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Re: [pfaf] Spanish Moss - Bromeliaceae

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  • daniel wildman
    Steve: Thank You for this information about the Spanish Moss -Bromeliaceae. I found it very helpful. Dan ... From: Steve Sainsbury To:
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 8, 2008
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      Steve: Thank You for this information about the Spanish Moss -Bromeliaceae. I found it very helpful. Dan


      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Steve Sainsbury <permalove@...>
      To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, April 7, 2008 10:04:06 PM
      Subject: [pfaf] Spanish Moss - Bromeliaceae

      Hi everyone.

      On the subject of edible/medicinal uses, the NRCS (National Resources
      Conservation Service) at the USDA has a comment about the bromeliad Spanish
      Moss or "Old Man's Beard" - *Tillandsia usneoides* - being used in a tea to
      treat chills and fever.
      This is the only note I have found so far on consumption, and it should be
      viewed solely as trivia until you consult someone with ethnobotanical
      training.

      However, many uses are listed for the fibres - most by Native Americans, and
      some dating to 3000 years ago or more. A few are; cloth for bedding, floor
      mats, horse blankets, nets and sieves; rope; dried "wool" for fire arrows;
      fibre for adobe-type plaster; dried fibres were used to scrub food off of
      utensils and cookware.

      The fibre is "retted" (not "rotted") just as hemp is - by allowing it to sit
      in water until the outer skin sloughs off and separated into strands and
      woven into rope or cloth.
      The internal fibre is black and wiry.

      Bats, birds, spiders and insects (including redbugs and chiggers) all use
      this bromeliad as habitat and/or nesting material. Consensus suggests
      Wynette is correct in boiling it to kill unwanted guests.

      Peace,

      Steve.

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