- What other names is Usnea known by?
- What is Usnea?
- How does Usnea work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Dosing considerations for Usnea.
Usnea is used for weight loss, pain relief, fever control, and wound healing; and to make phlegm easier to cough up.
Usnea is also used directly on the skin for sore mouth and throat.
Don't confuse usnea with oak moss (Evernia prunastri). Both usnea and oak moss are sometimes referred to as tree moss.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. Early research suggests that applying a specific product (Zeta N, Bergamon Italia) containing zinc sulfate and usnic acid (a chemical found in usnea) to the vagina before and after surgical removal of HPV sores improves healing and reduces the recurrence of HPV infection for up to 6 months after surgery.
- Weight loss.
- Mild swelling (inflammation) of the mouth and throat.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Quick GuideVitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?
allergic reactions can occur.
Taking usnea by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. The sodium usniate (usnic acid) that usnea contains might cause liver damage. Sodium usniate is an ingredient of the brand named product LipoKinetix, which is marketed for weight loss. There were numerous cases of liver damage in people taking LipoKinetix. Symptoms, including nausea, weakness and fatigue, abdominal pain, and yellowing of the skin, usually develop from 2 weeks to 3 months after starting LipoKinetix. Symptoms disappear when it is discontinued. Additionally, there was one case of liver failure from taking pure usnic acid by mouth. Avoid taking usnea, LipoKinetix, or any other supplements containing usnea by mouth.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking usnea if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Liver disease: Usnea contains some chemicals that might harm the liver. If you have liver disease, don't take usnea by mouth.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.