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Rashan et al. 1990

Rashan, L. J., M. T. Ayoub, L. Alomar and R. Alkhayatt (1990). "Vulpinic acids inhibit influenza (RNA) viruses but not herpes (DNA) viruses." World Journal Of Microbiology & Biotechnology 6(2): 155-158.


Ravenhill 1938

Ravenhill, A. (1938). The Native Tribes of British Columbia. Victoria, B. C., King's Printer.

Ray 1932

Ray, V. F. (1932). "The Sanpoil and Nespelem: Salishan peoples of northeastern Washington." University of Washington Publications in Anthropology 5.

[about Sanpoil-Nespelem]

Pine lichen, (sqwal’i´p). This lichen (sometimes called pine moss) was to be found in great quantities hanging from the limbs of pines. It formed an important food product which could be obtained at any time of he year. The lichen was cleaned by hand of extraneous matter but was not washed or soaked. After cleaning it was placed in the roasting pit in alternate layers with wild onion [Allium sp.] and camas [Quamashia sp.], or with the onion alone. After two or three days’ cooking a dark coloured, gelatinous mass was produced. This was cut into slices for immediate use, or for drying and storage. The dried product was prepared or consumption by boiling with restored it to very much its state before drying.

This food was one to the best liked of all vegetable preparations. The lichen is said to have sweetened the concoction.

Ray 1963

Ray, V. F. (1963). Primitive pragmatists: The Modoc Indians of northern California. Seattle, University of Washington Press.

Raymond 1945

Raymond, M. (1945). "III. - Notes ethnobotaniques sur les Tête-de-Boule de manouan." Contributions de l'Institut Botanique de l'Université de Montréal 55: 113-154.

Gyrophora dillenni was considerec to be a very important female medicine to the Cree (Tête-de-Boule). They called it asine-wakunik. During a difficult childbirth, the lichen would be boiled in water and then placed on the woman’s genitals.

Razzack and Fazal 1993

Razzack, H. M. A. and H. M. U. Fazal (1993). The Concept of Birth Control in Unani Medicine. New Dehli, Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.

Rea 1997

Rea, A. M. (1997). At the Desert's Green Edge: An Ethnobotany of the Gila River Pima. Tucson, The University of Arizona Press.

Richardson 1975

Richardson, D. H. (1975). The Vanishing Lichens: Their History and Importance. London, David & Charles.

Richardson 1988

Richardson, D. H. S. (1988). Medicinal and other economic aspects of lichens. CRC Handbook of Lichenology. M. Galun. 3: 93-108.

Richardson 1991

Richardson, D. H. S. (1991). Lichens and man. Frontiers in Mycology: honorary and general lectures from the Fourth International Mycological Congress, Regensburg, Germany, 1990. D. L. Hawksworth. Wallingford, Oxon, UK, C. A. B. International: 187-210.

Rink and Lindorff 1856

Rink and J. F. T. Lindorff (1856). Help to the patients. Greenland.

Robbins 1987

Robbins, C. T. (1987). "Digestibility of an arboreal lichen by mule deer." Journal of Range Management 40(6): 491-492.

Rowe et al. 1991

Rowe, J. G., M. T. Saenz, M. D. Garcia and A. M. Gil (1991). "New study of antimicrobial activity and identification of lichenical substances of some lichens from south Spain." Annales Pharmaceutiques Françaises 49(5): 278-285.

Written in French with short English summary.

Usnea sp., Cladonia mediterranea, Cladonia convoluta, Cladonia foliacea, Xanthoria parietina, Ramalina polymorpha, Physcia sp., Parmelia caperata, Peltigera canina, and Lasallia pustulata are tested for antimicrobial activity. Tested for inhibiting growth of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella thyphimurium. Also tested to see what lichen compounds were present. Tested for usnic acid, evernic acid, ursolic? atranorin, parietin, and orcinol, and found several other unidentified substances. Usnea sp. and Cladonia spp. were found to be most active against the widest variety of bacteria. Concluded that a very high activity was observed in lichens with usnic acid.

Saha et al. 1961

Saha, J. C., E. C. Savini and S. Kasinathan (1961). "Ecbolic properties of Indian medicinal plants." Indian Journal of Medical Research 49: 130-151.

Lists a variety of plants used in folk medicine in India as abortifacients and emmenagogues. Seven are tested on guinea pigs. Several have the same effect as oxytocin, with papaya being the most oxytocic.

The authors list Parmelia spp. as a treatment for amenorrhoea, but do not discuss it further, because by deffinition amenorrhoea is not do to pregnancy.

Abortifacient: A substance that causes pregnancy to end prematurely and causes an abortion Emmenagogue: A substance that induces/hastens/promotes menstrual flow. Ecbolic: A substance which by exciting uterine contractions promotes the expulsion of the contents of the uterus, causing childbirth or abortion. Amenorrhoea: The absence or discontinuation or abnormal stoppage of the menstrual periods (not do to pregnancy or advancing age)

Saklani and Upreti 1992

Saklani, A. and D. K. Upreti (1992). "Folk uses of some lichens in Sikkim." Journal of Ethnopharmacology 37: 229-233.

Sastri 1953

Sastri, R. L. N. (1953). "Lichens in food and industry." Journal of the Science Club (Calcutta) 7(2): 62-64.

In the Bellary district in India, a species of lichen known as Rathipuvvu ("Rock flower") is used as a curry powder and is esteemed as a delicacy. It is also used medicinally. It is usually collected in the summer months of April and May and forms a profitable business.

Descriptions of lichens used as food, dye, litmus, perfume.

Sato 1968

Sato, M. (1968). "An edible lichen of Japan, Gyrophora esculenta Miyoshi." Nova Hedwigia 16: 505-509.

A description of the preparation of Iwa-take, and of the ecology and morphology of the lichen.

Schade 1954

Schade, A. (1954). "Über Letharia vulpina (L.) VAIN. und ihre Vorkommen in der Alten Welt." Berichte der Bayerischen Botanischen Gesellschaft 30: 108-126.

Page 122

"R. Santesson sent Schade a blurb by (or about) a famous wolf hunter, Nilsson from the Samiland village Tossåsenm in northern Sweden. He wrote that the lichen is ripped and pulverized. If it's dry you have to over your nose or you will get nose bleeds. The powder is added to fat and flesh and warmed in a pan with wood fir, stir but don't burn. Afterwards add fresh blood and?cheese so it smells a lot. The poison is placed in a carcass between skin and muscle ior in muscle. Left over poison was saveds. A wolf who has swallowed the poison usually dies within 24 hours if he has not soon adfter eaten fresh blood. The poison is stronger the older and drier the lichen is."

The hunter inherited these practices from his father who also had his herd attacked by wolves. The poison lichen, he had saved it up in a leather sack, which the son inherited and gave as a gift to the museum.

Schenck and Gifford 1952

Schenck, S. M. and E. W. Gifford (1952). "Karok Ethnobotany." Anthropological Records [University of California Publications] 13(6): 377-392.

The generic term for mosses and lichens recorded by J. P. Harrington was used bu our informants also: 'asaxxé'm.

J. P. Harrington, Tobacco among the Karok Indians of California, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 94, pp. 47 ff., 1932.

Evernia vulpina, Tree Lichen, Karok manil maashaxaeme, "mountain moss." This lichen was found on Douglas Fir. The Karok soak it in water and use the decoction as a yhellow due for porcupine quills, which are worked into the design of some basket caps, but it is not used in other kinds of baskets.

Usnea barbata, Karok ashaxaeme. No use.

The Karok use of Letharia vulpina is recorded to be different than other tribes in California. The Karok use it for a dye, whereas in central California it is used for a medicine, no use recorded in southern California.

Schultes and Raffauf 1990

Schultes, R. E. and R. F. Raffauf (1990). The Healing Forest: Medicinal and Toxic Plants of the Northwest Amazonia. Portland, Oregon, Dioscorides Press.

Scotter 1965

Scotter, G. W. (1965). "Chemical composition of forage lichens from northern Saskatchewan as related to use by barren-ground caribou." Canadian Journal of Plant Science 45: 246-250.

Scotter 1972

Scotter, G. W. (1972). "Chemical composition of forage plants from the reindeer preserve, Northwest Territories." Arctic 25(1): 21-27.

Shahi et al. 2001

Shahi, S. K., A. C. Shukla, A. Dikshit and D. K. Upreti (2001). "Use of lichen as antifungal drug against superficial fungal infections." Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences 22/4A & 23/1A: 69-72.

Extract of Everniastrum cirrhatum is tested for antifungal activity against a variety of human pathogenic fungi. Found to be effective, and to not cause irritation of mammalian skin.

Reports other studies of antifungal screening in different lichen species.

Sharnoff 1984

Sharnoff, S. D. (1984). "Lowly lichens offer beauty - and food, drugs and perfume." Smithsonian 15: 134-143.

An overview of the wonders of lichens, ecology, ethnobotany, etc.

Sharnoff 1997

Sharnoff, S. D. (1997). Lichens and people, Available online at <>.

Singh et al. 2000

Singh, K. K., D. K. Upreti and K. Kumar (2000). "Ethnobotanical notes on some lesser known Himalayan lichens." British Lichen Society Bulletin 86: 36-37.

Smith 1921

Smith, A. L. (1921). Chapter X. Economic and technical. Lichens, Cambridge University Press. Second edition published 1975 by The Richmond Publishing Co., Richmond, Surrey, England: pg. 395-420.

Smith 1973

Smith, G. W. (1973). "Arctic Pharmacognosia." Arctic 26: 324-333.

Cladina spp. (reindeer moss) was used by the Aleut (Alaska) as a medicine. It is taken as a tea for chest pains, and hunters who are climbing hills eat it to maintain their wind.

Smith 1923

Smith, H. H. (1923). "Ethnobotany of the Menomini Indian." Bulletin of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee 4(1): 1-174.

Sticta glomulerifera was used by the Menomini. They called it wakûn (he also spells it waku’n and wa’kun) (plural wakûnûk, also spelled wakûnû’k). It grows on many trees, but is only picked off hard maple or hemlock trees. It is gathered in any season and put away dry. It is used in soups, and it swells like Irish moss. It is quite liked, and valued for its tonic effect on the system and the blood. It is a food, but probably not that nutritious, it is more eaten as a medicine for run down systems.

Lichens are said to be scabs from the head of Mä’näpus, and he put them there to keep his uncles and aunts from starving. Another version is that they were scabs from when he burned his buttocks, and they came off as he slid down a slanting rock. Smith, 1923, pg 21 and 60

According to Yarnell, Smith (1923: pg. 60) says that Sticta amplissima was used by the Menomini. They would collect this lichen, along with other lichens, in any season and dry it for future use. Yarnell says this is similar to Ojibwa use.

Smith 1933

Smith, H. H. (1933). "Ethnobotany of the Forest Potawatomi Indians." Bulletin of the Publi Museum of the City of Mil 7(1): 1-230.

Parmelia physodes growing on spruce trees was called wa’kwûnûk [lit. “egg bush”] by the Potawatomi. They would only use lichens growing on spruce trees. The lichen would be eaten raw as a cure for constipation. It was also soaked or boiled in water until it swelled somewhat and used as a food. When cooked into a soup it has a pleasant flavour.

Spier et al. 1938

Spier, L., W. B. Cline, R. S. Commons and M. Mandelbaum (1938). The Sinkaietk or Southern Okanagon of Washington Contributions from the Laboratory of Anthropology, 2. General Series in Anthropology, No. 6. Menasha, Wisconsin, George Banta Publishing Co.

Spier and Sapir 1930

Spier, L. and E. Sapir (1930). "Wishram ethnography." University of Washington Publications in Anthropology 3(3): 151-300.

ik!u'nuc, a black hair-like moss found on fir trees in the mountains. Gatherd at any season but especially in the fall. Cleaned witht he fingers, soaked for a long time and washed very clean. This was mixed with wild onions (ilq!la'uwaitk) and pit-roasted. It was placed in the pit, which contained hot stones, between dry pine needles which were first wetted. A fire was bult over the pit as well. It was allowed to roast for two das. This was then formed into cakes.

Spinden 1907-1915

Spinden, H. J. (1907–1915). "The Nez Perce Indians." Memoirs of the American Anthropological Association 2: 165-274.

Alectoria spp. growing on pine trees, probably Bryoria fremontii, was boiled and eaten by the Nez Perce in times of famine. Vol. 5, pg. 4 of Lewis and Clark (1806) cited in Spinden (1908).

Stahlschmidt 1870

Stahlschmidt (1870). "Preparation of Spirits from Lichens." Chemical News and Journal of Physical Science 22: 23.

Stahlschmidt (1870) recommends lichen for use for alcohol to save grain. He states that lichen can be used for fermenting and describes the process at length. “The cellulose of the lichens or moss is converted to glucose by boiling with from 7 to 10 percent of the weight of the mass of hydrochloric acid (sp. gr. 1˙165) by the aid of steam; the acid is saturated with chalk, and the saccharine matter brought to fermentation.” 20 pounds of lichen could yield 5 L of 50% alcohol.

This is a summary of the original article published in April 1870 in the journal Bayerisches Industrie und Gewerbe Blatt.

Stenberg 1868

Stenberg, S. (1868). "Om användandet lafvar såsom material för fram ställning af drufsocker och alkohol (translation: Using lichens for the production of grape-sugar and alcohol." Öfversight af Kongl Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar 25(1): 17-28.

Stern 1934

Stern, B. J. (1934). The Lummi Indians of Northwest Washington. New York, Columbia University Press.

Stubbs 1966

Stubbs, R. D. (1966). An investigation of the edible and medicinal plants used by the Flathead Indians. Missoula, Montana, University of Montana. M. A. thesis.

Subiyay 2003

Subiyay, (Bruce Miller) (2003). Personal communication. Pers. comm. to S. Crawford. April 29 and October 16, 2003.

Subramanian 1965

Subramanian, S. S. (1965). "Lichens and their food value." Journal of Nutrition & Dietetics 2: 217-222.

Subramanian and Ramakrishnan 1964

Subramanian, S. S. and S. Ramakrishnan (1964). "Amino-acids of Peltigera canina." Current Science 33: 522.

Peltigera canina is used as a food, a tonic, and in liver complaints in the Himalayas. It has up to 21% protein with appreciable amounts of riboflavin and phosphorus. Lichens were tested from the Chamoli District in the Himalaya. Peltigera canina contains 9 free amino acids, of which 5 are essential, and 4 more acid and alkali hydrolysates of amino acids, of which 3 are essential. Its food value and use in liver complaints could be due to its high protein and essential amino acid content. It contains free methionine, which could be particularly significant. Free essential amino acids: leucine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine, and methionine. Combined essential amino acids: isoleucine, tryptophan, and lysine.

Interestingly, contains all the essential amino acids except for histidine, and almost in the perfect ratio recommended, not quite enough leucine or methionine (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2002).

Swartz 1911

Swartz, M. D. (1911). "Nutritional investigations on the carbohydrates of lichens, algae, and related substances." Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Science 16: 249-382.

Pages 253, 260, 262, 263, 301-305

Some pentasans (anhydride of pentose) are digested by humans. Galactose least digestible of the sugars. Mannoses seem readily digesstible, with d-mannose being the easiest to digest. Experiments done on the digestibility of lichenin and isolichenin after Külz suggested in 1874 that these carbohydrates could be eaten as substitute carbohydrates by diabetics.

Lichens yield the dextrans lichenin (soluble in hot water), isolichenin (soluble in cold water, turns iodine purple), usnin, evernin. 80-90% of total carbohydrates of Cetraria islandica are lichenin and isolichenin. Both yield dextrose on hydrolysis. Animal enzymes do not hydrolyze lichenin. Experiments on dogs, rabbits, and humans show that lichenin from Cetraria islandica is not digested. With human trials the lichen was treated with potassium carbonate to remove the bitterness, and thoroughly washed, dried, and ground. This preparation contained 72.5% dextrose. It was only 15% digested. Suggests that uncooked Cetraria islandica is not digestable.

Dr. Hansteen, who was the chief lecturer in the Agricultural School at Aas, Norway in 1911, prophesized that lichen was to become the great popular food of the masses, because of its cheapness and nutritive properties. Cetraria islandica was 0.32% protein, 1.2% fat, 2.2% ash, 43.3% nitrogen free extract (carbohydrate), and 5.3% crude carbohydrate. Notable amounts of calcium and potassium phosphates. Cetraria and Ramalina fraxinea found to contain lichenin, Evernia prunastre contains evernin, and Usnea barbata contains usnin. Cetraria islandica and Evernia prunastre contain glucose, galactose, pentoses, and methyl pentoses. Cladonia rangiferina contained mannose as well. Stereocaulon pascale, Peltigera aphthosa, and Cornicularia aculeata all conain d-galactose and d-mannose, as well as pentoses and methyl pentoses. Usnea barbata contained the same carbohydrates, plus glucose.

Søchting 1990

Søchting, U. (1990). "Naparsimasonut ikiortiksat. Cetraria islandica as health diet in 19th century Greenland." Graphis Scripta 3(1): 24.

A translation of a booklet from 1856, in Greenland, on use of Cetraria islandica as medicinal food. Originally a 20pp booklet written by Rink and J. F. T. Lindorff. Translated into English by Frederik Nielsen Reprinted in 1973 by Anders Nyborg A/S Internatinal Editor Original copies, as well as the reprints, had a thallus of Cetraria islandica glued to one of the pages.

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