Monday, October 28, 2013

Old Man's Beard

This hanging shrub lichen is also commonly known as ''old man's beard''.  It is a species of Usnea and it grows world-wide.  It resembles coarse hair and is a combination of algae and fungus and grows on branches of trees.

Did you know:

There are health benefits of Usnea
(Old Man's Beard):
  • It has antibiotic properties which is effective against the tuberculosis bacteria
  • Usnea has activity against fungi and is an anti-inflammatory
  • It is an immune system enhancer
  • It can be used the same way as Echinacea and is very good in treating respiratory infections (pnuemonia and bronchitis)
  • Usnea can be used as a wound dressing in the wilderness by compressing it and applying it to the wound