Saturday, April 14, 2007

Irish moss

Researching Irish moss (a.k.a carrageen) as a vegan thickener last night (I want to make my home made ice cream thicker), I discovered that the seaweed has many other interesting properties. As well as being an aphrodisiac drink in the Caribbean, it has many superfood health uses - as a natural treatment for bronchitis, a digestive aid, a blood thinner and as a remedy against cystitis. Most interestingly, it is currently being tested as a natural microbicide (in the form of a vaginal gel) protecting against HIV infection. The Population Council in South Africa is currently conducting trials, with the results due out in the autumn. Click here for more.


Akin 11:00 am  

I watched Saturday Kitchen a few months ago and the lady made a desert with this carrageen stuff.

I suppose the problem with naturally occurring microbicides is their immediate effect on soft tissue - lime and lemon for instance does produce a very stinging effect, but a very effective bactericide and spermicide.

marin,  3:09 pm  

I used to like eating this in Moscow. We bought it from the Koreans stalls. I have not seen it anywhere around western Europe - now I know what is called and that it is so useful, I'm off to search for it.

Patrice,  5:23 pm  

There is some research to suggest that carrageenan, an extract of carrageen, is carcinogenic and causes gastrointestinal inflamation and ulceration.

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