The Iceland moss is a potent demulcent agent. Extracts of the Iceland moss bring soothing relief to the mucous membranes lining the cavity of the chest. The remedy helps in countering congestion, and also brings relief from dry and paroxysmal chronic coughs. The extract of the Iceland moss is particularly helpful in treating elderly people affected by various respiratory ailments. The remedy made from the Iceland moss is also very bitter in taste; this is beneficial in some way - particularly with regard to the ailments of the gut, the demulcent and bitter tonic effects of the remedy which is a unique combination of positive effects among medicinal herbs aids that are used to heal and tone the gut. Therefore, it is considered to be of great value in the treatment of many chronic digestive problems - including, chronic irritable bowel syndrome. Intestinal worm infestation is also relieved through the use of the Iceland moss. The herbal remedy is effective and gently expels worms particularly if the infestation is chronic. The Iceland moss remedy may also prove to be of great use in the treatment of certain types of digestive infections if the results of recent clinical studies in Europe are confirmed. The high mucilage content of the Iceland moss makes it an effective and soothing demulcent remedy. The extracts of the Iceland moss are used to treat cases of gastritis, and to bring relief from vomiting and dyspepsia as well. The remedy made from the Iceland moss is also used in treating respiratory catarrh and bronchitis when other herbal treatments have failed. The Iceland moss is also used in treating cases of cachexia - which is a state of malnourishment and debility - as it is rich in nutrients and nourishing at the same time. In Europe, the Iceland moss has been used as a cough remedy since the dawn of history, the traditional system of European folk medicine also utilized the Iceland moss in treating cancer growths and tumors. The remedial properties of the Iceland moss canter around its bitter tonic effect and its demulcent action on the gut. This combination of beneficial effects is considered to be unique among all medicinal herbs used in treating intestinal problems. Iceland moss also possess potent anti-biotic effects, it is also strongly anti-emetic, as well as being a potent demulcent herb, a galactogogue, and being nutritive with tonic effects at the same time. Consumptions of the Iceland moss aids in the treatment of disorders such as dysentery, chronic pulmonary problems and catarrh, and proves beneficial in dealing all kinds of chronic digestive disturbances - including irritable bowel syndrome and cases of food poisoning. It is also helpful in treating advanced cases of tuberculosis. The Iceland moss is also used to treat topical problems affecting the skin; the Iceland moss is excellent for dealing with boils, to quiet down vaginal discharges in women, and to alleviate impetigo affecting the skin. Iceland moss can be used fresh or dry, and is harvested whenever it is needed during the year. The best time to harvest Iceland moss is during spells of dry weather. The harvest of Iceland moss can be dried for use at a later time. The remedy made from the Iceland moss must be used with caution as it can produce some side effects.
Indigenous to Europe, the Iceland moss grows along the northern reaches and alpine regions in the European continent and nearby islands. The habitat preferred by the Iceland moss is a sub-Arctic and mountainous region. The plant grows on rocks and on the bark of trees in these places. The Iceland moss is especially abundant on the bark of coniferous trees. There is no particular time for harvesting the Iceland moss and it is harvested at any time in the year as and when required for remedial preparations. Iceland moss is collected from the wild and almost no information exists about the cultivation of this plant in Europe. The Iceland moss needs clean air to grow optimally; it does not tolerate the atmospheric pollution around towns and cities and cannot be grown in such places. Its sensitivity to the air quality makes it a good indicator of changes in the environment. The Iceland moss is a very slow growing species, like most lichen in the cold northern climates - this slow rate of growth may also be related to the symbiotic association of two different species, an algae and a fungus. Commercially manufactured disinfectants often include the Iceland moss as an ingredient. This plant can only be propagated through vegetative means. A new plant can be propagated from almost any part of the Iceland moss. A small portion containing both fungal and algal elements can be placed at a new site with suitable environment and a new plant will grow in no time at all.
Iceland moss contains lichen acids (including usnic acid), and about 50% polysaccharides. Usnic acid and the other lichen acids are powerful antibiotics.
Herbal decoction: This remedy can be prepared by boiling a teaspoonful of the shredded Iceland moss in water. The herb must be boiled for at least three minutes. Allow the herb to steep and infuse into the water by letting it stand for a further ten minutes - then strain and cool the decoction. One cup of this decoction can be drunk once every morning and evening as a remedy for all kinds of problems. Herbal tincture: A single dose of one to two ml of the tincture can be taken thrice daily to ward off different disorders.
Iceland moss is harvested at anytime of the year when required. The best time to harvest the Iceland moss may be between May and September, though it can be collected at other times in the year as well. The Iceland moss must be freed from all attached impurities clinging to it and then sun dried or air dried in the shade for later use.
The Iceland moss remedy is excellent treatment for chronic spells of nausea and vomiting, a combination of the Iceland moss with the black horehound herb is particularly beneficial for this purpose.