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The economic benefits of lichens are:

1. Food:

Name of Lichens


1. Cladonia, Peltigera, Certaria sp.

Used as fodder for reindeers caribou in the Arctic regions. Also known as Reindeer Moss.

2. Parmelia (Rock-flower)

Used as spice in India food in Madras and near-by states.

Regarded as a delicacy.

3. Lecanora esculenta (Bread of heaven)

They are used by the Berber tribes in the deserts of Libya for grazing their sheep.

4. Endocarpon miniatum

Used as vegetable in Japan

2. Medicinal Use:

Name of Lichens


1. Lobaria pulmonaria

Used for the treatment of lung diseases

2. Evernia

Used for cough

3. Cladonia and Usnea

Usnic acid-used as antibiotics.

Usnic acid is widely used in European countries as as chemotherapeutic drug for external application.

4. Peltigera

Useful in hydrophobia

5. Certaria and Cladonia

Used for intermittent fever

3. Perfume:

  • The extract of Ramalina, Parmelia, Evernia species contain various essential oils which are used extensively as perfumes, soap-scents and incense (dhoop).
  • Oak moss is used as fixative for perfumes in Southern Europe.

4. Other uses:

  • Orcein, a biological stain  is obtained from Rocella.
  • Litmus dye used as chemical indicator is obtained from Lecanora.
  • Lichenan or Lichenin is a complex starch which occurs in certain lichens. It is also known as moss starch.
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