To return to the main page click here.
Mabey, R. (1977). Plants with a purpose: A guide to the everyday uses of wild plants. London, William Collins Sons & Co Ltd.
Madulid et al. 1989
Madulid, D. A., F. J. M. Gaerlan, E. M. Romero and E. M. G. Agoo (1989). "Ethnopharmacological study of the Ati tribe in Nagpana, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo." Acta Manilana 38(1): 25-40.
Ethnobotanical survey done with Ati people in Nagpana, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo. 46 plants are recorded, including 2 lichens.
Parmelia cf. zollingeri is locally called kalas. Authors record the 'leaves' being used as medicine for fever. Burn the leaves and let the child smell the fumes. This is done when the child has high fever and suffering from convulsions.
Usnea cf. barbata locally called tagahumok puti. Authors record the whole plant used for wounds and epigastric pain/abdominal pain. Preparation: 1) Chop a handful of the plant to small pieces and mix it with coconut oil. Spread the paste over the wound. 2) Boil plant and drink concoction.
Main-Johnson, L. (1997). Health, wholeness, and the land: Gitksan traditional plant use and healing. Department of Anthropology. Edmonton, Alberta, University of Alberta.
Marshall, A. G. (1977). Nez Perce Social Groups: An Ecological Interpretation. Department of Anthropology. Pullman, Washington State University. Ph.D. thesis.
Martínez-Lirola et al. 1996
Martínez-Lirola, M. J., M. R. González-Tejero and J. Molero-Mesa (1996). "Ethnobotanical resources in the province of Almería, Spain: Campo de Nijar." Economic Botany 50(1): 40-56.
An ethnobotanical survey carried out in Almería, Spain, traditional uses for 253 species were recorded, including 2 lichens.
Ramalina bourgeana is locally called "Flor de piedra". 'Aerial parts' are used to treat renal lithiasis, by ingestion of decoction.
Xanthoria parietina subsp. ectanea is locally called "Rompepiedra" or "Flor de piedra". Has the same use as Ramalina bourgeana, 'aerial parts' are used to treat renal lithiasis, by ingestion of decoction.
Probably taken in the morning for an odd number of consecutive mornings (not unique to the lichens)
Matsiliza and Barker 2001
Matsiliza, B. and N. P. Barker (2001). "A preliminary survey of plants used in traditional medicine in the Grahamstown area." South African Journal of Botany 67: 177-182.
Multiple interviews with 5 informants in the Grahamstown area yielded information on 24 medicinal plants. Mostly Xhosa speaking, herbalists, diviners, and traditional healers.
Lichen growing on rocks is called mthafathafa (doesn't specify whether this is all rock lichens, or specific ones)
"Used to treat gonorrhoea. The fresh plant is crushed and mixed with water. The infusion is taken orally. The plant is also dried over fire and crushed. The powder is applied to the wound's infected area."
This use was reported by one of the informants, Mrs. Lindani, a 62-year old housewife, whose grandfather and aunt had both been diviners. She learned from them and has practiced since she was 14. Also trained as a Prophet in the Zion church. As a diviner, she keeps kontact with the ancestors, divines the causes of misfortune and illness, and sometimes treats the patients.
Mattick, V. F. (1968). "Bemerkungen zu Masami Sato: An edible lichen of Japan, Gyrophora esculenta Miyoshi." Nova Hedwigia 16: 511-515.
Seems to discuss Mr. Sato and Iwa-take. Has pictures.
McClintock, W. (1910). The Old North Trail or Life, Legends and Religion of the Blackfeet Indians. London, MacMillan and Co., Ltd.
Mead, G. R. (1972). "The ethnobotany of the California Indians: A compendium of the plants, their users, and their uses." Occasional Publications in Anthropology Ethnology Series [University of Northern Colorado] 30.
Evernia spp. was used by the Achomawi as the principal ingredient for the poisen for poisen arrow tips. The tips were embedded in masses of the wet lichen and left there, sometimes for up to a year. Rattlesnake venom was also sometimes used. (Merriam 1967 cited in Mead 1972)
Letharia vulpina was used by the Hupa to dye leaves of Xerophyllum tenex a or sometimes porcupine quills bright yellow colour. The Modoc (Lutuami) used the lichen to dye porcupine quills yellow for basketry decoration. The Yoruk called the lichen mece’n and used the lichen as a general yellow dye. The Modoc, Karok, Wintun, and Northern Paiute also used the lichen as a general dye. The Karok called the lichen manil maashaxaeme (mountain moss) and used it as a yellow dye for porcupine quills that were worked into the design of some basket caps, but didn’t use it for other baskets. The Yuki didn’t use it as a dye, they made a thick concoction and used it as paint. They also used it as bedding material and as medicine to dry up running sores. The Wailaki also used it to dry up sores. (Barrett 1910; Chesnut 1902; Goddard 1903; Merrill 1923; O’Neale 1932: pg 31; Schenck and Gifford 1952: pg 377; all cited in Mead 1972)
Cites Chesnut 1902 that Wailaki at Alectoria fremontii during times of famine.
Miao et al. 2001
Miao, V., M.-F. Coëffet-LeGal, D. Brown, S. Sinnemann, G. Donaldson and J. Davies (2001). "Genetic approaches to harvesting lichen products." Trends in Biotechnology 19(9): 349-355.
Moerman, D. (1998). Ethnobotany of Native America, Available online at www.umd.umich.edu/cgi-bin/herb/.
Moore and Egan 1991
Moore, P. D. and R. S. Egan (1991). "Are lichens edible?" Evansia 8(1): 9-14.
Morice, R. A. G. (1894). "Notes archaeological, industrial, and sociological on the western Dénés with on ethnographical sketch of the same." Transactions of the Canadian Institute 4(7).
Page 129-130, Alectoria jubata is called teh-ra ("above-hair"). It is eaten but not prized. It is thoroughly washed until it loses its outer colouring matter. Then mixed with dough as one would raisins, and baked. Says it has the same effect on the cake as would copious application of yeast powder on a loaf of bread. Claimed to be very sweet and savory when prepared like this. Prior to introduction of flour, it was cooked with grease.
Mors and Rizzini 1966
Mors, W. B. and C. T. Rizzini (1966). Useful Plants of Brazil. San Francisco, Holden-Day, Inc.
Morse, J. (1822). A Report to the Secretary of War of the United States, on Indian Affairs, Comprising a Narrative of a Tour Preformed in the Summer of 1820, Under a Commission from the President of the United States, for the Purposes of Ascertaining, for the Use of the Government, the Actual State of the Indian Tribes in Our Country. Washington, D. C., Davis & Force.
Mourning Dove 1933
Mourning Dove (1933). How Coyote happened to make the black moss food. Coyote Stories. Caldwell, Idaho, Caxton Printers, Ltd.: 119-125.
Moxham, T. H. (1981). "Lichens in the perfume industry." Dragoco Report 1(Suppl.): 3-11.
Muller, K. (2001). "Pharmaceutically relevant metabolites from lichens." Applied Microbiology And Biotechnology 56(1-2): 9-16.
Murphey, E. V. A. (1959). Indian Uses of Native Plants. Fort Bragg, California, Medocino County Historical Society.
Nelson, A. (1951). Medical Botany: A hand-book for medical men and all who are concerned in the use of plants: nutritionists, dieticians, pharmacists and veterinarians. Edinburgh, E. & S. Livingstone, Ltd.
Newberry, J. S. (1887). "Food and fiber plants of the North American Indians." Popular Science Monthly 32: 31-46.
It has happened to me to vsit nearly forty tribes of the native population of North America, and many of these at a time when they had had little or no intercourse with the whites. As a physician and botanist, my attention was naturally directed to the use of plants among them for food, and as remedies. I made many notes on these subjects, and, as they have never been published, and contain some items that may be interesting, it has seemed to me worth while to put them on record. Most of the observations to which I hae referred were made a quarter of a century ago among the Indians of the Far West, remote from civilization, and where they were living in the "state of nature." The plants, of which the Indians I have visited have made use, are the following:
Among the fiber plants used by the Indians I should mention one lichen (Evernia sarmentosa) which, though of little importance, is interesting as the only plant of this group, so far as I know, serving any useful purpose among the Indians. In certain localities among the mountains of Oregon the fir-forests are draped with the gray fiber of the Evernia, which there has much the aspect of the Spanish moss as it hangs from the live-oaks in our Southern States. In a few instances I have seen this fiber utilized by the Indian women, who twist it into rolls as large as the little finger, and then sew these together to make a kind of jacket similar to that which they much more frequently form of strips of rabbit-skin. These garments are not handsome, but are thick and warm, and do much to protect the wearers from the severity of the winter in the Northwest.
Newbould, B. B. (1963). "Chemotherapy of arthritis induced in rats by mycobacterial adjuvant ." British Journal of Pharmacology and Chemotherapy 21: 127-136.
Ohmura, Y. (2003). "What species of Japanese lichens are edible?" Raiken 13(3): 6-9.
1. Against all expectation, I can find only a limited number of edible lichens. In China, in addition to Iwa-take (Umbilicaria esculenta) and kabuto-goke-modoki (Lobaria kurokawae), many other kinds of lichens are sold in the market as edible; however, in Japan edible lichens are probably available only at souvenir shops. In Japan, edible lichens are not fully recognized as “mountain vegetable.”
2. There is almost no information available about edible lichens except that this magazine introduced a few kinds of edible lichens in the past.
3. Unlike mushrooms, lichens are not appetizing. Therefore, Mr. Saito’s challenge to try to eat some lichens is estimable to me. Mr. Saito is a very enthusiastic amateur specialist of fungus. His webpage “Great Mushrooms” (http://www3.sppd.ne.jp/kin/) introduces about 1,000 kinds of mushrooms with images. I’ve acquired the following information from Mr. Saito.
4. In Photograph 1, the left lichen is Yokowa Saruogase (Usnea diffracta) and the right one is fuji saruogase (U. trichodeoides). Mr. Saito assumed that these two kinds are both saruogase but have different way of branching off. He also suggested that the left one tasted bitter when he chewed it while the right one tasted milder. As he explained that the U. diffracta has quite strong taste, I chewed a dried sample of U. diffracta but didn’t taste at all. It probably must be fresh to taste. U. trichodeoides includes a variant whose chief ingredient is saratin* acid and another variant, which includes fumarl-protosetoral* acid as major ingredient.
5. Mr. Saito explains more about his experience of eating U. trichodeoides, including how he cooked it and texture of the species. The crunchy texture of the species is based on middle stem. Just as U. trichodeoides, Umenoki-goke tea (tea made of Parmotrema tinctorum) also tastes like a seaweed-flavored soup, according to Mr. Saito. It is interesting that Bandai-kinori (Sulcaria sulcata) was also introduced as having the seaweed flavor.
6. It seems that the taste of lichens can be classified into four categories: slightly sweet, bitter, seaweed-like, and no-taste. Now, what kind of lichen has those tastes? And, how are those lichens edible? Table 1 is the summarized information of edible lichens in Japan. It also includes the information about the same species of lichens eaten also in overseas countries. In terms of lichen teas, please refer to Takagi (1984). Before some ways of chemical examinations to identify species are found, our predecessors chewed lichens, but this way of examination is not popular anymore. Probably, the lichens in the same genus and having the same components might possess similar taste and texture if they are cooked in a similar manner. If we consider in this way, the list of edible lichens will expand. For how to cook lichens, please refer to Yoshida (1986).
7. I am the most interested in “lichen cigarette” in Table 1. Because Nayonayo saruogase (Usnea himalayana) has a thin skin layer and slender stem, it will nicely burn if it is dried well.
8. Lastly, we must remember that lichens include some poisonous species as well just as mushrooms. For example in North America, Europe, and North Africa, Ookami-goke (Wolf lichen) has been used to kill wolves (Purvis 2000). Konahaimatsu-goke (Vulpicida pinastri) and Kett-goke (Dictyonema sericeum) are also known as poisonous lichens (Smith 1972; Hale 1983). Also, Dr. Kurokawa introduces us the information that the species which includes sky-lin* are also poisonous.
9. Although I do not know how many of the reader of this article will agree with my promotion of the culture of eating lichens, I would like to enjoy this profound world of the edible lichens and their cooking.
From the translator:
- Bolded words are the names of chemical compound, which I don’t know and also not available in my English-Japanese dictionary.
Osgood, C. (1959). "Ingalik mental culture." Yale University Publications in Anthropology 56.
Cladonia rangiferina, along with any other lichen found in the stomachs of caribou, was eaten by the Ingalik as stomach ice cream. The undigested lichen is taken out of the caribou’s rumen and put in a dish. Raw, mashed fish eggs of any kind are added. The mixture is then thoroughly stirred like ice cream (frozen as well?). It tastes strong but is eaten by men, women, and children and is a favorite dish.
Osorio, H. S. (1982). "Contribution to the lichen flora of Uruguay XVII. The scientific name of the "Yerba de la Piedra"." Phytologia 52: 217-220.
Usnea densirostra (previously misidentified as U. hieronymi) is called Yerba de la Piedra (Stone grass) in Uruguay. It was used medicinally.
Oswalt, W. H. (1957). "A western Eskimo ethnobotany." Anthropological Papers of the University of Alaska 6: 16-36.
Cetraria crispa was called aouq (aouk’) by the Yupik (southwest Alaska). It was chopped up and added to various soups as a flavouring. Cetraria cucullata was called ninguujuq (would like to be stretched) by the Yuqpik. It was also used as a soup condiment, for fresh fish or duck soup, but was mainly known as caribou food. Wilson, 1979, and Oswalt, 1957. Hawkes (1913) cited in Oswalt (1957) records eating this.
Nephroma arcticum was called kusskoak (kus’koak) by the Yuqpik (Inuit of southwest Alaska). They were uncommon, but found on or near decaying trees. They were collected and then stored until winter, when it was boiled with crushed fish eggs and eaten. It was also made into an infusion with hot water and fed to a person in weak condition to make him strong. It was reputed to be a very effective medicine. Wilson, 1979, and Oswalt, 1957.
Cladina sp. (reindeer moss) was called tuntutnu'kaik (reindeer food) but apparently not used.
Palmer, G. (1975). "Shuswap Indian Ethnobotany." Syesis 8: 29-81.
Pardanani et al. 1976
Pardanani, D. S., R. J. DeLima, R. V. Rao, A. Y. Vaze, P. G. Jayatilak and A. R. Sheth (1976). "Study of the effects of speman on semen quality in oligospermic men." Indian Journal of Surgery 38: 34-39.
Spemen is an indigenous preparation that contains a number of different plant products, one of which is Parmelia parlata (Chharila). It was orally administered in the dose of 2 tablets 3 times a day for 3 months to a group of 40 infertile oligospermic men.
They found a large improvement in 27 cases and a moderate improvement in 9 cases. In these 36 cases the semen went from being infertile to having a fertile profile. There was no improvement in the remaining 4 cases. No side effects were observed that are characteristic of conventional steriod drug therapy.
The authors note that this lichen (or possibly Chharila in general, a name which can also be applied to other lichens) is bitter, astringent, resolvent, demulcent, and also considered a diuretic, soporific, and sedative. They also note it is used in spermatorrhoea, as well as having a general tonic effect.
Parry, C. C. (1871). "Food products of the North American Indians." Report of the U. S. Commissioner of Agriculture for the year 1870 [Washington](8): 404-428.
Author also reported as: Palmer, E. Dodge, J. R.
Journal also reported as: USDA Annual Report Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture (1870)
No. 8 in a volume of 12
Bearded moss (Alectoria jubata) - the Indians residing on the Columbia River, according to Dr. Morse in his report on Indian affairs to the War Department for 1822, subsist in summer on a kind of bread made of the long hair-like lichen which grows on the spruce fir-tree, and which resemblres spiders' webs in fineness. To prepare it for food, it is fathered from the tree, laid in heaps, sprinkled with water, and then let for some time to ferment. It is next rolled up into balls as large as a mans head, and baked for an hour in ovens in the earth. When taken out it is fit for use, but it is neither palatable nor nutritious.
Diggers of California and the plains catch grasshoppers in great numbers. When the insect is at its best condition they dig several little pits shaped like an inverted funnel, the apeture being narrower at the surface. They then form a big circle and light the grass on fire and the grasshoppers are coralled in the pit of roasted at the edges. Mixed with ground acorns. Also sometimes put in sacks saturated with salt and placed in a heated trench covered with hot stones for 15 minutes. Then eaten as shrimp, or ground and put in soup or mush.
The Diggers of California also eat ants, crickets, and lichens.
Natives eat the larva of a large fly which deposits its eggs along the frothy edge o Mon. Lake in California, called ke-chah-re.
The Pimo eat tobacco worms.
Morse, Jedidiah. 1822. Report to the Secretary of War of the United States on Indian Affairs, Comprising a Narrative of a Tour Performed in the Summer of 1820, Under a Commission from the President of the United States, for the Purpose of Ascertaining, for the Use of the Government, the Actual State of the Indian Tribes in our Country. Davis & Force, Washington, D.C. (Many other publishers, republished St. Clair Shores, Mich., Scholarly Press, 1972). UVIC E77 M88
Pennington, C. W. (1963). The Tarahumar of Mexico: their environment and material culture. Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press.
Perez-Llano, G. A. (1944). "Lichens: their biological and economic significance." The Botanical Review 10(1): 1-65.
Lichens also shown to contain ergosterol
Most of lichen carbohydrates are polysaccharides. After hydration this produces several sugars, cellulose, chitosan, glucosamine, and inulin. Only the monosaccarides directly available for metabolism.
Pringsheim and Kusenack cited in Llano show lichen 2.64% ash. Wallerstein cited in Llano showed that white mice digested 53-64% of lichenin. Dannfelt cited in Llano found 1 to 8% protein in lichen
Lichens have Lapponian names. (Lynge1921, cited in Perez-Llano 1944)
Cladonia rangiferina, Cladonia alpestris, Cladonia sylvatica, Cetraria islandica, Cetraria crispa, Cetraria delisei, and Stereocaulon spp. are preferred forage of reindeer in the field. These are reffered to as jaegel by the Lapplanders.
Alectoria spp. and other Alectoreae and Usneae beard forms of lichen are quite liked by reindeer, but do not form a huge part of their diet. The Lapplanders call these lichens lappo.
Parmeleae and Gyrophoreae grow on rocks and trees and are eaten when no other lichens are available. These are called gadna by the Lapplanders.
Mosses are known to be something different.
These lichens are directly used by the Lapplanders (Saami People) of northern Scandanavia who herd reindeer, and indirectly by Eskimo and northern Indians that live off caribou, wood buffalo, musk-ox, and other animals of the arctic that feed on the lichens. In 1916 they had problems with overgrazing around Finmarken, and had to pass regulations and enforce them for some time. (Lynge1921, cited in Perez-Llano 1944)
Lapplanders recognize that overgrazing and trampling can drastically reduce lichen cover, and change species compoisition. Stereocaulon paschale is an increaser under grazing pressure, Cladonia alpestris is a decreaser. A specific succession of lichen species after disturbance, like fire, trampling, overgrazing. Reindeer prefer the younger lichens. (Lynge1921, cited in Perez-Llano 1944)
Usually about 700 kg of Cetraria islandica per square km. Cladonia alpestris can have much higher yields, must productive areas can have up to 1400 to 1500 kg per 1000 square meters.
Harvested when wet so it is not brittle, about 40-70% water. Saami would clear away broad strips of lichen because this would improve production. Saami would only harvest one quarter of the lichen, Norwegian farmers take two thirds. Farmers bundled up, transported, dried, and stored for feeding livestock.
Takes about thirty years to regenerate a field after it has been harvested. Require about 15 - 56 ha of land to support 10 cows if they were just fed lichen. An addition of lichen to livestock diet is beneficial.
Lichen has been found to yeild up to 61% carbohydrates, but must remove bitter principle. Soak in water for 24 hours, or add potassium carbonate to speed it up. Sometimes mixed with hot water and salt and straw. This removes fumarprotocetraric and other acids from the lichen.
Cetraria islandica has 3.35 times more carbohydrate than potatoes, and Cladonia rangiferina has 2.5 times. (Hesse 1916, cited in Perez-Llano 1944)
Prehistoric remains near Lake Constance in Switzerland show that lichens were used as fodder even back then.
Lichens named for their medicinal abilities. Comes from the Greek ‘leprous’, and refers to their use in treating cutaneous diseases. As applied to hepatics.
In the 15th century lichens became very popular as medicine because of the signature theory. Usnea, Lobaria, Xanthoria, Peltigera, Evernia, Parmelia, Cladonia, Roccella, Pertusaria, and Physcia were used to strengthen hair, cure jaundice, cure ‘thrush’, control fevers, diarrhea, infections, skin diseases, epilepsy, convulsions, as purgatives, hydrophobia, hemorrages, asthma, lung troubles. Most of this appears to have been obsolete by 1800.
Lecanora esculenta may have been the biblical manna. It is still eaten by some desert tribes, being mixed with meal to one-third its weight. It gets blown by high winds into the lowlands where the thalli form little hummocks. As recently as 1891 there was an abundant fall of this manna in Turkey.
Cetraria islandica probably the most important lichen for human food. Occasionally sold comercially in Iceland and Scandanavia, sold as Iceland Moss. Preparation involves the removal of foreign material and soaking, it is then dried and powdered. It is boiled as a broth, which sets to jelly when it cools. Milk is added. This is then used as a base for various soups and other delicacies, said to be good for dyspeptics. It might be made into a bread, porridge, or gruel. Mixed with cereals or mashed potatoes and made a very healthy bread. The lichen was called brødmose. It was also mixed with ship’s flour to make the bread less friable and less subject to weevil attack. This lichen, along with other reindeer mosses, was mixed with rye and made into a bread in times of famine. Tasted like wheat bran, but with a hot taste.
Poulsson (1906; cited in Perez-Llano 1944) made bread from both Cetraria islandica and Cetraria nivalis and tested them on humans. Between 46 and 49% of the carbohydrates in Cetraria islandica were digested, but Cetraria nivalis caused such intestinal disturbances that the experiment had to be stopped.
In 1737 Linnaeus considered Cetraria islandica to be a very important medicine. It was used in chronic affections as an emollient and tonic. More recently it was used as a substitute for salve bases in the preparation of emulssions, the reduction of bitter taste in certain drugs, as a laxative, and as a culture medium for bacteria (Piorkowski 1916 cited in Perez-Llano 1944). Cetraric acid of this lichen was found to have no ill effects on animals when fed to them or injected into their blood. It did induce peristaltic movement in the intestine. Has also been used as a nerve excitant.
Cetraria pinastri and Cetraria juniperina both contain pinastrinic acid and were used to poisen wolves in the same way as Letharia vulpina, by mixing with ground glass. The only other known lichen substance to be able to kill animals.
Everia prunastri and Evernai furfuracea were used by ancient Egyptians to make bread. There is still some importation of these lichens to Europe as a fermentative agent. Forstal in the 19th century saw several consignments from the Islands of Archipelago for Alexandria.
Evernia furcuracea has been found in an Egyptian vase from the 18th Dynasty (1700-1600BC). It is still sold in Egypt with Cetraria islandica as foreign drugs, being imported from Europe.
In 15th century Europe Evernia prunastri, and Evernia furfuracea, along with Parmelia physodes, were the main ingredients in the “Lichen quercinus virdes”, a drug used in Europe in the 15th century. Senft 1911, cited in Perez-Llano 1944.
Evernia furfuracea has been found to absorb enough chlorine to be harmful.
In 15th century Europe Lobaria pulmonaria was viewed as a cure for lung problems. It was regarded by some as an excitant, tonic, and astringant, and so was recommended as a cure for hemorrhages and asthma.
A Parmelia species is used as food, generally a curry powder, and as medicine, in India.
In 15th century Europe Parmelia physodes, along with Evernia prunastri, and Evernia furfuracea, were the main ingredients in the “Lichen quercinus virdes”, a drug used in Europe in the 15th century. Senft 1911, cited in Perez-Llano 1944.
In 15th century Europe Parmelia saxatilis (but perhaps a Physcia), when it was growing on a human skull, was called “Muscus cranii humanii”. It was used as a cure for epilepsy, and was worth its weight in gold.
Parmelia molliuscula can absorb enough selenium salt from its environment to be harmful to animals. Parmelia saxatilis can absorb enough beryllium to be harmful.
In 15th century Europe Peltigeria canina was sold by the famous Dr. Mead as “pulvus antilyssus”, a cure for hydrophobia. Peltigera aphthosa was used as a cure for children suffering from ‘thrush’.
In 15th century Europe Pertusaria communis was used as a cure for intermittant fever, and was much more effective on men than women.
Umbilicaria spp. was called Tripe de Roche or Rock Tripe by the French Courreur de Bois of boreal America because they used it in periods of emergency. Franklin recorded it in his diary as the main course of many of his meals.
In 15th century Europe Usnea barbata was used as a medicine to strengthen hair, because of its long filiments. Hippocrates prescribed it for uterine ailments. The natives of the Malay Peninsula still use it for colds and strengthenning after confinement.
In 15th century Europe Xanthoria parietina was used as a cure for jaundice.
Xanthoria parietina can absorb enough beryllium from the environment to harmful to animals.
Pojar and MacKinnon 1994
Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon (1994). Plants of Coastal British Columbia: Including Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Vancouver, British Columbia, Lone Pine Publishing.
Porsild, A. E. (1953). "Edible plants of the arctic." Arctic 6(1): 15-34.
Powers, S. (1877). Chapter XXXVIII. Aboriginal Botany. Contributions to North American Ethnology, Department of the Interior, U. S. Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region. Volume III. Tribes of California. Washington, Government Printing House: 419-.
Prance, G. T. (1972). "Ethnobotanical notes from Amazonian Brazil." Economic Botany 26: 221-237.
A pyrenocarpous lichen is called baduhu-tsinã (deer snuff) and is used as a snuff by the Denís of Amazonian Brazil. The yellow powder of the medulla on the surface of the lichen is collected from the tree trunks where it grows. The powder is then sniffed in small quantities. The Denís use it frequently and it induces sneezing. Does not appear to have a narcotic effect.
Pulliainen, E. (1971). "Nutritive values of some lichens used as food by reindeer in northeastern Lapland." Annales Zoologici Fennici 8: 385-389.