Information on Iceland Moss

Latin NameCetraria islandica
Other NamesLichen islandicus
Part UsedThallus
Herb FormsTincture, bulk herb, powder.
AffectsUrinary system, Immune system, Respiratory system
CautionsThe dried powder can causes throat irritation if inhaled. Both the tincture and powder are contraindicated in gastro-duodenal ulcers.
Botanical InfoAn gray-green lichen with a forked, chestnut- brown thallus (often reddish at the base); epiphytic on trees.
DescriptionIceland moss is a demulcent herb with nutritive, antibiotic, and expectorant properties. A traditional cough remedy and expectorant, it is often used for respiratory tract ailments such as bronchitis, asthma, colds, and laryngitis. A highly effective herb for respiratory infections with thick yellow mucus because of its cooling and mucus-cutting nature. It has a bitter principle which causes the secretion of gastric juices and is used for loss of appetite. Iceland moss is said to promote the flow of milk. It has been proven to have strong antibacterial activity because of the lichen acids it contains.

Iceland Moss has a taste of ACRID, SWEET and a temperature of COOL.


Decoction1 cup 2-3 x daily
Tincture2 droppersful 2-3 x daily

Ailments Treated by Iceland Moss

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Bronchitisexpectoranttincture, tea
Laryngitisdemulcenttea, tincture
Appetite, lack ofbitter digestive stimulanttincture, tea


Blumenthal, Mark et al. 1998. The Complete Commission E Monographs. Austin: American Botanical Council.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Weiss, R. 1988. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers.