Concerning the wound-healing properties of Sphagnum holocellulose: the

This article is available at Sciencedirect, I accessed it through Evergreen Library.
Here is an overview of the article:

Sphagnum is 3-4 times more absorbent than cotton (pure).Sphagnum
reacts chemically with proteins enabling it to possibly "immobilize whole bacterial cells... enzymes, exotoxins and lysins secreted by the most invasive pathogens".

"... complex pectin in Sphagnum is structurally similiar to... other plants, including some that are traditionally used for wound healing."
Pectin in Sphagnum contains "highly reactive a-keto-carboxylic acid... a major component in hyaline cell walls of Sphagnum mosses..."
This reaction can cause 'tanning'. A 2000 year old preserved human body found in a peat bog in the UK underwent this process.

Sphagnum is not toxic to living cells.

*sidenote; research has been done duplicating this process with fish skins. sciencedirect "Preservation of fish by embedment in Sphagnum moss, peat or holocellulose:...)

Posted by skoksvalley skoksvalley, January 21, 2012 21:39


Photos / Sounds




January 14, 2012


This sample was gathered in a peat bog located on Skokomish tribal lands. A dear friend who is a tribal member graciously volunteered to take me there. I walked across this area, it was very spongy and wet.The area has several cedar trees (Thuja plicata) and a large population of Labrador tea. Native Americans use this for a traditional medicinal tea, called swamp tea. It is very high in vitamin C.

the capitulum located at the apex of the stem (resembles a flower head)

branches occur in bunches located on the stem (It looks like there are 4). The number of branches in the bunch (4 or 5) is one of the ways to id.

leaves very small (will update description after lab time).


Sphagnum is amazing. I had no idea that it was such an incredible plant.

Posted by calyptra over 10 years ago (Flag)

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