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Traditional uses of usnea include dusting the powdered herb directly onto open or infected wounds, making strong decoctions, and tincturing the herb in alcohol.
Due to its bitter taste, usnea stimulates digestion and was historically used by herbalists to treat indigestion. It was also reportedly used over 3,000 years ago in ancient Egypt, Greece, and China to treat unspecified infections.1
The salve form is also effective. Usnic acid is poorly water soluble, so ethyl alcohol is used to produce a tincture. A 1:3 dilution in 70 percent alcohol is standard, and the adult dose is 3 ml three times daily, or more in acute cases.