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Usnea / Old Man's Beard (usnea spp.)

All our herbs come from certified organic sources or trusted wildcrafters. ENGLISH COMMON NAME: Standard: Usnea Also known as; usnea lichen, old man’s beard, tree moss, beard moss   LATIN NAME: Usnea spp Plant Family: Usneaceae PART(S) USED: The dried thallus or lichen strands of collected plants. OVERVIEW: Usnea is a type of lichen that grows on trees. Though lichens appear to be single plants, they are really a combination of fungus and algae that grow together for their mutual benefit. Usnea grows on old trees in cool, damp forests and is abundant throughout most parts of the Northwest. The various species of usnea are hard to distinguish, but have equivalent uses. In traditional medicine, usnea has been used for weight loss, pain, fever, and wound healing, and to make phlegm easier to cough up. It has also been used directly on the skin for sore throat and for athlete's foot. Usnea contains zinc sulfate and usnic acid. PREPARATIONS: Keep dry. Store in an airtight container in a dry cupboard away from light. Will keep for many years. Can be consumed as a tea and in extract form. Can also be used externally as a compress or poultice. PRECAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS: Consult a healthcare practitioner before use of usnea by mouth, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Usnea contains usnic acid, which may cause liver damage; do not take usnea if you have liver disease by mouth. Usnea may cause allergic reaction when used on skin.  We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, have allergies, or are on any medications. Although most herbs are generally safe, it is recommended that you avoid self-prescribing especially when there is an underlying ongoing medical condition.     This information is for educational purposes only, has not been evaluated by Health Canada, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.     Reference Health Canada:http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/ingredsReq.do?srchRchTxt=usnea&s...