Usnea anyone?

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Usnea anyone?

Postby herbsontheside » Wed Aug 27, 2003 4:39 pm

Has anyone harvested or tinctured usnea? I tinctured some (in vodka)this summer but it's still clear and my notes say the tincture should be orange. [?] Any info would be appreciated! Many thanks
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Postby Cloudberry » Wed Aug 27, 2003 5:37 pm

I've tinctured usnea and my tinctures have always been clear. Maybe the color depends on what usnea you tincture. I use usnea barbata. There are different usnea species: U. hirta, U. barbata, U. florida, U. longissima and U. dasypoga

Cloudberry
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Postby Anonymous » Thu Aug 28, 2003 4:10 pm

Do all the Usnea species have the same properties? Are any toxic, to your knowledge? I'm pretty good with green plants, but the fungi are harder for me to identify. We have lots of Usnea of some sort in this area, and I've been wanting to tincture it for months.
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Postby heidi » Thu Aug 28, 2003 6:39 pm

I used a tincture from herb pharm in Oregon and it was a greenish color. I'm not sure how important the color is, I am sure that homemade medicines, color or not, are probably best.[:)] I know one great way to identify usnea is by gently pulling on it in opposite directions- there is a fine "hair" you can see that will still be holding on. It is such an incredible helper in throat problems. I used it along with some friends for a bad case of strep and it worked wonders, doing what no prescription drugs could do. Peace -H
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Postby Anonymous » Sat Aug 30, 2003 5:46 pm

It is true that usnea tincture should have a burnt orange color. There are a few ways to do it..either boil the herb first to break it down a little and then tincture (sounds wierd to me) or set the tincture in the sun.
Let me know what works for y'all! I live in Maine and there is a lot of usnea mid coast. Thank you for reminding me because I really want to tinture her. She is amazing!
Blessings,
shaUna
Anonymous
 

Postby herbsontheside » Sun Aug 31, 2003 11:14 pm

Thank you all for the informative replies! I'll try setting my tincture out in the sun, but it's nice to know that even a clear tincture has been effective for some of you. Blessed be!
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Postby Anonymous » Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:15 am

My understanding is that in order to get the most out of Usnea (namely her polysaccharides and her usnic acid - not soluble in the same menstrum), we can both tincture and decoct her. What I have been doing is:
1)tincture her in 94% alcohol (what is it... 180 proof or something like that? - strong alcohol) for 6 weeks
2) then use the same plant material and decoct it
3) reduce the decoction to the same liquid amount as what I have in tincture
4) mix the 2
That is my finished product, close to 50% alcohol.
As for the color, I find it varies from batch to batch, but I have never reached the orange color I, too, having been hearing and reading about...

Blessings,

Iris - VLB
The green witch of the North
Anonymous
 

Postby Anonymous » Tue Sep 02, 2003 6:56 pm

Iris--that sounds like a very effective way to do it. I am weary about using such high concentrations of alcohol due to the fact that they have been shown to cause mouth cancer, yuck! Do you have any thoughts/research more on this?
shaUna
Anonymous
 

Postby sapphire kate » Wed Sep 03, 2003 5:36 am

Hi all,

My usnea tincture is clear too. What I read about it being orange, for some reason I associated that with it being tinctured in brown glass (a Weed reference I think?).

I tinctured my usnea directly in 50% vodka and have used it successfully with staph skin infections. Iíve read about the boiling before tincturing (boiling in water and then tincturing the water and plant material in alcohol), but havenít gotten round to trying it out yet. Iíve also read about pounding the usnea to break the though outer sheath. (reference - Stephen Harrod Buhnerís Herbal Antibiotics)

I have a brown glass tincturing jar now, and maybe Iíll try out some of the various methods and report back too.

As for I.D.ing, in NZ the lichen book I consulted said some of the different usnea species could only be identified by microscope. I agree about pulling a strand apart - the outer sheath will break and the inner thread is stretchy like elastic. One is a fungus and the other an algae, though I can never remember which is which. One colonises on the other.


blessings,
kate (popping in for a quick visit)
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Postby Anonymous » Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:00 pm

Kate-
so you found it to work against the staph infections being clear?
And thanks for the Buhner notes...so far that sounds most appealing to me :-)
shaUna

Here's an article for you to read as well:
http://www.susunweed.com/An_Article_wisewoman3d.htmI
I plan to e-mail Jessica and ask her how her method seems to work for her.
Anonymous
 

Postby sapphire kate » Fri Sep 05, 2003 5:27 pm

Thanks shaUna [:)]

I can't get that link to work, but I think I know the article you mean, so will go have a look for it to re-read. Let us know what Jessica says.

I'll also get the more exact instructions from "herbal antibiotics" (buhner) when I get back to my books.

cheers,
kate
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Postby Justine » Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:37 pm

THE LINK IS: http://www.susunweed.com/An_Article_wisewoman3d.htm
[url="http://www.susunweed.com/An_Article_wisewoman3d.htm"]USNEA by Jessica Godino[/url]
Image

ENJOY! LUV, JUSTINE
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Postby Justine » Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:40 pm

here is a pic i took today...to the left is dried usnea in a bottle, i harvested it in the cloud forest in Costa Rica last winter, it is a little greener than the photo shows. To the right is an usnea tincture i made in july this year...inside the right bottle is 100proof vodka and costa rican usnea. it's a tincture ready to use - voila!!

Image

I prepared this tincture by filling the jar with usnea then filling it to the top with 100 proof vodka. I just let it sit on my desk for a month..then i put it outside in the full August sun...I just took it in off the porch yesterday...it still did not seem orange enough...so i did the ultimate thing...i was cooking a load of dandelion greens in a small amount of water, just to cover, and I put the usnea bottle in the middle of the greens...I let it cook (through the jar) for less than ten minutes...then i removed it...wow, from the photo you can see the usnea and the tincture around it is very dark and quite orangy...the bonus was that when i ate the dandelion greens they tasted and smelled like usnea : )) it was a great meal! I can't wait to begin to use the tincture...tho I think I will let it sit for sometime longer...that's my usnea tincturing experience and a photo to help! love, justine
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Postby Anonymous » Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:53 am

I was wandering if anyone has tincured Unsea wirthii. It is the lichen that grows locally for me, and,I am very new to all of this, so I am unclear if they all have similar qualities.
Thanks for the info.
blessing, annette
Anonymous
 

Postby Justine » Sat Sep 13, 2003 1:45 pm

Usnea wirthii is common on conifers west of the Cascade crest in Oregon and Washington. [url="http://www.geocities.com/Eureka/Plaza/4316/plants.html"]It is also sold as a dried botanical by these folks[/url], so I bet what you have is just fine to use. enjoy the harvest!! Though not medicinal related, I found this really interesting web page about lichen http://www.bcbiodiversity.homestead.com/lichens.html the rest of the site is pretty cool too!
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