Usnea barbata Common name: Old Man’s Beard, Tree lichen
Part used: Whole lichen (dried thallus)
Constituents: Lichen acids (usnic acid and derivatives, diffractaic acid), polysaccharides, mucilage, anthraquinones (endocrocin), fatty acids (oleic, linolenic, arachadonic), all essential amino acids, vitamins, carotene.
Medicinal actions: Antibiotic, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, immuno-stimulating, immuno-regulator, demulcent, anti-tumor, expectorant, muscle relaxant
Medicinal use: Usnea is primarily antibiotic, especially against gram positive organisms such as: Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other fast-growing species. Polysaccharides are immuno-stimulatory and can be used for local and systemic infections. Common conditions it is used for are sinusitis, acute/chronic lung infections, vaginal infections, and topically as a compress for open wounds to stop bleeding and infection.
Pharmacy: Up to 10 g/day powdered herb. Tincture: (1:6, 90%), 2-5 ml TID. Infusion: 2-3tsp/cup, TID. External application as tincture or compress. Lozenge: 100mg herb, 3-6x/day. Note: Dose short term up to 3 weeks.
Toxicity: No adverse effects expected. Topically, usnic acid may cause skin irritation.
Contraindications: None known.
Interactions: None known.