Other Names:

Scientific Names: Dolichousnea longissima

Common names:

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: song lo

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    شيب العجوز (sheybu l’ajooz)

Rain Forest names:


Approximate Number of Species Known:

Common Parts Used: 


Annual/Perennial: perennial  

Height: 10 to 20 cm


Known Constituents: 

Constituents Explained:

Description:   (please note: this is the general characteristics –  colour, flavor etc)

Traditional Use:

Clinical Studies:



Scientific name:        Dolichousnea longissima

Family:             Parmeliaceae

Other names:       

Old Man’s Beard, Beard Lichen, and Treemoss.

Usnea is the generic and scientific name for several species of lichen in the family Parmeliaceae that generally grow hanging from tree branches, resembling grey or greenish hair. It is sometimes referred to commonly as Old Man’s Beard, Beard Lichen, or Treemoss. Usnea looks very similar to Spanish moss. Usnea grows all over the world. Like other lichens it is a symbiosis of a fungus and an alga. The fungus belongs to the division Ascomycota, while the alga is a member of the division Chlorophyta.

Usnea has been used medicinally for at least 1000 years. Usnic acid (C18H16O7), a potent antibiotic and antifungal agent is found in most species. This combined with the hairlike structure of the lichen, means that Usnea lent itself well to treating surface wounds when sterile gauze and modern antibiotics were unavailable. It is also edible and high in vitamin C.

In modern American herbal medicine, Usnea is primarily used in lung and upper respiratory tract infections, and urinary tract infections. There are no human clinical trials to either support or refute either practice, although in vitro research does strongly support Usnea’s antimicrobial properties.

 Usnea also has shown usefulness in the treatment of difficult to treat fish infections in aquariums and ponds; in part due to the Usnic Acid for digestive internal infections or external infections, and as well for gill infections/stress due to Mucilage which is also contained in Usnea.

There is no formal scientific information on the safety or efficacy of oral use of Usnea, although its long history of use strongly suggests value.

Herb Name: Usnea 

Other Names:  Old Man’s Beard, beard moss

Latin Name: Usnea australis

Family:  Parmeliaceae

Common parts Used: entire plant is used

Usnea is lichen. It is considered a combination of fungi and algae. This can be grown in cool and dump places.  It is grey green and mild yellow green in color. It belongs to the family parmeliaceae.

The whole plant is dried and used in tea. It is also used fresh.  It is also considered sacred in different religions. It is also mixed in powder form with different recipes to enhance digestion.

Infusion is made from Usnea to treat inflammation of the oral disorders.  It is considered as a remedy against trichomonas and yeast. Usnea is also used to treat skin infection and also used for lungs infections. In females it is used for vaginal infection and fungal infections. It is also common element to treat TB; it stops the growth of TB in body.  It is also used in mouth washes and for gargles. Basically it is considered antifungal.