Lichens are a type of edible fungus that grows between rock or tree trunks in the Himalayan region and in the Western Ghats. Kalpasi does not have a specific aroma in dried form but releases a soft sweet earthly aroma when cooked in hot ghee or oil.
It is used in Chettinad, Awadhi, Marathi, and Hyderabadi cuisine. It adds the signature black colour to Goda Masala of Maharashtra.
It helps dissolve Kidney Stones, prevent urinary tract infections. It possesses anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties.