Angiangi, also known as Usnea or Old Man's Beard, is a type of lichen that has been used for centuries in traditional plant medicine for its various health benefits. It is known for its potent antimicrobial properties that make it effective in treating various infections caused by bacteria and viruses.
Angiangi are very slow growing; they are mostly found on old growth trees within unpolluted habitats. They are very pollution sensitive, so can be used as an indicator to determine the environmental health of an area. Angiangi is a type of lichen composed of an alga and a fungus. It has a stretchy outer layer and a thin, white, stretchy inner core. Its outer layer gives it colour and allows for photosynthesis.
Angiangi contains usnic acid, a potent antibacterial compound, making it useful in treating bacteria. It is a go-to plant for infections in the lungs and bronchial area. It can effectively help to relieve pneumonia, sinus infections, bronchitis, colds, flu and other respiratory complaints. It is used in preparations to increase resistance to colds and influenza.
A Wound Healer Angiangi was more commonly used as an antiseptic wound healer that helped to prevent infection as well as stop bleeding.
Autumn is the best time to harvest Angiangi as the heavy rains can often break branches off of old trees and then the rongoā can be gathered from the floor. It can stay in good condition on the ground due to its anti-biotic & anti-fungal properties. It is much more responsible to harvest it from the fallen branches, rather than living trees due to its slow growth rate. I also find a good time to harvest is after we've had a lot of wind. Fresh angiangi can often be found on the floor.
I usually like to dry angiangi and then crush it up into a powder. Store the powder in an airtight container and use when needed. The powder can be applied directly on to wounds as an antiseptic and antibacterial.
I tincture fresh angiangi and then dilute the tincture to use to clean wounds or for skin infections.
The diluted tincture can be used as a gargle for sore throats.
How to Tincture Angiangi
Place a handful of fresh angiangi into a glass jar and cover with alcohol.
A jam jar is suitable and fill to the top with either Vodka or Brandy. The alcohol extracts the rongoā from the angiangi.
Let it sit in a cupboard for 4 - 6 weeks giving the jar a shake every day.
Strain and place the fluid into a clear jar or bottle and keep in a cool, dry room.
For questions or to learn more, please contact me for a rongoā consultation.
Angiangi is one of six rongoā we use in our Raukawa Throat Spray. It is one of our most popular rongoā products and I have been making it for nearly 10 years. It was a product I spent a lot of time developing and I still fine-tune it because rongoā changes. It evolves.
Three years ago I tweaked it to be a -go to- rongoā potent enough to withstand viral infections and provide primordial minerals for cellular strength.
With rongoā such as Tōtara, Kūmarahou, Kawakawa, Kopakopa, Angiangi and Pākaiahi there is an elemental balance of fire, water, earth, air and others. Not only are they powerful in medicinal properties their spiritual properties may take you to another level. I use the spray for its minerals and increase the dose before a change of season.
I have written about the rongoā used in the throat spray on my blog, please feel free to indulge.
Please note, this is not to be used during pregnancy.
Always consult your health care provider before using any herbal products, especially if you have a medical problem.