Some medicinal plants really stand out after a good rain or while it’s still raining. Usnea is one of those (use-knee-ah). This morning it was all over my yard. I have several large water oaks (Quercus nigra) in my yard and Usnea grows on them. I see it on several tree species and old fence posts. There are 500 or so species of this lichen worldwide. The species I see most often here in Bama is Usnea strigose. It doesn’t matter which species you use, they all work the same. The key to knowing you’ve found Usnea is inside the little stems. If you stretch the little stems you’ll see it has a tiny white fiber inside it. If the lichen is moist its easy to stretch. If it’s dry it’ll usually break. There are several plants that look similar, for instance, Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides). It grows on trees along the gulf coast but it is not a lichen or Usnea and does not have a tiny white core. Usnea has been used by native peoples in the northern hemisphere for thousands of years. The chinese wrote about it 2300 years ago. Ever see an old western movie/show where someone says “pack that wound with moss”? It wasn’t a moss people used, it was a lichen named Usnea. It’s a potent antibiotic and a potent antiviral. In the last few years it’s been known to really help people with Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. I take Usnea tincture every time I get a tick bite as a preventative. There is a great book on this subject by Stephen Harrod Buhner. I personally know of 2 people this book has helped. My cousin almost died last year from Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. I used the knowledge in this book and Usnea to help him. A good pic of Usnea strigose http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/19307257 The NIH used to have several studies about Usnea being effective against pneumonia on their website. Those disappeared when obummer was elected. Now they say usnea is a liver toxin, go figure! The chinese have used it at least 2300 years and never had a problem with it. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509606/ This is a good article with general knowledge of usnea and how to use it. https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/usnea-herb.html I make a tincture from Usnea to use. I’ve tasted tea made from it. It’ll curl you nose hair, nasty tasting. Besides, the best chemicals in Usnea aren’t really water soluble. Tincture is the best way to go.