This is Usnea filipendula. 2. General - shrub lichen, upright, 5 - 8(10) cm tall, greyish white, intricately branching from a main stem; branches hollow, with dull, appressed cottony surface (hand lens); many end branchlets pointed in one direction (swept side to side). Usnic acid has been found in several lichen species, including members of the Usnea genus. I have just written an article about Usnea Lichen which is killing the trees in my garden. Since very early times the lichens are used to cure jaundice, fever, diarrhoea, epilepsy, hydrophobia and various skin diseases. Over 80 percent of urinary tract infections are caused by E. coli, with Staphylococcusresponsible for most of the remainder (Nicolle 2008). 2 years ago ... Usnea is similar to mushrooms in respect to the extractions. The traditional medicinal uses of 60 lichen genera are summarized in this paper. Medicinal uses During the Middle Ages lichens figured prominently as the herbs used by practitioners. Others can be used as biological sensors that give us information about the environment. I think that lichens are fascinating, too! It is a broad spectrum antibiotic and is used in the treatment of various infections. And I love it when I see it. Reindeer are associated with having bells on their harnesses because migrating ethnic Sámi or Alpine herders used the sound to follow each other’s sledges in a caravan after daylight ended.Source I appreciate your comment and vote, as well as the share! If the winter is exceptionally hard, the reindeer are given extra feed, either lichen collected in other parts of the country, or regular cattle feed. These lichens generally produce a new branch each year, so that age of a clump can be estimated by counting back through the major branchings along a stem. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 18, 2018: Hi, Vivian. The fungus in a lichen helps the alga by protecting it. In a 2005 experiment, two species spent sixteen days in space inside an orbiting satellite. Susceptibility to harm seems to depend on the type of lichen, the environment in which it’s growing, and the metal that’s involved. It was only in 1867 that Simon Schwendener (a Swiss botanist) observed that these plants not only had a binary nature but were also p… Reindeer moss is used medicinally by natives to relieve kidney stones. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 26, 2018: I'm glad the article was helpful for you. Voted up and pinned. Question: Is it safe to take an all-natural organic multivitamin from food sources wherein the vitamin D is derived from lichen? In Scandinavia it has been used in the… Iceland moss. #4lead Coming across these in the wild would make the average person dismiss them but that is a lesson that falls in the importance of not doing so. I've read that some artists treat lichens with glycerin before using them in a project. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used routinely and periodically only when a person exhibits certain ailments. In 2016, scientists made a surprising discovery. It lives on oak trees as well as other trees and is a fruticose lichen, not a moss. During the winter months, reindeer feed largely on lichen, so rather than leaving the reindeer carrots this Christmas, maybe you could search for some lichen to leave out for them. I would suggest that you put it out of reach if children or pets enter the home as guests, though. The fungus component is often colourless, but in some cases it contains a pigment that gives the lichen a vivid color. Other than that, I would leave it on display (as long as it survives). It is used mostly as a topical medication, although some consume usnea lichen internally. I think it's important that we don't dismiss lichens, too. Reindeer moss grows on the ground. I have a question for you though, recently, while hiking, I found a beautiful Wolf Lichen growth on a dead branch. They DO LEAVE A very slight indentation ,however that reminds me that it was there.?!? The use of usnic acid in weight loss is still disputed. Or will the lichens decompose inside the frame? These qualities have made it ideal to be used as a … Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 17, 2017: Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 15, 2017: Thanks you lot giving information about lichen. It can also be used to help ease diarrhea. In the past, wolf lichen mixed with ground glass and meat was used as a poison for wolves. Question: How do you find out if the lichen on private property is protected? The surface dries quickly, forming a crunchy upper layer, but below this the lichen can remain moist for long periods. You should examine the lichen carefully as well as photograph it. Cryptothecia rubrocincta, the Christmas Lichen. just had some growing on some trees was just wondering about yes its one on north side plus west side on a certain tree its a lions head maple planted in a pot. On soil, humus or thin soil over rocks, in open coniferous forests, often common in lichen woodlands; widespread across Northwestern Ontario's boreal forest; circumpolar. As in the case of usnic acid, if vulpinic acid is proven to be helpful as well as harmful for humans, we need to find a way to prevent the chemical from hurting us before we can use it as an antibiotic. Iceland moss. Most of the water and nutrients that the thallus needs are absorbed from the surrounding air and raindrops instead of through the rhizines or holdfast. Answer: Lichens release a variety of chemicals that can affect their environment. One of the most potent lichen antibiotics is usnic acid, as a result Usnea spp. The supposed medicinal benefits of lichens are now known to … You should contact a lichenologist for confirmation, however. That's interesting, khan. Hay thank you so much for the post :D I've really wanted to get into studying lichen. When I walked in the woods back home in Maine, they were everywhere. The extracts of oakmoss are said to have a lovely earthy scent that resembles the aroma of moss and has an undertone of pine. In the future, lichens may provide us with antibiotics and sunscreen chemicals. Do you think it is better to remove it? Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 20, 2018: Thank u very much for giving lot of knowladge about lichen. I'd miss seeing lichens if they disappeared from my neighbourhood. The Cree Indians used the green reindeer lichens in a manner similar to the Nordic natives for medicinal teas, specifically for the expulsion of intestinal worms. Each organism helps the other in some way, creating a beneficial partnership. Knowledge of these medicinal uses is available to us because of the contributions of traditional knowledge holders in these cultures. Very interesting and informative. An interesting tree trunk covered with fruticose and foliose lichens as well as moss. The average adult reindeer eats 9 to 18 pounds of vegetation each day. Much like deer, reindeer feed on grasses, leaves of shrubs and trees, mosses, and herbs. The complex carbohydrates of the lichens are broken down by enzymes produced in the stomach of reindeer or caribou but in few other animals. He has discovered that some of these lichens also contain microcystins. Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 09, 2014: Brilliantly put together and now I know so much more about this topic. Humans cannot digest lichens and get little energy from eating these plants. Most of us lack this knowledge. If the fungal component releases spores, as in the apothecium of Xanthoria parietina, the new fungus that is made won't form a lichen unless it meets the correct alga. Thanks for the visit and the comment, Eddy. Happy New Year. I savored every word of this fascinating article. Pseudevernia furfuracea is another fruticose lichen used in the perfume industry. They provide food, shelter, and camouflage for other animals, and have been used for traditional medicines and dyes. It is amazing how they are used in products. There may be many more lichens in the poisonous category. The toxins can cause liver damage in humans and other animals when they are sufficiently concentrated. ologsinquito from USA on January 02, 2014: Great article. Some people extract dye from the lichen, so it doesn't seem to be dangerous to touch. Question: What are the harmful effects of lichens when eaten? They are an important part of nature and are often useful for humans. Reindeer Moss acts like a sponge,collecting and retaining water. It seems to have done the MOST to rid myself of them. GEORGE A. LLANO Henry Shaw School of Botany Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. With warmer temperatures, ice melts, exposing water. In jelly lichens, the fungal hyphae and algal cells are mixed uniformly. Voted up. I'll read your hub very soon. It's amazing how very complex such seemingly simple organisms can be. Most detrimental was the contamination of lichen, the main winter staple of Scandinavia’s reindeer. I appreciate your comment and congratulations very much. The acid from reindeer moss is used in the manufacture of litmus paper. The wolf lichen (Letharia vulpina) has a bright yellow-green colour and grows in Europe and western North America. A local conservation or nature organization might also be able to help you. It's important that we don't destroy them! Hi, ologsinquito. Fascinating article on lichens! When they returned to Earth, they had nearly the same photosynthetic ability as before the flight. That photo of yours is awesome too. 4) When grazing, a reindeer’s preferred food is a lichen – a fungi, moss-like plant that’s often found in high, open spaces. Northern native people used reindeer lichen in medicinal teas to treat colds, arthritis, fevers and other problems. It grows in Europe and North America but is especially valued in France. They have been used for both their secondary metabolites and their storage carbohydrates. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on January 12, 2014: Thanks for the comment, WriterJanis. The researchers think that this organism makes chemicals that protect the lichen from microbes and predators. Happy New Year! 3) Reindeer can live for up to 15 years in the wild, although domesticated reindeer (reindeer that are cared for by humans), can live for as long as 20 years. Xanthoria parietina is a foliose lichen which contains a yellow pigment called parietin. John Hansen from Queensland Australia on January 01, 2014: Alicia, this is a very comprehensive guide to lichens. Thank for very much, Faith. In Finland and Scandinavia this is the basis of a million-dollar export industry. photo: Dee Bamford via Flickr Peter O'Connor, vir flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0 License. We have a source of vitamin D3 that derives from lichen, and need to know. Voted up and shared. Reindeer lichens were also used as a poultice to relieve the ache of arthritic joints. Reindeer lichen Fungus. Neutral litmus paper is purple in color. Lichens are organisms that live in the environment, not on or in the human body. evansii — named after North Carolina botanist Alexander W. Evans — has no official common name but it is called Powder Puff Lichen. If it is true, the toxicity may depend on the quantity of the acid in a particular lichen. A book about the lichens that grow in your part of the world could be useful for you. Bernd Haynold, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 License. they bleed ALOT , but for only a minute or so and that's it. The moss is dried thoroughly before use. You would have to send a sample to a reputable laboratory and get it analyzed for its chemical content. Learn more about Iceland Moss uses, effectiveness, possible side effects, interactions, dosage, user ratings and products that contain Iceland Moss It is said to taste like fresh lettuce salad. Usnea acid that is obtained from lichens is used as a preservative in some products. Lichens absorb and store radioactive substances, such as cesium and strontium compounds, without apparent harm. Is there danger in handling certain lichen, either transferring onto fingers or breathing in harmful components of disturbed lichen? They also have many possible colours, including black, grey, white, green, blue-grey, yellow, orange, red, and brown. Another very interesting and useful hub by you again Alicia. I am mentoring 2 groups of high school students who are also interested with Lichens. In natural medicine, Usnea is used as an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory substance. Lichens are used in traditional medicines by cultures across the world, particularly in temperate and arctic regions. Reindeer lichens often form extensive, thick mats on the boreal forest floor. I think that many lichens look pretty. is a useful remedy for whooping cough. Scones are also made from it. Two lichens in this category are the wolf lichen (Letharia vulpina) and the tortured horsehair lichen (Bryoria tortuosa). Do lichens tend to grow on a particular side of trees like either the north side or south side? 5. Oxalic acid triggers the release of minerals from rock, causing the rock to slowly disintegrate. 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Miller from Arizona on January 02, 2014: thank you very much for the lichens are that... Railway enthusiasts often colour small pieces of reindeer lichen can grow on the boreal floor... Or a cyanobacterium ) on lichens usually pale green to pale grey in colour, and added to.! Certain lichens the facts on lichens what are the wolf lichen growth on a tree covered! Consume Usnea lichen which is killing the trees, with Staphylococcusresponsible for most of the effectiveness of acid... Trees are almost fully covered an immune system tonic and has been in!: great article also decreases inflammation and prevents some types of moss has... Soups and stews and can be used to make natural dyes for cloth! Many more lichens in the manufacture of litmus paper is made with reindeer blood West Palm beach on 02... The past colour small pieces of reindeer lichen in medicinal teas to treat colds, arthritis, and. 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