Icelandic moss in folk medicine

Icelandic moss - "pharmacy" underfoot

It seems to us that environmental education in our time should be aimed, first of all, at acquaintance with the medicinal power of plants. This will allow many to understand why it is necessary to protect nature and, in particular, plants, not to destroy them unnecessarily.

Icelandic cetraria, Icelandic moss - perennial leaf-bushy lichen. The presence of Icelandic moss on trees or soil is an indicator of the cleanliness of the environment.

Borikh introduced tsetraria into medicine in 1671 under the name pulmonary, or Icelandic moss. At that time, the cetraria won an honorable place among food products in Iceland. The local population added this plant to bread, which they preferred to other varieties of this product. It was noticed that with general weakness of the body, it is useful to eat jellies made from cetraria. Thallus cetraria contains 70-80% of carbohydrates in the form of lichen starch lichenin (up to 64%), which serves as the basis for the formation of jelly.

To get it, you need to take 100 g of lichen, pour 1 liter of water, leave for 2-3 hours, add 10 g of baking soda. Then the water must be drained and refilled with 0.5 liters of boiling water, cook for 30 minutes, and then strain through cheesecloth and cool. The resulting jelly is eaten without restriction for dry cough, stomach and duodenal ulcers, as well as to improve appetite.

Antitussive, antiemetic, enveloping the action of Icelandic moss is due to the presence of polysaccharides. Mucous substances envelop the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract, therefore they are used for bronchitis with severe cough, bronchial asthma, whooping cough, chronic bronchial catarrh. The action of mucus cetraria on the mucous membrane of the digestive tract in gastrointestinal diseases contributes to stabilization of the excretory function of the stomach glands with hyperacid gastritis, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, with diarrhea, as well as weakening of vomiting with early toxicosis of pregnant women.

Biologically active substances, in particular iridoids - cetrarine (2-3%), as well as lichen acids - fumaroprotocetrara and fumaric - provide an exciting effect on the gastric mucosa, increasing the secretion of gastric juice. Moreover, the action of these substances, although slow, but stable and, most importantly, long-term. therefore Icelandic moss helps to improve the absorption of food, restore strength after physical overload and severe illness, helps in the treatment of dystrophy, muscle weakness.

Lichen acids are slightly soluble in water, but they are most valuable in Icelandic moss. Usnic acid deserves special attention, it has a strong antibacterial effect against staphylococci, streptococci, subtilis bacteria, mycobacteria.

The presence of tannins (1-2%) is associated with an astringent and bactericidal effect in inflammatory processes of the mucous membranes, in burns and in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (ulcers, gastritis), as well as as an astringent in poisoning with heavy metals and herbal poisons.

A wide range of trace elements (Fe, Mn, Cu, Co, Mo, B, Cr, Ni, Ti, I) and vitamins A, B1, B12 contributes to the treatment of endocrine diseases, especially in case of insufficient thyroid function. They are also necessary for the processes of growth and hematopoiesis.

I would like to especially emphasize the undeniable value of Icelandic moss in traditional medicine. in the treatment of prostatitis and hemorrhoids... Treatment of hemorrhoids, especially in its severe forms, with the help of Icelandic moss is evidence that the biologically active substances of lichen help to strengthen blood vessels, and also have a hemostatic effect. This plant can be used for other diseases associated with the vascular system, as well as in the treatment of internal bleeding.

From this point of view, we can safely say that the healing power of Icelandic moss is far from fully understood. At the same time, we have quite large opportunities for using this plant. Researchers of plant resources specifically point to its large reserves in many areas and regions of our country. An important motive for the widespread use of cetraria is the discovered fact that it has no side and toxic effects.

The Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences has developed a method for obtaining the drug Tsetris from the lichen Tsetraria Icelandic. The high ability of this drug to dissolve seals in the mammary glands was revealed when used to treat mastopathy in women.

In folk medicine, Icelandic moss is especially effective in harvesting. They include such plants as sage, mint, coltsfoot, thyme, horsetail, calamus, bird and snake knotweed, nettle leaf, licorice root. The use of fees enhances the action of each component and thereby improves the pharmacodynamics of the drug. We wish you good luck and stay healthy.

A. Baranov, Doctor of Biological Sciences,
T. Baranov, journalist

In appearance, Icelandic cetraria bears little resemblance to moss. It looks more like an algae, which is associated with the origin of the plant. It was formed due to the symbiosis of algae and fungus, two completely different forms of life. This is the main feature of Icelandic moss (the photo allows you to make sure that the plant looks different from the standard green moss).

Cetraria grows thanks to the harmonious union of two forms, which have significant differences in their properties and essence. But it is precisely the different conditions and reasons for existence that help the Icelandic moss to develop.

Properties Icelandic moss allow to use it both in pure form and in combination with herbal preparations. At the same time, the plant acts synergistically - enhancing the action of other components of the collection.

Where Icelandic moss grows does not depend on its biochemical composition. The plant grows in many countries of the world, including Russia.

Plant characteristics and place of growth

Icelandic cetraria (cetraria islandica) is essentially a living organism of greenish color with a gray tint. Other shade variations are possible.

One of the features of moss is the ability to survive only in places with good ecology. Cetraria reacts rather painfully to polluted air, soil and water, dying out when the ecosystem is disturbed.

Icelandic moss grows in sunny places where humid air prevails.


Cetraria is a very whimsical plant, therefore special requirements are imposed on its collection and harvesting. The collection is carried out in late summer or autumn in dry weather. It is believed that it is at this time that the plant has the greatest value and is capable of giving a maximum of useful properties.

The plant is collected by hand, from the middle part (the thickest layers). The moss is never completely removed, only the thick part is selected. After harvesting, the plant is cleared of earth and sand and sent to drying. Before that, you do not need to wash the lichen.

You need to dry the moss quickly so that the plant does not lose its beneficial properties. It is recommended to choose an open area with good ventilation. The ingress of moisture on the raw material is necessarily excluded.

After drying, the moss is placed in linen bags and stored in a dry place for 2 years.

Indications for use

The immunomodulating, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, choleretic and absorbing qualities of Icelandic moss are used in the treatment of diseases of the respiratory and digestive systems, as well as to eliminate dermatological problems.

Means from cetraria help to cleanse the blood and lymph, and are recommended for taking as an antidiabetic and oncoprotective medicine.

The use of moss allows you to successfully fight staphylococci and streptococci, eliminate cough and hoarse throat, prevent the development of infections and protect the intestinal mucous membranes from damage by pathogenic microorganisms.

In addition, Icelandic moss has the ability to accumulate iodine, getting it from the environment, so the use of the plant is effective in the treatment of diseases of the endocrine system.

From cough

Due to its unique healing properties and antibiotic activity, Icelandic moss for cough is in the greatest demand. The mucus, which is formed when the lichen is brewed from polysaccharides, provides an enveloping effect on the inflamed areas and effectively protects the airway membrane from irritations.

Cetraric acid has a powerful antimicrobial and immunomodulatory effect. And usnic acid kills gram-positive bacteria.

Decoctions from Icelandic moss relieve inflammation, heal damage to the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract and provide a soothing, softening and expectorant effect.

The main indications for the use of cetraria in pathologies of the respiratory system:

Icelandic moss is no less effective in the treatment of diseases associated with damage to the ENT organs - viral infections, tonsillitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis and common colds.

The optimal therapeutic result in the fight against cough is achieved by ingestion of lichen syrup. For its preparation, a tablespoon of finely chopped lichen is steamed with boiling water and insisted. Drink, adding milk, sugar or honey to taste, several large sips three times a day.

The unique substances in lichen have an antibiotic power that exceeds the capabilities of pharmaceuticals.


The use of Cetraria Icelandic allows you to get rid of attacks of seasonal allergies in a few days. The healing effect is achieved not only by ingesting a decoction from the plant, but also using medicinal baths with the addition of cetraria extract.

For constipation

Stool normalization is one of the expected effects provided by Icelandic moss. To eliminate constipation, an infusion from the plant is used. For this, a glass of finely chopped lichen is poured with two liters of boiled water and kept for a day. Take three times a day in a glass of infusion.


Due to the ability of Icelandic moss to influence metabolic processes, it can be used to regulate weight even with obesity. The recipe for using the plant is simple - it is enough to replace one of the meals with lichen jelly.

To do this, one part of the lichen is mixed with three parts of water and boiled for three hours until the plant is completely boiled. Then the broth is filtered and cooled. The resulting jelly can be mixed with berries or added to dishes - soups, dough, meat or fish.

In its natural form, the plant has a pronounced bitter taste. To get rid of the bitterness, the lichen is soaked in water with the addition of soda for 12 hours. For 10 liters of water, take 7 tablespoons of soda.

What diseases can Icelandic moss be used for?

For all its seeming simplicity, Icelandic moss helps to cope with very serious diseases. That is why our ancestors did not neglect it. The spectrum of diseases is wide: from elementary coughs and minor wounds to the treatment of tuberculosis, asthma and oncology.

  1. Burns, ulcers, cuts, injuries - before they even covered lacerated wounds
  2. Gastritis and stomach ulcers, indigestion
  3. Tuberculosis
  4. Bronchitis, pneumonia, whooping cough and asthma
  5. Stimulates Thyroid Function
  6. Suppresses toxicosis
  7. Absorbs seals in the mammary glands - Eskimos treated them for mastitis
  8. Strengthens the body, promotes recovery from previous diseases and injuries
  9. Helps, and helps quickly, to lose excess weight
  10. Relieves toothache, thanks to these properties it is used in dentistry
  11. Fights anorexia and dystrophy - you must agree, an unexpected property for a remedy that helps with weight loss. The mechanism of this effect is simple: the lobe increases appetite and normalizes the stomach.
  12. Helps cope with insomnia.

This is probably not a complete list, since Icelandic moss affects the entire body.

And now it is difficult for us to understand such ways of using this plant, but in the years of hunger it was fed, and it was also used as diapers for babies.

The presence of usnic acid in cetraria helps to fight cough quite effectively. And with coughs of all kinds. It was the treatment of cough that was the main area of ​​medical use of Icelandic moss among physicians.

Various forms are used in the treatment. It is used either in combination with herbs or on its own. The addition of honey is recommended.

You can prepare a decoction. The broth is prepared either in water or in milk:

500 ml of liquid and 1 tbsp. a spoonful of dried cetraria. They boil for five minutes in a water bath, after which they insist for 30 minutes. Add honey.

In the Yugoslav villages (wandering parmelia was noted in this country as well), they acted much easier:

1h l cetraria was brewed 1 tbsp. steep boiling water. Drink like tea before bed. But you need to drink such tea hot, extremely hot!

By the way, the Yugoslavs may have drunk this way, but you should still be careful with hot tea - some studies say that hot drinks can lead to esophageal cancer. We already wrote about this in the article about mate.

There is an effective recipe that is used for pneumonia and severe bronchitis:

1 tsp tsetrarii are poured with a glass of boiling water and kept in a water bath for 30 minutes. They drink this broth hot at night.

Extra pounds of weight go away quickly enough if you take a lichen decoction after a meal. He, of course, is not a panacea, and it is necessary to lead an appropriate lifestyle, but it serves as a good help, and somewhere and a lever in losing weight.

The broth is prepared at the rate of 1 tbsp. spoon in 0.5 l of cold water, then bring to a boil and evaporate to half the volume over extremely low heat. Drinking such a decoction is required at least 3 times a day.

Taking this broth helps to improve metabolism. Thanks to this, and also thanks to the laxative properties of cetraria, weight loss becomes possible.

It turns out that Icelandic moss has no contraindications. It can be safely given to children and, therefore, pregnant and lactating women. It is also noteworthy that it can be taken for a long time. It does not cause addiction or side effects. But, as with any treatment, you need to take a break between courses for up to 10 days.

Icelandic moss is available. Its thallus is sold at the pharmacy, but it is better to collect the Icelandic moss yourself. Here you need to clearly be able to distinguish between the types of lichens - the photos and videos in the article will help you with this.

There are also preparations based on Icelandic moss - in pharmacies you can find, for example, syrup for colds.

In Germany, the drug Isla is produced. It has two forms - isla moos and isla mint form. Both forms contain white acacia extract and isla mint enriched with peppermint essential oil. Isla are gel lozenges for sucking. They are also used for the prevention of viral diseases. In our country, there are no analogues of this particular drug.

Often cut grass is included in various collections and dietary supplements, adjacent to such well-known plants as black elderberry, sage, thyme, St. John's wort, wild rosemary, coltsfoot, elecampane. This is, for example, cetrazine.

Great ad for Icelandic moss - here's the video:

Healing properties

Icelandic moss has the following properties:

  • expectorant
  • antiseptic
  • tonic
  • antibacterial
  • antimicrobial
  • enveloping
  • laxatives
  • wound healing
  • anti-inflammatory
  • choleretic

Experience the healing properties of Icelandic moss

Despite such a large number of medicinal properties, this plant has earned its main fame for its amazing ability to cure respiratory diseases, primarily cough, of any degree of complexity.

They even treat pneumonia, tuberculosis and bronchial asthma. Icelandic moss is very useful for smokers and especially for those who quit this addiction, firefighters whose work is associated with the constant inhalation of smoke and burning... With it, you can quickly clean your lungs and bring them back to normal.

As for the other medicinal properties of this plant, I can note its general strengthening effect on the body, excellent antiviral and antimicrobial properties, the ability to cleanse the blood and improve its composition, to positively influence the state of the gastrointestinal tract (examples of herbal preparations for the gastrointestinal tract).

Tsetraria Icelandic perfectly strengthens the immune system. It can be used by patients who have undergone major surgery or long-term antibiotic treatment. Thanks to the healing effect on the body of this plant, the period of recovery and return to full life in such patients is significantly reduced.

On sale you can find many preparations based on Icelandic moss, for example:

  1. Dry moss for the preparation of decoctions and infusions
  2. Body cream based on cetraria (prescribed for coughs, colds, joint pain)
  3. Absorbable lozenges or lozenges, where one of the main components is just Icelandic cetraria
  4. Syrups and Extracts (for example: Pectolvan, Herbion and others)

Such popularity, as well as possible, characterizes the healing properties of Icelandic moss. After all, drugs based on it are officially sold through pharmacy chains, tens of thousands of people around the world buy them every day.

Icelandic cetraria (Icelandic moss): medicinal properties and contraindications

"Icelandic moss" - this is the name of the Icelandic cetraria (Cetraria islandica) - a valuable plant with medicinal properties and occupying a worthy place in the medical pharmacopoeias of many countries. As a matter of fact, Icelandic moss (the Latin name comes from the word cetra, which translates as “shield”) is not moss at all in the real sense of this definition. Icelandic cetraria is a representative of a separate group of the plant kingdom - lichens.

Lichens appeared on Earth as one of the first forms of life, and for millions of years they have practically not changed. This is a special class of plants that do not have a traditional root system, stem and leaves. For this reason, they cannot be called plants, and it is impossible to rank them as animals. Lichens are interesting, first of all, for their ability to extract nutrients from the air (in our understanding, from “nothing”). Lichen thalli can be found on the bark of trees (but not as a parasite), on rocks, and even on high-voltage electrical wires. Lichens are found even in underground caves, where they live in the complete absence of sunlight, but at the same time they are able to synthesize organic substances necessary for their existence. The resilience of lichens is amazing! - in the complete absence of moisture, the body goes into a state of suspended animation, in which it can be up to 3 years, and revive in a matter of hours.

Lichens have long been of interest to humans, and many representatives of this class have found practical use. For example, the indicator "litmus", known from the school bench, is obtained from a certain type of lichen. Mannitol (a substance secreted by several types of lichens) - known as "manna from heaven" - has repeatedly saved travelers from starvation. And "Icelandic moss" - has a number of medicinal properties, because of which it has found recognition in scientific medical circles. In some peoples, Icelandic moss is also used in cooking - the pectin substances of lichen have a high ability to form jelly, therefore it is added to the preparation of jelly, jelly, and even beer.

Icelandic moss does not tolerate polluted air, so it cannot be found in an industrial area. Tsetraria is considered to be a kind of indicator of environmental cleanliness.

The plant has wonderful healing properties, strengthens the immune system, restores the intestinal microflora, heals many viral diseases. It is used for cosmetic purposes, cleanses the skin of the face, makes it elastic, removes toxins, and promotes effective weight loss.

Icelandic moss heals wounds, improves human well-being in the treatment of cancer, relieves cramps in stomach colic, and rejuvenates the body. Used for wounds, burns, purulent formations. It is useful even for children from one year old. Cetraria is used for asthma, whooping cough, restores strength, relieves inflammation of the respiratory tract.

When used correctly, it gives a lot of positive substances for the body.

I wish you all good health and well-being!

Watch the video: Sudan Archives - Iceland Moss. A COLORS SHOW

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