Usnea Barbata and Acne

Commonly referred to as tree moss, Usnea barbata (usnea) are actually white, red, or black lichens that grow on trees. Studies suggest that this traditional home remedy for wound healing and mild throat and mouth inflammation may prove to be a useful natural herbal remedy for acne.1-2

Commonly referred to as tree moss, Usnea barbata (usnea) are actually white, red, or black lichens that grow on trees. Studies suggest that this traditional home remedy for wound healing and mild throat and mouth inflammation may prove to be a useful natural herbal remedy for acne.1-2

Usnea possesses strong antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.2 In recent lab experiments, one of its main chemical constituents (usnic acid) demonstrated the ability to significantly inhibit gram positive Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).2 Research shows that usnic acid also exerts anti-inflammatory effects that could benefit acne patients as well.1

Safety

Usnea barbata should only be used topically since oral consumption of usnic acid may be toxic to the liver. Side effects of topical use may include skin irritation. Usnea should not be used by pregnant or lactating women since there is insufficient safety information. There are no formal dosage recommendations for usnea.1


References:
  1. Therapeutic Research Faculty. Usnea Full Monograph. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. [Online] 2011. [Cited: January 18, 2011.] http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/nd/Search.aspx?cs=&s=ND&pt=100&id=694&ds=&name=Usnea+barbata+(USNEA)&searchid=24700147.
  2. Reuter, Juliane, Merfort, Irmgard and Schempp, Christoph M. Am J Clin Dermatol. 11(4): Botanicals in Dermatology: An Evidence-Based Review. Medscape Today. [Online] 2010. [Cited: January 18, 2011.] http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/723144_2.
Not the same as oak moss (Evernia prunastri) which is also called tree moss.
 
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