Is Moss Edible? Top 5 Edible Mosses

Is moss edible? Moss is a type of plant that grows on rocks, trees, and other types of surfaces. It has been used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat various illnesses such as fever or pain relief.

In addition to its medicinal properties is moss edible? Yes! absolutely! In fact, there are several types of moss that are indeed edible!

There are some mosses that have been shown to contain “carbohydrate and polysaccharide” that serve as a primary energy source for the body.

A study was conducted at Oregon State University where they discovered that eating moss could increase your intake of zinc which helps maintain the immune system and promotes healthy digestion.

Mosses that are safe can be eaten raw, boiled, or fried. However, there are some exceptions and some types of moss can be slightly toxic or even poisonous, especially if consumed RAW! So you should always be aware of this before snacking on this green delicacy!

DISCLAIMER: We are not a doctor or a nutritionist, and although the information in this article is intended to be educational it should not be taken as medical or nutritional advice!

5 Types Of Moss That Are Edible?

Moss has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb, food source, and even fertilizer for other plants!

The nutritional value of these tasty greens ranges from high to low, depending on the type and how it’s prepared. Some examples of moss that is edible are listed below.


1. Oakmoss

Oakmoss is an edible moss that grows on trees which makes harvesting them really easy! It’s packed with nutrition and can be used in a variety of dishes as a garnish much like parsley.

It has been used for centuries as medicine. However, nowadays there’s not many people who use this to heal illnesses.

If you search around Google or even Youtube then you’ll probably find lots of sites promoting essential oils with added essences from these unique plants which can do wonders for your health!

IMPORTANT: Oakmoss can be very toxic if consumed in its raw state and in high doses! So it will need to be boiled.

To prepare it you will need to wash it first to remove any loose dirt and then boil the moss just to remove the toxic acids so it’s safe to eat! Once Boiled, you can then fry it with olive oil and spices (which is optional) or you can add it to your soup.

How To Prepare Oakmoss So It’s Edible:

  1. Wash The Moss Under A Tap
  2. Boil It To Remove The Toxic Acids
  3. Then Fry It Or Add It To Your Soup

2. Reindeer Moss

Reindeer Moss is an edible type of moss that can be found in the northern regions. It has a lot more nutrients than other types and can be eaten raw!

The only downside is that it can be quite bitter if not properly prepared so it’s best to boil the moss several times before consuming it.

IMPORTANT: Just like with Oakmoss, be very careful if you plan on consuming this one raw as it can cause vomiting and diarrhea if eaten in high doses.

After boiling the moss, you can eat it as is or add some butter and salt. For the best results, you should mix it with berries, fish, or eggs as a way of adding flavor!

How To Prepare Reindeer Moss So It’s Edible:

  1. Rinse It Under Cold Water
  2. Boil The Moss Several Times
  3. Fry It Or Use As A Garnish

3. Iceland Moss

Iceland Moss is another species of moss that is edible for humans to consume when identified and prepared properly.

This moss is usually located in cold climates and can be used in salads and other foods as a garnish.

This moss is more for natural medicine, when the acids in it are extracted, they can be dissolved into alcohol to help remedy chest or stomach ailments like constipation.

However, you can safely eat Iceland moss in small quantities but, if eaten frequently there is a chance that they may make you sick.

This moss should be boiled first and used in soups or you can even add it to your porridge for some added flavor!

How To Prepare Iceland Moss So It’s Edible:

  1. Wash It throughly Under A Tap
  2. Place It In Boiling Water
  3. Can Be Used In Soups Or Prridge

4. Spanish Moss

Spanish moss is not edible and will upset your stomach due to its acidity. However, we wanted to add this one to the list because it can actually be consumed safely!

In fact, Spanish moss is traditionally used as an herbal remedy by the locals which is usually brewed into teas.

These teas have been used for millennia by ancient civilizations and cultures around the world because they have properties that are good against colds and fevers.

There are a few steps to make this tea. First, steep the plant in boiling water and then add some sugar. You’ll find that Spanish moss has an earthy flavor that complements nicely with the sweetness of iced tea sweetener or honey (optional).

How To Prepare Spanish Moss So It’s Edible:

  1. Rinse The Moss Under A Tap
  2. Steep In Some Boiling Water
  3. Add Sugar Or Honey As A Sweetener

5. Kalpasi Moss

Kalpasi moss is a type of moss that can be found in Kerala, India. It is consumed in dishes as an ingredient or garnish that is usually eaten with rice and sambar for breakfast or lunch.

Like Spanish Moss, Kalpasi has been used for centuries medicinally and primarily grows on rocks.

The Kalapsi mainly provides relief from pain but also improves digestion while healing urinary tract infections. There are antibacterial properties to the plant which makes it useful when treating wounds!

The flavor of Kalpasi is derived when boiling it, then cooking in oil with some salt. It’s mainly used as an exotic spice mix to season other Indian dishes like spicey Currys.

How To Prepare Kalpasi Moss So It’s Edible:

  1. Wash It Under A Tap
  2. Boil It In Water
  3. Use It With Spicey Foods

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Nutritional Value Of Moss

Moss is often overlooked as an edible plant when in fact it can provide much-needed nutrition for humans and animals alike! and as you’ve just seen there are many different types of moss each with its own nutritional value.

NutritionPer 100g
Energy4.5-5.0 kcal/g
Protein4g (4%)
Sugars1g (1%)
Fats1-5g (1-5%)

Even to this day, moss is still being studied for its health benefits, and just recently scientists have discovered a new complex carbohydrate in moss here’s a quote taken from their website below.

An international team of scientists including the University of Adelaide has discovered a new complex carbohydrate in moss that could possibly be exploited for health or other uses.

Sciencedaily.com

What Does It Taste Like?

The taste of moss depends on what kind of moss you eat! With that said, your first thought would be that it tends to taste very bitter, yet there are some types that are like salty seaweed.

While other types of moss can be sour and even sweet. But again this comes down to the type of moss you have, however you can also fry up some fresh moss to make a tasty meal out of it or just add in a salad.

Is It Safe To Eat Moss Raw?

Although some types of moss are ok to eat raw it’s not recommended. Some mosses can contain harmful toxins that can potentially make you very sick if ingested.

IMPORTANT: It’s always best to boil the moss before consuming it to remove any harmful toxins and any chances of getting sick!

So, if you’re thinking about eating moss that you found on the ground then think again!

Moss that is growing on the ground is more likely to contain these harmful toxins and bacteria that can make you very ill. It’s best to avoid eating any type of moss that you find growing on the ground.

Can Your Pets Eat Moss?

Although we humans can eat moss when it comes to our pets this is a different matter! Moss is not a poisonous plant, but it can be dangerous for your pet.

Some mosses that contain high levels of toxins can potentially make your pet very sick or worse if they eat it.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep an eye on your pet whenever they’re outside and make sure to pick up any moss from your garden.

IMPORTANT: If you think one of your pets has eaten some moss then it’s best to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Just remember to be aware of some of the mosses and lichens you eat. They may be edible, but the identification process can be tricky for amateurs to identify correctly, so eating them raw or not preparing them could make you sick!

If it’s your first time picking moss for eating we would suggest taking time to practice identifying which is the right one for eating and then take some home, prepare it, and eat only small amounts so as not to risk any reactions.

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