Usnea (also known as old man’s beard or beard moss) has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Nowadays, it’s commonly made into tinctures, teas and herbal supplements to support the kidneys, respiratory and immune system. It’s also added to medicinal creams which can be applied directly to the skin.
Usnea contains chemicals that are thought to fight germs that cause infections, as well as help weight loss, and reduce swelling, pain and fever. It’s said to have anti-cancer properties, and is known for its ability to “clear heat, move damp and resolve toxicity”.
Oak moss is another form of lichen and not the same as usnea barbata.
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