Real Sea Moss vs Fake – How To Tell The Difference

Published Categorized as Ingredients Tagged

If you’re new to the sea moss world, then you may have limited knowledge when it comes to choosing authentic sea moss. Although sea moss provides a variety of health benefits, you could risk purchasing the wrong kind, consequently making yourself sick. Let’s take a look at some of the components that will help identify real sea moss from fake.

Real Sea Moss Vs Fake – How To Tell The Difference

Table of Contents

What is Sea Moss?

Sea moss is a type of edible seaweed that grows along the rocky parts of the Atlantic Ocean, including those in Europe, and North America.

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Once ingested, sea moss provides 92 minerals to your body, effectively eliminating joint pain, inflammation, and bloating. These are some of the many health benefits that sea moss can provide.

What is Real Sea Moss and Fake Sea Moss?

Real wildcrafted sea moss offers 92 minerals out of the 102 minerals your body requires. Sea moss absorbs most of its minerals from the ocean it grows in, enabling your body to absorb as much of these minerals as you can get.

Pool-grown sea moss barely contributes to your mineral ingestion. This type of sea moss is farmed in pool tanks, infused with table salt, in an attempt to imitate the real salt from the ocean. Since fake sea moss doesn’t grow on rocks or receive warmth from sunlight, it barely provides any type of mineral that is considered beneficial to the body.

What is The Difference Between Real and Fake Sea Moss?

The visible differences between real and fake sea moss can be identified through their appearance. Real sea moss is golden, dark tan, or purple in color, with thin stems and salt crystals.

Fake sea moss on the other hand is much lighter in color, with thick stems, and is incredibly salty. Real sea moss naturally grows in the ocean, while fake sea moss is commercially grown in large pool tanks, therefore lowering its grade considerably.

Since fake sea moss is grown in artificial conditions, it does not retain nutrients, unlike sea moss that grows in the ocean. Real sea moss absorbs the nutrients from the rocks it grows on, retaining these minerals in its spiraling stems, ready to share once harvested.

Real Sea Moss vs Fake Sea Moss

Once you become familiar with sea moss, it’s quite easy to tell the difference between the two kinds.

Some of the distinctions between real and fake sea moss are outlined in the table below:

Real sea mossFake sea soss
Super thinSuper thick
Lightly saltedA thick layer of salt
Dried textureMoist and wet
Smells like the oceanGrows in pools brimming with salt and brine
May have bits of seaweed attachedNo other seaweed attached
Different colorsNo color

Real vs Fake Sea Moss Gel

Real sea moss possesses organic minerals that your body needs, which is why it must be used in sea moss gel.

Fake sea moss gel contains significantly fewer minerals and is actually harmful to the human body.

How to Identify Fake Sea Moss?

Before purchasing your first batch of dried sea moss it’s better to comprehend the discrepancy between real sea moss and pool-grown or fake sea moss. Spotting fake sea moss is quite simple once you know what to look for.

Below are some of the main elements to look out for when trying to spot fake sea moss.


Real sea moss comes in a variety of species, albeit generally wildcrafted sea moss has a darker shade of golden, tan, or purple.

Lower-grade sea moss is often lighter in color, you may notice shades of yellow, off-white, and more.


You can tell the difference between real sea moss and fake sea moss simply by their appearance.

Place them side by side, and take a close look at their stems. Real sea moss has an entangled assortment of stems that weave between each other, creating a twisted mess, whereas pool-grown sea moss has an almost perfected look that looks extremely artificial. If your sea moss appears neat and well-aligned, then chances are you’re in possession of the wrong kind of sea moss!

Real sea moss has thinner stems, whilst fake sea moss has thick, bloated stems in comparison.


Real sea moss emanates a strong fishy smell, but this can vary depending on the type of sea moss species and where it was harvested from.

However, pool-grown sea moss has a chemical-like smell, similar to the smell of burnt leather.

Some manufacturers of pool-grown sea moss would often add seaweed to the sea moss to trick the buyer into thinking that they’ve purchased the real thing! Surely fake sea moss couldn’t smell like the ocean?


While real sea moss does have salt on its stems, it does not taste incredibly salty. Furthermore, the salt on sea moss is almost invisible, because it simply carries the taste of the ocean.

Fake sea moss, on the other hand, has an extremely salty taste, and if you take a closer look you will notice salt crystals clinging to its stems.

St. Lucia Raw Organic Gold Sea Moss | Makes 32 oz Of Sea Moss Gel | Premium, Wildcrafted & Sundried | Dr Sebi Sea Moss By Caribbean Moss


The difference between real and fake sea moss relies on the texture of the moss. Real sea moss feels thick and dry, while fake sea moss feels moist and slippery, like jelly when held between your fingers.

When you submerge real sea moss in warm or cold water for a few hours, the water becomes slimy. But when you conduct the same experiment with fake sea moss, the water remains unchanged.

Salt Concentration

Wildcrafted sea moss has a lower salt concentration compared to fake sea moss. If you were to look closely at your sea moss, you’ll barely notice any salt on its stems, even though sea moss soaks up the salt from the water it grows in, therefore imparting a subtle salty taste.

Fake sea moss has salt crystals spread all over its stems. This salt is actually table salt and is often added immediately after farming to imitate the salt from real sea moss. This is because pool-grown sea moss contains no salt whatsoever in its habitat, which is why manufacturers sprinkle their sea moss with table salt, hoping to achieve a taste akin to wildcrafted sea moss.


Real sea moss can have tiny fragments of sand and rock hanging on to its stems. You’ll notice this when you remove the sea moss from its packaging or prepare it for rinsing. While rinsing your sea moss, you’ll notice the sand settle at the bottom of the bowl or sink.

On the other hand, fake sea moss is void of any impurities, and its stems appear extremely clean and perfect.


Real sea moss is certainly more expensive compared to fake sea moss. While this isn’t a factor that determines the legitimacy of your sea moss, I have noticed a considerable difference in prices between fake and real sea moss.

While you can get a pound of pool-grown sea moss for $12 to $15, the real deal costs almost twice or three times as much as this.

Area Harvested

Depending on the species of sea moss, real sea moss is often found growing on the rocks that surround the Northern coast. As well as this, it’s better to purchase real sea moss that has been harvested from Jamaica, the Bahamas, and other parts of the Caribbean.

Fake sea moss is harvested from the East coast i.e., China, India, and Vietnam. Knowing where your sea moss was harvested from isn’t always reliable, since fake sea moss can be grown anywhere at any time, the best way to avoid purchasing pool-grown sea moss, is to stick with a reliable supplier.

Does Pool-Grown Sea Moss Provide Any Benefits?

Since pool-grown sea moss has little to no nutrition, it can be an option when you are unable to purchase the real deal. While pool-grown sea moss is in no way comparable to authentic sea moss, it can potentially provide some health benefits.

That being said, it’s better to avoid pool-grown sea moss entirely, than take your chances with that slim possibility, in the hopes of absorbing some sort of nutrition!

Benefits of Pool-Grown Sea Moss

Fake sea moss does not contain the appropriate nutrients that you’ll find in authentic sea moss. Moreover, its additional salt content will cause further harm to your body.

Is Pool-Grown Sea Moss Bad For You?

If you struggle with high blood pressure, then it’s better to stay far away from fake sea moss. Additionally, if you cannot tell the difference between the two kinds of sea moss, then you should refrain from purchasing sea moss entirely.

With fake sea moss’ increased salt content, it can risk your blood pressure increasing even further!

pool sea moss

Is Fake Sea Moss Common?

While fake sea moss is certainly a threat to everyone’s health, it is not as common as you think. Globally, harvesting sea moss from the ocean has increased, disabling tank-farmed sea moss from competing with nature’s elixir.

As well as this, fake sea moss grows in a laboratory or certain parts of the ocean that is significantly low in quality, meaning that the waters are polluted, or close to commercial ports. This type of sea moss shouldn’t see the light of day let alone be harvested and sold!

Where to Purchase Real Sea Moss From?

You can purchase natural sea moss from your local health store. I like to purchase mine from here.

You can also opt to purchase ready-made sea moss gel, capsules, or powder, although you may wish to create your own fruit-infused sea moss gel, for a more desirable taste.

Benefits of Sea Moss

Natural sea moss emanates a huge variety of vitamins and minerals that your body requires to flourish. Some of the benefits of sea moss include:

  • Can support thyroid health
  • May support gut health
  • May support immunity
  • May improve blood sugar control
  • May support heart health

How to Make Sea Moss Gel?

Sea moss has rapidly grown in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason. Not only is this ocean-grown seaweed incredibly nutritious, but it can aid in weight loss, improve skin texture, boost immunity and so much more! It’s no wonder this magical plant has many of us on our toes, desperate to get our hands on nature’s goodness!

Once you’re able to distinguish between legitimate sea moss and fake sea moss, you can proceed with creating your jar of sea moss gel.

Sea Moss Gel Ingredients and Instructions

To make your jar of sea moss magic, you’ll need:

  • 3-4 oz. dried sea moss
  • 4-6 cups filtered water
  1. Prepare the sea moss: Place your dried sea moss in a colander, then use your hands to rinse the sea moss with water, making sure that you get rid of any debris.
  2. Place the sea moss in a large bowl, then pour enough filtered water to submerge the sea moss.
  3. Let the raw sea moss soak in the water for several hours or overnight.
  4. Make the gel: Remove the sea moss from the water. Use kitchen scissors to snip the sea moss into smaller stems, then add this to your blender. Pour 1-2 cups of water into the blender, then add more if necessary.
  5. Blend the sea moss into a smooth gel-like consistency, then transfer the gel into an airtight container and refrigerate.

Sea Moss Recipes

Sea moss can be drunk, gulped, swallowed, and eaten. Since sea moss gel can taste unpleasant, you might want to consider some of these delicious sea moss recipes:

Fruity Sea Moss Smoothie

Try this scrumptious vegan-friendly smoothie, containing sea moss gel and bladderwrack to enhance its nutritional properties!


  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1 medium-sized frozen banana
  • ½ cup coconut yogurt
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk (or plant-based milk or your choice)
  • ⅓ cup sea moss gel
  • 2 tsp bladderwrack powder
  • 3 tbsp sweetener


  1. In a high speed blender, add plant based milk and coconut yogurt, followed by the rest of the ingredients listed.
  2. Blend on high speed, until you’ve achieved a smooth consistency.
  3. Pour the smoothie into a glass and serve.
St. Lucia Raw Organic Gold Sea Moss | Makes 32 oz Of Sea Moss Gel | Premium, Wildcrafted & Sundried | Dr Sebi Sea Moss By Caribbean Moss

Sea Moss Banana Smoothie

This delicious banana smoothie makes a delightful breakfast beverage, featuring frozen bananas, coconut water, roasted peanuts and flavorful spices!


  • ½ cup peanuts
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • ⅓ cup sea moss gel
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ cup gluten-free oats
  • Agave nectar or dates


  1. Preheat the oven to 356 degrees F, and place the peanuts on a baking tray.
  2. Roast the peanuts for 5 minutes, or until they’re a lovely golden color.
  3. Once the peanuts have roasted, remove them from the oven and cool.
  4. Add the coconut water, frozen bananas, oats, spices, sea moss gel, peanuts, and some dates or agave nectar to a high-speed blender.
  5. Blend until the mixture achieves a smooth consistency and serve!
Organic Sea Moss Raw by TrueSeaMoss - Wild Crafted Seamoss Raw - 100% Organic Irish Sea Moss Raw - Dried Sea Moss Advanced Drink - Clean and Sundried - Vegan Sea Moss (1Pound) (16oz)

Sea Moss Gummies

If you love gummies, then why not make your very own sea moss gummies? They’re equally as delicious, and practically brimming with nutrition!


  • 1 cup fresh apple juice
  • 2 tbsp agar agar powder
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp sea moss gel
  • 1-2 tbsp agave nectar


  1. Pour the apple juice into a small saucepan followed by agar powder, ginger and cinnamon. Whisk until everything has combined.
  2. Stir in the sea moss gel and agave nectar. Switch on the stove and lower it to medium-low heat, then start to whisk quickly. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Don’t worry if you notice some lumps, as this is from the sea moss gel dissolving.
  3. Whisk until you achieve a thick but not too thick texture. Prepare your gummy mold, and use a dropper or a very small teaspoon to drop our gummy mixture into the mold.
  4. Work quickly, as you wouldn’t want the gummy mixture to set just yet! Place the mold in the refrigerator for one hour. The gummies should be firm to the touch.

So Real or Fake Sea Moss?

It’s important to buy real sea moss in order to take advantage of the vitamins and minerals within the plant. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of your sea moss, then it’s better to speak with a specialist, or conduct thorough research before proceeding with any purchase.

Real Sea Moss vs Fake – FAQs

How Can You Tell if Your Sea Moss is Real?

Real sea moss comes in a variety of species and has a darker tone (dark gold, dark tan, or purple) compared to fake sea moss.

What Color Should Sea Moss be?

Sea moss comes in various colors including, purple, brown, black, and yellow. The most common types of sea moss that grow in warmer waters have a reddish hue and are called Irish sea moss.

How do I Identify Fake Sea Moss?

If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of your sea moss, simply place the sea moss into a bowl, and examine it. Real sea moss is extremely thin, expanding 3 times after soaking. Pool-harvested or fake sea moss does not expand after soaking.

How Common is Fake Sea Moss?

Fake sea moss isn’t as common as you might think, rather you may find yourself in possession of lower-quality sea moss instead, which is considered suitable for animal consumption.

Does Pool-Grown Sea Moss Give Any Benefits?

Since pool-grown sea moss doesn’t involve the hand of mother nature entirely, it lacks the abundance of nutrition that you would normally find from natural sea moss.

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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