Antibacterial Usnea and Why Every Survivalist Should be Able to Identify It

Usnea plant

The lichen Usnea is not a wonder drug – but it is close enough in terms of its ability to help us fight off infection by bacteria.

Here are the basic facts about this amazing substance!

Look for it growing on a variety of trees, especially hardwoods and fruits. Its broad use for treating urinary tract infections, tooth, gum and mouth/throat infections (thrush, strep, etc.) makes it indispensable.

Research has found it to be very effective against MRSA and other antibiotic resistant microbials, though luckily we haven’t had to use it that way yet. Identify it by its year-round grayish-green appearance and the stretchy white filament inside each tendril. Gently pull on one of the tendrils and you will find that it’s very elastic-like with the unmistakable solid white core inside.

Two of the easiest medicinal preparations of Usnea ssp. are infusions and tinctures. Since Usnea is not completely water soluble in an infusion (the case with many “woodier” plants) first place it in enough 100 proof alcohol to cover it, crush it slightly to help it along, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then make your infusion, alcohol and all, just like normal.

This can be used as a direct wound wash or to soak a compress in for treating boils or infected bug bites, as a gargle for thrush, strep or infected teeth, or consumed like a tea in infusion form in 8 oz. portions 3-4 times daily for UTIs, respiratory infections, strep and other bacterial infections.

The risk of infection is one of the major threats to us in a survival situation – there are literally thousands of ways we can introduce a harmful agent to our bodies and with out an ability to treat it, even simple infections can grow to life threatening crisis!

That is where the lichen Usnea can play a huge role in maintaining and restoring our health!

To read more on this awesome lichen, take a look at Live the Old Way!

Featured Image via Flickr