The Usnea herb is acknowledged as being especially effective in fighting bacteria, microbes and helping ward away infections.
Usnea, sometimes referred to as old man’s beard, tree moss or beard moss, is a lichen – which is a fusion between an algae and a fungus that functions as a single organism. Usnea grows from old trees and shrubs in North American and European forests and appears as long and fuzzy strings hanging from their branches.
This plant grows in great abundance and even has the potential of devastating entire forests due to its parasitic nature. However, usnea is extremely useful in herbal medicine.
The active constituents of usnea are usnic acid, essential fatty acids, mucilage and sterols. These components give usnea its fabled antibacterial and antibiotic properties.
To derive the healthy properties of usnea, a tea may be made. Usnea Tea is made by infusing the usnea lichen strands in 1 pint of hot water. Allow the brew to simmer for about thirty minutes in a covered container. The usnea tea can be taken in ¼ cup doses spaced throughout the day.
The following are some health benefits attributed to this herb:
- Appears to help kill bacteria, virus and parasites in the body.
- May help kill fungal infections in the mouth, intestines, anus, nose, ears and skin.
- May help in the overall treatment of disorders of the lungs such as pneumonia, colds, flu, and pleurisy.
- May help alleviate cough.
- May help treat indigestion.
- Seems to be an effective antibacterial dressing when applied topically to open wounds and sores.