Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Iceland Moss

Iceland Moss (Cetraria islandica), a lichen, native to Iceland, Scandinavia and mountainous districts of Britain and Europe generally. It is ground up with flour and added to soups in Iceland; but is little used there, and is not exported. It is, however, collected in Sweden as a food and medicine. It contains 70 per cent. of lichenin, a mucilaginous modification of starch, and a bitter acid principle which may have some slight medicinal properties, but is usually removed by soaking the "moss" in water or dilute solution of carbonate of soda. Iceland moss, when boiled, forms a jelly which is mixed with wine or milk; or it is ground up writh cocoa; and it is supposed to be useful in pulmonary complaints; but is merely demulcent and very slightly nutritious.