Usnea - Usnea Spp.

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This Usnea (Usnea spp.) monograph is an excerpt from the 1999, first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA. The expanded 3rd edition materia medica, and additional herbal tidbits are also available as a kindle ebook at Amazon and details on this e-book are here.

Usnea - Usnea spp. in the Parmeliaceae or Lichen family

Part used: Whole lichen.

Taste/smell: Astringent, bitter.

Tendencies: Drying, cooling.

Dosage: 1:5 dry strength liquid extract: 20-60 drops1-4 times per day.

Mental picture and specific indications: Usnea is indicated for infectious conditions with fever.

Use: (a) Antibacterial, (b) Antifungal, (c) Antispasmodic, (d) Antipyretic, (e) Analgesic.

Used in respiratory, urinary and fungal infections.

Usnic acid is a secondary metabolite uniquely found in all lichens and has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory,  antimicrobial,  and cytotoxic properties in vitro. It has also shown analgesic and  antiparasitic activity.  Usnic acid as a pure substance has been used in creams, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorants and sunscreen products, in some cases as an active principle, in others as a preservative.

Contraindications: Be aware that there have been some reports that the constituent usnic acid may cause hepatotoxicity but the evidence is inconclusive so far.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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