The Health Benefits of Jamaican Irish Moss Drink

Popular in Jamaican Irish Moss history dates back to Irish immigrants in the 1800’s and is now used in a popular drink rich in protein and minerals and a little something extra.

This red seaweed, native to Ireland, is packed with nutrients – 10% protein and 15% mineral qualities. Unfortunately, during the 1800s, Irish moss became an important part of the Irish diet as the country suffered from famine.

Irish moss was brought to the Caribbean by immigrants and now appears mainly around the rocks of Jamaica. This is where Irish moss rose to prominence as a libido booster.

To prepare the Irish moss to make the drink, they boil it with milk. They then add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.

The most important ingredient is produced by the foam itself: an extract called carrageenan, an additive used to thicken, emulsify and preserve foods and drinks. Carrageenan is often used by dairy producers who add it to yogurt and cottage cheese. This is what gives the characteristic stickiness of the Jamaican Irish moss drink, which is not only thick but also a bit gooey. The drink is often described as having the consistency of melted ice cream.

The most popular is the calorie juggernaut known as Peanut Punch. The addition of nuts or nut butter makes it particularly coveted by athletes, bodybuilders and those seeking virility.

Although Irish moss is not scientifically proven to be a virility aid, it has many other legitimate benefits. Irish moss fights against varicose veins, dysentery, certain ulcers, and even tuberculosis and pneumonia.

Here is a Jamaican Irish Moss drink recipe:


– ¾ lb Irish moss
– 3 oz. gum arabic (known as gum acacia is a natural gum made from hardened sap from two species of acacia)
– ¾ cup of natural honey or 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (use natural honey)
– ¾ pound sugar
– 5 oz. isinglass
– 5 oz. linseed
– 3 tbsp. vanilla extract
– 5 pints. the water
2 tablespoons nutmeg powder


Wash the Irish moss to remove sand and other material.

Place the Irish moss in water overnight. One part Irish moss to two parts water. (You can optionally cook it right away, but you’ll have to cook it longer)

Place 5 pints. water in a saucepan and bring to a boil

Add Irish moss, gum arabic, isinglass and flaxseed.

Cook for ¾ hour until all ingredients except Irish moss are dissolved.

Pour the liquid through a colander into another container. Discard the boiled Irish moss.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the liquid and mix well. Boil for another 10 minutes.

Let the mixture cool and then place it in the fridge for 5 hours before slicing.

H/T: Jamaicans and AtlasObscura.

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