Lichens and mosses are symbiosis involving fungus and green algae and azotobacter. The Cetraria islandica Ach (from the Latin cetra – "small leather shield", the name indicates a specific shape and color of apothecium – fruit body on the tips of the thallus paddle) is the most spread in medicinal practice. The types of cetraria are widespread in tundra, in the highlands and dry pine forests.
This is Interesting:
There is a legend that the mountain lichen brews have helped Alpine doctors to nurse Russian soldiers, who were debilitated during the famous Suvorov Crossing the Alps and almost all of them have recovered!
How is it Used in Medicine:
The Icelandic moss contains antibiotic substances - various lichen acids - specific compounds with precursor orsellinic acid; the most important lichen acid is usnic acid exhibiting antibacterial activity even against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The Icelandic moss thallus brew was indicated in sore throat, inflammation of tonsils and difficulty breathing. In traditional medicine the thallus brew is used for the upper respiratory tract diseases, for the treatment of debilitated patients.