Lichens are thought to have natural antimicrobial & antibiotic properties. 

Usnic acid in linchens has been found to be effective against gram positive bacteria such as Pneumococcus, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis & other pathogenic fungi.

Lichens have been used to treat constipation, alopecia, pharyngitis, arthritis, kidney diseases, headaches, wounds & leprosy.

Some lichens were claimed to be good for coughs, jaundice, rabies & restoring lost hair.

Iceland Moss:

When used for nourishment, the Iceland moss was ground into flour, which was used to bake bread.
Boiling the plant was said to remove the bitter taste, so the plant was boiled & made into a jelly.
The lichen became part of a gelled dessert with ingredients that could include chocolate, almonds, or lemon.
In addition, Iceland moss was boiled in milk, a beverage served as a remedy for such conditions as malnutrition.
It was also used for serious conditions when the person was vomiting.
The lichen was a folk remedy for lung disease & problems with the kidney & bladder.
Iceland moss was also used to treat wounds that did not heal, diarrhea, problems with lactation, fevers & gastritis.
The lichen is used to treat inflammation of the mouth & pharynx & for treatment of the common cold, fever, dry cough & bronchitis.
Traditionally it was used to soothe the mucous membranes of the chest, to treat chronic pulmonary problems, to counter catarrh & to calm dry & paroxysmal coughs & as a relief for advanced tuberculosis.
It is highly prized by the contemporary herbalist as a useful antibiotic & demulcent.
It is also used for people who have a tendency toward infection.
Iceland moss is rich in mucilages & its soothing action is useful for conditions such as gastritis, gastric ulcer, hiatus hernia & reflux esophagitis.
It is used as a remedy for the effects of excess stomach acid secretion & it is thought to be a natural treatment for conditions such as debility & anorexia.Furthermore, the bitter herb is a remedy for loss of appetite & gastroenteritis.
Iceland moss has been principally recommended in chronic pulmonary & digestive conditions, particularly phthisis, dyspepsia & chronic diarrhea.
In addition, the lichen has been used to treat diabetes.

The herb is used as a surface application to treat boils, vaginal discharges & impetigo.
In addition, Iceland moss can be used topically for skin rashes & fungus.


Side effects include the rare sensitivity reaction & the risk of lead poisoning in poorly prepared Iceland moss.
In excessive doses or with prolonged use, Iceland moss may cause gastric irritation & liver problems.

Iceland moss tea is made by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1–2 tsp of powdered Iceland moss.
The mixture is covered & steeped for 10–15 minutes.
Sweetener can be added to the tea, or the herb can be mixed with cocoa or chocolate.
The average daily dosage of Iceland moss is 1–3 tsp.

An Iceland moss decoction can be made by putting 2 tsp of shredded lichen in 2 cups of cold water.
The mixture is simmered for 10 minutes.
It is then strained to squeeze out the juice.
1 cup of the decoction is consumed in the morning & another at night.
Pixie Cups Lichen:

The Pixie Cup is one that can be eaten if needed something to put in an empty stomach.

This particular lichen was once gathered for the presence of didymic acid which was used as a treatment for tuberculosis.

Dog Lichen

mixed with 4 g of black pepper, for  4 days, in 1 cup of warm milk, was used for rabies or hydrophobia.

Irish Moss 

is valued folk remedy for kidney complaints as well as externally for poorly healed wounds.
Irish moss includes great amounts calcium, iodine, sulphur & potassium as well as Vitamins A, D, E, F & K. 
This is why this most amazing seaweed is thought to be able to cure everything from bladder disorders, bronchitis, halitosis (bad breath), intestinal disorders & glandular problems to swollen joints, lung difficulties, thyroid conditions, tuberculosis, tumors & ulcers. 
Irish moss have some great anti-viral properties & can help fight the Influenza B & mumps viruses.
Traditionally it is used mild inflammation of the oral & pharyngeal mucosa.
It is also valued in dyspepsia & loss of appetite.
In European folk medicine, it is used in cancer treatment.
But one of the main uses of Irish moss is to help people recover from pneumonia. Its high Vitamin & mineral content make it the perfect food to replenish & revitalize the body after a long battle with disease.

Irish moss is also thought to have many cosmetic properties from helping rid the body of varicose veins to reducing the appearance of wrinkles

To create a homemade Irish moss gel, rinse Irish moss & soak in enough water to cover for up to 12 hours.
Strain & then blend the moss with enough fresh water to create a smooth paste & set aside in the refrigerator until the gel has set.
Irish moss gel can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks & frozen indefinitely.
If freezing, chill the gel in an ice cube tray & then keep the cubes in a plastic bag for easy use at a later date.
It is especially found in Ireland where it has a long history in Irish folklore as a good luck charm to be taken on long journeys, or to be placed under the rug at home to bring money & prosperity to the household.
from Wholesome Soul


Modern herbalists promote use of Usnea internally for treating infections.
Usnea is recommended for acute & chronic lung infections, such as pneumonia, colds & flu & as an adjunct to tuberculosis treatment.

Traditional uses of Usnea include dusting the powdered herb directly onto open or infected wounds, making strong decoctions & tincturing the herb in alcohol to optimize the immune enhancing effect.


Caution should be used if applying the herb directly to the skin because an allergic contact dermatitis may occur. In this event, try using the herb internally instead.

Reindeer Lichens

are important medicinal agents.
Northern native people used reindeer lichen in medicinal teas to treat colds, arthritis, fevers.
Reindeer lichens were also used as a poultice to relieve
the ache of arthritic joints.
Reindeer lichens have been taken to treat fever, jaundice, constipation, convulsions, coughs & tuberculosis
Also very useful remedy for whooping cough.


The lichen was generally associated with frogs & used in a spring bathing ritual to bring health & long life.


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