Edible lichens are lichens that have a cultural history of use as a food. Although almost all lichen are edible (with some notable poisonous exceptions like the wolf lichen, powdered sunshine lichen, and the ground lichen), not all have a cultural history of usage as an edible lichen.
Although there are many lichen species throughout the world, it has been noted that only a few species of lichen are edible and provide nutritional value. Recent analytics within the field have identified 15 kinds of edible lichen, which have been mostly found in China. Due to its rubbery consistency, it has been noted that individuals within China fry, boil, and pressure cook edible lichen. It is also useful to note that edible lichen can be made into beverages such as tea.
In India, The Middle East, and Niger, Rimelia reticulata, Ramalina conduplicans, and Parmotrema tinctorum are utilized as spices and flavor enhancers. Spices and flavor enhancer are made through a process in which the edible lichens are dehydrated. The dehydrated lichen is then processed and made into specific spices and flavor enhancers.
List of edible lichen
Examples of edible lichen, grouped by their families, include:
- Cetraria islandica — Iceland moss (Alaska, Canada, Iceland, British Isles, Appalachian Mountains): 106
- Bryoria fremontii — wila
- Parmelia perlata — kalpasi or black stone flower (throughout temperate Northern and Southern hemispheres)
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- "Reindeer Moss". Eat The Weeds. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
- Zhao, Yingshu; Wang, Mingfu; Xu, B. (2021). "A comprehensive review on secondary metabolites and health-promoting effects of edible lichen". Journal of Functional Foods. 80: 104283. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2020.104283. S2CID 228853573. Retrieved 2021-05-22.
- Zheng, Yu; Xiao, Chao-Jiang; Guo, Kai; Wang, Ying; Liu, Yan; Luo, Shi-Hong; Li, Xiao-Nian; Li, Sheng-Hong (2018-02-21). "Lobarioid A, unusual antibacterial depsidone possessing an eight-membered diether ring from the edible lichen Lobaria sp". Tetrahedron Letters. 59 (8): 743–746. doi:10.1016/j.tetlet.2018.01.027. ISSN 0040-4039.
- Choi, Ra-Yeong; Ham, Ju Ri; Yeo, Jiyoung; Hur, Jae-Seoun; Park, Seok-Kyu; Kim, Myung-Joo; Lee, Mi-Kyung (December 2017). "Anti-Obesity Property of Lichen Thamnolia vermicularis Extract in 3T3-L1 Cells and Diet-Induced Obese Mice". Preventive Nutrition and Food Science. 22 (4): 285–292. doi:10.3746/pnf.2017.22.4.285. ISSN 2287-1098. PMC 5758091. PMID 29333380.
- Xu, Baojun; Li, Chantian; Sung, Changkeun (2014). "Telomerase inhibitory effects of medicinal mushrooms and lichens, and their anticancer activity". International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 16 (1): 17–28. doi:10.1615/intjmedmushr.v16.i1.20. ISSN 1940-4344. PMID 24940901.
- "Lichen planus in children". Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology. Retrieved 2021-05-22.
- Nubie, Steve (2018-01-09). "It's 1,000 Years Old. It's Edible. And It's On Your Property". Off The Grid News. Retrieved 2021-05-22.
- John Wiseman. The SAS Survival Handbook.
- Bradford Angier (1974). Field guide to Edible Plants. ISBN 9780811720182.
- Bhattarai; Subba (1999). "Nutritional value of some edible lichens of East Nepal". Angewandte Botanik.