Most of our ancestors came from animistic cultures, which believed that all things, including plants, hold a spirit.
And this is also true today: Indigenous people worldwide still revere much of the natural world as sacred and safeguard the plant spirits within — as is still done today in the holy groves of Africa.
For much of humankind, possessing plant knowledge, or having access to a person who did, made the difference between life and death. But, unfortunately, the majority of the world still relies on traditional medicine, and even in industrialized countries, folk remedies are still used to treat illness every day.
Only recently have we lost this primal connection to the natural world. Is it a surprise then that with the growing options of medical technology, there’s a rising movement to restore ancient plant-based healing practices in these modern times?
We know, access to healthcare is nearly impossible: Medical costs are skyrocketing, leaving many to grapple with high prices. Others also face difficulties accessing quality care due to their race or gender and are eager for options outside the mainstream medical system.
While they require responsible use to avoid interactions with other treatments prescribed by your doctor, herbal medicine might be a more accessible solution for managing some chronic conditions.
The art of herbal medicine isn’t completely lost.
Our ancestors went to great lengths to retain their knowledge of medicinal and edible plants so that we may continue to use them.
Enslaved Africans risked their safety to smuggle plants of cultural, spiritual, and medical importance during the Middle Passage.
It’s a testament to people’s resilience that they preserved their healing traditions, despite being faced with incredible hardship such as forced migration from their motherlands.
For some, their histories go farther back than any textbook cares to mention, and their herbal knowledge has been passed down through oral tradition.
Photo Credit: I Slang Sea Moss
Sea moss is a spiny sea vegetable primarily harvested for use in health supplements and as a thickening ingredient in commercial foods. If you’ve heard about sea moss supplements, you may wonder how you could use them and whether there are other ways to consume sea moss.
Sea moss is scientifically known as Chondrus crispus, is a type of algae or seaweed. It grows in waters along the rocky Atlantic coasts, primarily between North America and Europe.
It’s an edible sea plant similar to other seaweeds, algae, and other familiar leafy sea vegetables like kelp or dulse. Sea moss grows in several colors, such as various shades of green, yellow, purple, red, brown, and black. The most common varieties that grow in the warmer waters are generally red and often called Irish moss.
Due to its impressive nutrient profile, many cultures have consumed seaweed as part of their regular diet for centuries. Bladderwrack is a type of seaweed that’s rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iodine, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, and vitamins A and C.
Bladderwrack is a type of brown seaweed that’s tied to traditional medicine. Bladderwrack is also known as rockweed, red fucus, dyers fucus, rock wrack, black tang, and bladder fucus.
Growing up to 35 inches (90cm) tall, Bladderwrack can be found along the coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the North and Baltic Seas, and various waters in Canada and the United States.
Bladderwrack has been used in traditional medicinal practices to assist in various conditions, such as iodine deficiency, obesity, joint pain, aging skin, digestive issues, urinary tract infection, and thyroid dysfunction, including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and goiter development.
How to Prepare
People interested in improving their health can use sea moss in so many options. For example, I Slang Sea Moss offers capsules, raw/dried, and gel. I already have a plethora of supplements I take throughout the day, so I opted for the gel to hopefully encourage me to make more smoothies.
If you’re not a smoothie person, the capsules are a quick way to get those nutrients without the prep. Easy for people on the go, with children, and with digestion. It is also an easy way to measure how much you are taking in on a daily basis.
For some, they want to be completely part of the process of curating their raw sea moss to their liking. It’s all up to you and what’s functional for your lifestyle. That’s the beauty of sea moss!
I Slang Sea Moss
I have had a lot of different variations of sea moss. From locally made sea moss gels to trying my luck with the raw/dried sea plant. Some places have given me moldy sea moss, and others wanted to sell it without knowing anything about it. Due to my trust issues, I was hesitant to try a new company. But, due to my zodiac, the ever fearless Aries, I gave it a go.
First, the packaging was perfect! Some companies try to get fancy using a jar that can sometimes be a little impractical for travel. The sea moss gel came in a sealed plastic bag that kept the sea moss fresh and cold throughout its journey to the midwest.
The first thing I did was make a pineapple, avocado with a bit of ginger smoothie. I had heard great things about these ingredients in company with the sea moss, so it was an obvious choice. The gel added a pleasant, consistent taste through the smoothie. The sea moss itself is pretty tasteless, and if you ever try it alone, it resembles the taste of the sea. A little salty but refreshing (if that makes sense to your tastebuds).
The best part of this product is the benefits. I saw my skin brighten, and I had a lot more energy throughout the day. I also deal with a lot of PCOS symptoms, and it improved my inflammation. Sea moss is something I want to incorporate more in my life, and doing this review gave me that push!
Click here to get 15% off using Vee’s promo code on your next Sea Moss gel
Also known as LiteraryBlkGirl. I’m a Rockford, Illinois-born; Chicago-based writer, archivist, and community organizer oriented towards restorative justice, healing, and liberation. I started using cannabis in college as a way to be social. Now I use cannabis as a way to heal my body from the inside out. Through my writing, I hope to continue to advocate for the health and wellness of Black communities. Favorite Strain: It’s a tie between Girl Scout Cookies, Black Girl Magic OG, and King Louis
Written by: Victoria Sockwell
Edited (for SEO) by: Veronica Castillo
Korasana (with partner Zero Point Extractions)
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