Lichens are a combination of plant and fungus. While it is possible to separate the plant and fungal parts of lichen in a laboratory, and some of these plant and fungus species also live independently, for all intents and purposes lichens are singular beings rather than colonies.
And as such oak moss is a type of light green to green black lichen, a fungus growing on trees found in many mountainous temperate forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere, Oak moss is the most controversial ingredient in perfume in recent times.
In perfumery oak moss has been prized for its aroma, heavy and oriental-like at first, becoming very refined when dried, reminiscent of bark, seashore and foliage.
The essential oil of Oak Moss is extracted first by the solvent extraction method, which first yields a concrete, and then is completed by a vacuum distillation method. It contains antiseptic, demulcent, expectorant, and restorative therapeutic properties. It is added to soaps to enhance their antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.
It is also added to cosmetic creams and lotions to help combat inflammations on the skin and those obtained during shaving. The oil is mostly produced in France, with the USA and Bulgaria following suit.
The process of loosening the hard phlegm or catarrh accumulations in the various parts of the respiratory system, such as the bronchi, trachea, larynx, pharynx, and lungs and removing them from the body is called expectoration. It gives immense relief from congestion in the chest, breathing troubles, asthma attacks, and coughs.
The agent that results in expectoration is called an expectorant. The essential oil of Oakmoss is a powerful expectorant; it pulls out phlegm and catarrh and gives relief from the associated symptoms.
Again, this does not make you feel sleepy like most of the expectorants that are available on the market. It also has anti-inflammatory qualities that aid in soothing swollen spots on the body.
As with all essential oils, do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.