Another explanation is that the type of lichen I collected isn’t much good for dyeing – I didn’t try to identify it or do much research. ./ They are very abundant and can be gathered throughout the world. Foraging for Usnea: A Super Medicinal Lichen. The best way to identify Usnea is to pull a string apart and look for this white thread. 4 ounces water. Essentially, telling them apart comes down to examining the lichen’s structure by microscope; the chemicals help identify, by the color reaction, the presence or absence of chemical compounds, the signatures of various species. Drying Herbs .. Usnea, also known as old man’s beard, is a type of lichen that grows on the trees, bushes, rocks, and soil of temperate and humid climates worldwide ().It has long been used in … HISTORY AND TRADITIONAL USES A distinguished traveler making his way through the valley of the Nile in 1864 discovered a vase from the 18th dynasty ( 1700-1600 B.C. Explore. At the end of 2015, I learned to identify usnea, and I realized that it grows everywhere in the mountains where I live. As always, if you don’t know how to 100% identify Usnea, ask an herbalist … Learn how to go foraging for usnea, how to identify it, and how to use it to stay healthy. Article from growforagecookferment.com. If it is usnea, you will see an inner white- or cream-colored strand that is somewhat elastic. Condiments. The medicinal species are easy to identify, and there are few, if any, harmfullook-alikes . Luckily I have two more bags of lichen or slightly different types to play with, so there is opportunity for further experiments! I encourage you to familiarize yourself with this wonderful medicine. 2.5 ounces pure organic cane or grain alcohol. Usnea is a lichen; a combination of an algae and a fungus growing together. We brought back a good bit of it that we’d collected from fallen branches, and I set off learning how to use it and how to preserve it. Usnea, also known as Old Man's Beard, is an amazing medicinal lichen that you can forage for in the winter! ), with contents undisturbed for 3000 years. RECIPE for USNEA TINCTURE. Let the Usnea sit for a few months and strain into a dropper bottle. The best way to identify an usnea thallus (the body or vegetative portion) is by taking a moistened strand and gently pulling it apart. This necessity presents trouble for an amateur lichenologist, who might not want to tote a heavy guidebook—much less a microscope—into the field. So, my husband and I took our four boys and went out hunting for it one evening. If the usnea is too dry, the inner strand may be hard to see. This inner white strand is the fungus core, while the green outer covering is the alga. Though the fact that the ammonia solution extracted colour and produced a fast dye is a good sign. … Also known as Old Man's beard, it grows in little hair-like tufts, with the green algae covering the white string like fungus. The recipe I used is as follows: Ratio of herb to liquid as weight to volume – 1:5 whether fresh or dried (That is NOT the same for all herbs) 1 ounce fresh or dried usnea, chopped up. Food And Drink. Place chopped usnea in a stainless steel pot, add water. Herbs. I like using Usnea in combination with Osha and/or Echinacea.