Cetraria Icelandic

Cetraria Icelandic is a lichen representing the Parmeliaceae family (Parmeliaceae). Other names: Icelandic moss, dry moss, prickly moss.


Thallus in the form of greenish-brown erect bushes, hard and brittle when dry. The lobes of the thallus are flat or grooved-folded, sometimes almost tubular, narrow or wide, seated along the edges with small dark cilia; on the lower side they are lighter, covered with whitish spots – maculae, on the upper side they are greenish-brown. On the tops of some lobes, rounded, dark brown, shiny apothecia are visible. It occurs in dry pine forests – in white-moss forests, often forming continuous turfs. A species similar to it – Cetraria tenuifolia is distinguished by the absence of whitish spots – maculae.

Contains active substances:

For medical purposes, the entire thallus of Icelandic moss is used. It contains antibiotics – lichen acids (usnic and others), the polysaccharide lichenin, the bitter substance cetrarin.

Medicinal use:

In the form of decoctions, Icelandic moss is used as an appetizing remedy for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as the respiratory tract. Botanical Institute. Komarov (BIN) proposed the antibiotic binan (sodium salt of usnic acid, prepared from various lichens) for the treatment of purulent wounds, boils. Unlike other antibiotics, the activity of the product does not decrease even with very long storage.

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