From:Stoughton, MA Region: Mid-Atlantic Topic: Medicinal Plants Title: Possible medicinal uses of Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) Answered by: Dean Garrett
I recently read an article about the healing properties of Spanish Moss. It mentioned reducing bad cholesterol in the human body. What exactly are the properties in this plant that are good for you, and is it poison if you make tea out of it?
Oral extracts of Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides), a non-parasitic epiphyte in the pineapple family, have been found in a few studies to reduce blood glucose in laboratory animals. The compound primarily responsible is called HMG, short for 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaric acid. HMG is now featured as an ingredient in a few herbal diabetic supplements.
I don't know if it would be poisonous to make a tea out of it. My brief perusal of literature didn't reveal any information about toxicity and I didn't find it listed on the toxic plant lists I looked at, but I'd prefer to know more before stating that it can definitely be consumed in tea form.
It does have a long history of uses by indigenous peoples throughout its range. The Houma Indians of Louisiana used it somehow to treat fevers, while people in Brazil traditionally used it for a variety of medicinal purposes.
More Medicinal Plants Questions
Growing fruits and vegetables from Holbrook NY April 06, 2012 - I have been looking for information on what plants, vegetables and fruits can be grown on Long Island NY to provide a sustainable food source for a community in the event of food becoming scarce. Wha... view the full question and answer
Tilo (Justicia pectoralis), a tropical American plant December 03, 2008 - Re: keelo plant (Seminole, Fl. herb used to treat stomachache-St. Pete), try Tilo: Justicia pectoralis view the full question and answer
Availability of ruda plants (Ruta graveolens) in Alabama September 10, 2008 - I want to know is ruda plants available in alabama? If so where can I find it. view the full question and answer
Fiber and dye plants at the Wildflower Center from Round Rock TX May 24, 2012 - When I visited the Wildflower Center recently I noticed a garden labeled as containing fiber and dye plants, but the individual plants and their uses were not all labeled. I would be very interested ... view the full question and answer