My First Meeting with Usnea
To my delight I found this beautiful lichen for the first time in this lifetime, abundant in the forest of Northern Alberta!
The pure clean air, high humidity,
Land of the Moose and the Loon,
There are some places the City cannot touch,
That is where Usnea Growns
Usnea is a lichen also known as old man's beard & The Lungs of the forest.
A Lichen is a mix between a Fungus & Algae.
Usnea will only grow where the air is pure and crisp and clean.
I was drawn to sit with Usnea as much as I could as long as I was in this space. Intentionally absorbing her energy and wisdom, Magick and Medicine!
It was the freshest plant I have even met, I kept wanting to stick my face into it deeply inhaling the ancient smell of this lichen!
In The Herbcrafters Tarot The card for IX The Hermit is represented by Usnea, I was overjoyed to have some time out of the city I currently live, to a Cabin in the woods, on a lake, almost off the Grid! A good time for my journal, meditation and introspection.
Usnea's Medicine is Cooling & Drying. Healthy, Refreshing & Beautiful to encounter.
Benefits of Usnea
Fungal Balancing/ Anti-Fungal
*Usnea's active ingredient is called usnic acid which is best extracted through an alcohol tincture.
- Grows abundantly on conifers & evergreen trees like pine, spruce, fir or hardwoods.
- Properly Identify Usnea by gently stretching a fresh specimen, there should be a white filament running through the middle. This is unique to Usnea Lichen.
- Easier to find in Winter when the land appears barren.
- Balances the body instead of Battling the body.
*Because Usnea is a slow growing herb, always harvest from the fallen branches