Usnea barbata

A natural antibiotic

Beard lichen (Usnea barbata) is considered a separate group within the family Parmeliaceae. Already in ancient times, the bearded lichen was used as a medicinal plant. 

It is a community between fungus and alga. The lichen needs an acidic soil and grows on bark, cork, twigs as well as plant surface stems. Its fruiting body can grow up to 30cm long and has a yellow, gray or greenish-yellow color.


Beard lichen contains polysaccharides and bitter lichen acids, including usnic acid. This is also considered to be the active ingredient of beard lichen. It is said to be effective against some types of fungi and bacteria (source). 

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One of the oldest cultivated plants of mankind