes take the ugly form of pimples, acne, eczema, wrinkles, rashes, and dark circles around the eyes.
The good news is that with Irish moss, these problems can become a thing of the distant past. Chondrus crispus has been shown to be an effective remedy for most of these blemishes, thus affording you the clear and flawless skin you desire.
Other Benefits Of Chondrus Crispus
1. Potent Anti-Oxidant
Irish moss is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants known to man. An anti-oxidant is a compound that reduces oxidative stress in the body. When this oxidative stress is lowered, the activity of free radicals is hampered.
This in turn strengthens the body’s immune system. This means that the body is better able to ward off diseases by fighting any disease-causing microorganisms.
2. Anti-Viral Properties
Irish moss also has anti-viral properties. The ancient communities that used the plant as medicine for some viral diseases, such as influenza and colds, certainly knew of its anti-viral properties.
The plant has also been found to be an effective remedy for other diseases, such bronchitis and pneumonia.
If there is any one thing that Irish moss is full of, it is nutrients. The plant contains a staggering fifteen of the eighteen essential nutrients required by the body. Some of the nutrients that are found in abundance in this plant include minerals like potassium, calcium, iodine, and sulfur.
Iodine is important for various functions in the body, but it is especially important in treating radiation poisoning. The mineral also controls the functioning of the thyroid gland, which is the gland that is partially responsible for growth.
That is why a deficiency of iodine results in poor thyroid function, characterized by stunted or problematic growth. Iodine is hence recommended to treat poor thyroid function.
Calcium is also found in high concentrations in the plant. This mineral is exceedingly important for the growth and strength of your bones and teeth.
Potassium is yet another mineral that is found in generous proportions in this plant. This nutrient is important for one’s emotional wellbeing. It is used to balance moods for those who suffer from extremes in moods. However, everyone needs sufficient amounts of this mineral for the good health of their brain. You can source potassium from Irish moss, where it is found in high concentrations.
There are no side effects that are associated with using this plant. However, when using the product to improve your skin, you would be well advised not to apply it too close to your eyes as it can be a source of irritation. Additionally, there are studies that show that the plant could be carcinogenic, but these studies are not conclusive.
The bottom line, however, is that this plant is generally harmless to the body. In any case, the extracts that are used in various skincare products are FDA approved, which means that they have been tested and proved to be harmless to the body.
Top Products That Contain Chondrus Crispus
Given the many health benefits that this plant has, it is not surprising that it is a key ingredient in many skincare and health products. One product that stands out from the rest is the Pureceuticals Cherry Glycolic Peel.
This is an exfoliating product that removes dead cells from the surface of the skin, thus revealing the smooth and beautiful skin underneath. It also has certain anti-aging properties and clears blemishes from your skin completely. Even better is the fact that the product is safe for use, and has been rated by many as being remarkably effective.
Chondrus Crispus Review Summary
Chondrus Crispus is one of the most important plants known to man. In fact, the Irish people of old called it the good luck charm and carried it with them whenever they embarked on long journeys.
For generations, people have been enjoying the many health benefits that this plant is laden with. It is especially important to the skin as it has moisturizing properties which keep your skin from drying up.
Additionally, the Irish moss extract also increases the stability of many body creams, thus ensuring that they remain creamy and smooth for a long time. It is this property of the Irish moss that also makes it indispensible to the manufacture of many milk-products such as ice-cream and yoghurt.
Further, the plant can protect your skin from harmful UV rays, and can also clear any number of blemishes from your skin. Even better is the fact that the plant is full of many nutrients, some of which are invaluable to the health of your skin.
Some of these nutrients are also absolutely necessary for the general well-being of your body. It goes without saying that Chondrus crispus is a fountain of health and uncountable benefits for your skin.