Iceland moss, scientifically known as Cetraria islandica, is a lichen that grows in Arctic and subarctic regions.
It has a long history of traditional use as a medicinal herb such as wound healing, immune system support, respiratory and digestive health.
The main chemical compounds found in Icelandic Moss are large amounts of a type of starch called lichenin. When this compound is boiled, it turns into a substance resembling mucilage which is particularly soothing to irritated mucous membranes that line the respiratory tract and nasal passages. It also contains complex polysaccharides that have immunostimulant effects and is especially useful to counter catarrh and calm dry coughs.
Iceland moss is rich in nutrients, including carbohydrates, dietary fibre, minerals, and vitamins. It has been used as a nutritional supplement to provide additional nourishment. Iceland Moss is classed as a bitter herb which means it stimulates digestive enzymes and enhances the body’s ability to absorb nutrients whilst it is in itself a highly nutritious food.