Prečica spore Lycopodium clavatum (Lycopodiaceae)

Prečica spore Lycopodium clavatum (Lycopodiaceae)

Prečica spore Lycopodium clavatum (Lycopodiaceae)

Lycopodium clavatum (Lycopodiaceae)
Common names: Clubmoss; Antler Herb
How used: Medicinal
Activities: 83 Chemicals w/Activities: 10 Chemicals: 24

Dejstva: Antioxidant Cancer-Preventive Antiinflammatory Pesticide Diuretic Hypocholesterolemic Antiarthritic Antispasmodic Vasodilator Antileukemic Antitumor Choleretic Antiarrhythmic Anxiolytic Antimutagenic Antiosteoporotic Antibacterial Hypotensive Antiviral Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor Antialopecic Antiaggregant Insectifuge Antidiabetic Antiestrogenic AntiHIV Analgesic Antidepressant Antiallergic Cytotoxic Immunomodulator Antitumor (Skin) Antihypertensive Antihistaminic Antifatigue Antiherpetic Hepatoprotective Antiseptic Antiradicular Anticoronary Laxative Antiproliferant Antiepileptic Sunscreen Antiacne Immunostimulant Fungicide AntiPMS Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor Antiencephalopathic NF-kB-Inhibitor Xanthine-Oxidase-Inhibitor Antitumor-Promoter Antianemic Antisyndrome-X Myorelaxant Hypercholesterolemic Antimelanomic FLavor Antiangiogenic …


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List, P.H. and Horhammer, L., Hager’s Handbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis, Vols. 2-6, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1969-1979.
Jeffery B. Harborne and H. Baxter, eds. 1983. Phytochemical Dictionary. A Handbook of Bioactive Compounds from Plants. Taylor & Frost, London. 791 pp.
J.S. Glasby Dict.Pls Containing 2ndary Metabolite. 1991.
Williamson, E. M. and Evans, F. J., Potter’s New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations, Revised Ed., Saffron Walden, the C. W. Daniel Co., Ltd., Essex UK, 362 pp, 1988, reprint 1989.
Chemical Constituents of Oriental Herbs (3 diff. books)
List, P.H. and Horhammer, L., Hager’s Handbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis, Vols. 2-6, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1969-1979.
Bisset, N.G., ed. 1994. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL. 566 pp.
Hutchings, A, Scott, AH, Lewis, G, and Cunningham, A. 1996. Zulu Medicinal Plants. An inventory. University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg. 450 pp.

Lycopodium Q, Homeopathic Mother Tincture

Lycopodium (U. S. P.)—Lycopodium

Botanical name:
Huperzia saururus
Lycopodiella inundata
Lycopodium annotinum
Lycopodium clavatum
Lycopodium complanatum

„The spores of Lycopodium clavatum, Linné, and of other species of Lycopodium„—(U. S. P.).
Nat. Ord.—Lycopodiaceae.
COMMON NAMES AND SYNONYM: (Plant) Club moss; (Spores) Lycopodium seed, Pulverized lycopodium, Vegetable sulphur, Sporae lycopodii.
ILLUSTRATION: Bentley and Trimen, Med. Plants, 299.

Botanical Source.—Club moss is a creeping perennial with a trailing stem, giving off several ascending leafy branches. The stem is often several feet in length and thickly clothed with lance-linear, awl-shaped, smooth, flat, evergreen leaves, which are imbricated and inflexed. The branches are from 2 to 4 inches high, the fertile ones having a long, terminal peduncle supporting from 1 to 3 erect, long, cylindrical flower spikes which are clothed with ovate, sharp-pointed bracts, bearing in their axils the yellow reniform sporangia (thecae).

History.—Lycopodium, or Common club moss, is found in almost all parts of the earth, especially in northern regions, growing in dry situations, as pastures, mountains, and woods. The spores, the chief medicinal portion, are shaken out of the renal-shaped capsules (sporangia) which grow on „the inner side of the bracts covering the fruit spike“ (Pharmacographia) as a yellowish powder. The drug is gathered in Germany, Russia, and Switzerland, during the months of July and August, by the peasants, who cut the tops from the plants and carry them to their homes, where the powder is obtained by shaking the tops and sifting out the extraneous matter. As the plant fails to be plentiful some years, the annual collection is apt to vary much.

Description.—According to the U. S. P., lycopodium is „a fine powder, pale, yellowish, very mobile, inodorous, tasteless, floating upon water and not wetted by it, but sinking on being boiled with it, and burning quickly when thrown into a flame. Under the microscope the spores are seen to be sphaero-tetrahedral, the surfaces marked with reticulated ridges, and the edges beset with short projections. Lycopodium should be free from pollen, starch, sand, and other impurities, any of which are easily detected by means of the microscope. When ignited with free access of air, lycopodium should not leave more than 5 per cent of ash“—(U. S. P.).

If lycopodium be heated slowly it burns with violence, but if brought in contact with a flame, it suddenly catches fire with a vivid flash and a hissing explosiveness. Unlike most bodies, when triturated it becomes darker in color, assuming a somewhat greasy and coherent state. When dried at 100° C. (212° F.), it loses but 4 per cent of moisture (Pharmacographia).

Chemical Composition.—Sugar to the extent of 3 per cent (Langer, 1889, 2.1 per cent), was found in lycopodium by Bucholz (1807). Pollenin is the name applied to the material composing the walls of the cells. Alfons Langer (Archiv der Pharm., 1889, pp. 241, 289, and 625), obtained from the spores of commercial Lycopodium clavatum 49.34 per cent of a greenish-yellow oil having an acid reaction and consisting of about 80 to 86.6 per cent of a peculiar lycopodium-oleic acid (C16H30O2 or [CH3]2CH.CH.CH.C[CH2].(CH2)9.COOH, decyl-isopropyl acrylic acid), with varying quantities of glycerin (about 3 to 5 per cent), and solid fatty acids, chiefly myristic acid. The spores must be powdered by trituration with quartz-sand if all of the oil is to be extracted (Pharmacographia). A. Bukowski (Archiv der Pharm., 1889, p. 625), analysing freshly collected spores, obtained an oil of neutral reaction, and a constant quantity (8.2 per cent) of glycerin. It also differed in chemical composition from that obtained by Langer. The latter found the spores to contain 0.857 per cent of nitrogen, corresponding to 5.3 per cent of protein substance. When heated with solution of caustic potash, the spores yielded monomethylamine (CH3NH2). Upon being incinerated, they gave 1.16 per cent of ash. The spores have the peculiar property of oxidizing a portion of the alcohol with which they are macerated, to aldehyde.

Adulterations.—Besides the possible adulterants mentioned by the U. S. P., dextrin and spores of other species of Lycopodium, gypsum, talc, sulphur, and rosin may be present. According to A. L. Reichert (Pharm. Review, 1898, p. 260), most of the specimens of lycopodium examined were practically free from adulteration, containing mostly fragments of the sporangium wall as impurities; one specimen contained 20 per cent of pine pollen, and two other specimens had potato starch, in one amounting to 30 per cent.

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—This agent was for a long time used only as a dusting powder for protective purposes in erysipelas, intertrigo, herpes, ulcers, eczemas, etc. Druggists used it to prevent pills from adhering to each other in the boxes, and pyrotechnists employed it in the manufacture of their wares. Of recent years it has become quite important as a remedy in our school, the suggestion coming first from the homoeopaths, who use it quite extensively. It was introduced to us as a remedy by Prof. Scudder. He prepared a tincture of the fresh plant before it had cast its sporules with 98 per cent alcohol, and also a tincture of the sporules first triturated in a dry mortar until doughy, then placing them in a percolator, covering with alcohol, allowing to macerate 4 days, when the tincture was drawn off. He recommended the tincture of the sporules in „extreme sensitiveness of the surface; sensitiveness of a part, and care to prevent its being touched; slow, painful boils; nodes or swellings; extreme sensitiveness of the organs of special sense, with pale, livid, or dirty complexion“ (Spec. Med. 174) (I can’t find it. Perhaps it’s in a later edition. -Henriette)

In fevers showing an obscure periodicity lycopodium has been found curative. The cases are not distinctly agues nor ordinary intermittents, and consequently not influenced by quinine. The febrile phenomena are not active, and there may be an irritable stomach, with either diarrhoea, dysentery, or constipation, an obscure colic being associated with the latter, and some sore throat. The fever, though not active, is intractable, and exceedingly depressing, and the characteristic symptoms guiding the selection of lycopodium are a high-colored red urine staining the clothing, and an afternoon exacerbation, usually occurring in the middle of the afternoon.

Lycopodium is an efficient gastric sedative, and with the high-colored red urine, and the patient suffering more in the afternoon, will be found of value in dyspepsia, and especially if constipation and cardiac palpitation are also present. There is tenderness over the stomach and a sense of fullness. Pyrosis, with flatulence, is corrected by it, and in indigestion, with fermentative changes and borborygmus, it should be remembered when the special indications above alluded to are present. It is reputed useful in catarrhal gastritis.

Lycopodium is prominent as a remedy in urinary disorders. Spasmodic retention of urine in children, and catarrhal cystitis in adults, with deposits of mucus or mucus and blood, with frequent painful micturition, are disorders in which it has rendered good service. It is a remedy for the lithic acid diathesis, when there is pain in the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, with unpleasant sensations in micturition, and there are red, sandy deposits in the urine. Gonorrhoea, gleet, vesical catarrh, and rheumatism with uric acid diathesis, are said to be benefited by lycopodium. Dr. Scudder recommended the tincture of the plant in chronic kidney diseases with blood in the urine; and in cases of „cough with bloody expectoration, congestive headache, dizziness, and tendency to syncope.“ The usual method of administering lycopodium for its specific effects is as follows: Rx Specific lycopodium, gtt. x; aqua, fl℥iv. Mix. Sig. Dose, a teaspoonful every 1 or 2 hours.

Specific Indications and Uses.—Intractable forms of fever, not of an active type, showing obscure periodicity, with afternoon exacerbation, and the voiding of a high-colored red urine, staining the clothing; dyspepsia and indigestion with the same urinary symptoms, or with red, sandy deposits in the urine, palpitation, constipation, borborygmus, and water brash; spasmodic retention of urine in children; cystic catarrh in adults, with painful micturition; urine loaded with mucus or blood, or both, or deposits of red sand or phosphates; cough with bloody expectoration, congestive headache, dizziness, and tendency to fainting.

Related Species.—There are several varieties of Lycopodium whose spores are sometimes collected with those of L. clavatum. Among them may be mentioned the Lycopodiumsinnundatumcomplanatum, and annotinum—of Linnaeus. An alkaloid lycopodine (C32H52N2O3) was obtained from L. complanatum by K. Boedeker (1882).

Lycopodium saururus. This plant is the Piligan of Brazil. Piliganine, a toxic alkaloid not identical with the above lycopodine, was discovered in it by Adrian (Jahresb. der Pharm., 1886 and 1892). A dog succumbed to 2 grains of this alkaloid, which is said to possess emeto-cathartic, and convulsant properties. The plant likewise acts as an emeto-cathartic, doses of 4 grains of the extract producing purgation. As a cathartic, piliganine hydrochlorate maybe administered in doses of from 1/6 to 1/3 grain.

King’s American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.


One of the many astonishing, delightful and almost incredible things about homeopathy, writes John Hughes-Games, is the fact that unlikely and sometimes completely inert substances, when prepared homeopathically, are transformed into powerful and deep acting medicines

I have an historic oak medicine chest, which belonged to relative, a Dr Clover who was a pioneer anaesthetist who devised the apparatus, which was used to give chloroform to Queen Victoria during the birth of some of her children. Inside the cabinet are rows of beautifully made glass bottles with ground glass tops and in one of them are four or five hand-rolled pills with traces of a powder. The powder almost certainly consists of the spores of Lycopodium (club moss) that was used to dust pills to stop them from sticking together.

Lycopodium is an excellent example of an unreactive substance within which are extraordinary healing properties. Although normally inert, if a powder of Lycopodium is thrown into a naked flame it explodes. The Lycopodium patient, although normally retiring and outwardly calm, is capable of sudden bursts of violent temper when things become “just too much” for him.

Reading the homeopathic textbooks, there seems to be an implication that it is almost always possible to “fit” your patient into a “constitutional” type. Unfortunately this is not true and very often one has to give the preparation which most nearly meets the case. Fortunately, this will often help a great deal but it is necessary to reassess the patient after a few weeks when quite a different medicine may now become indicated. I would like to tell you briefly about someone whom I saw at the homeopathic clinic at Sidmouth.

The patient
Mr S, a 60 year-old male (he looks considerably younger), consulted me because of headaches which started three years ago for no particular reason; there was no change in his life and he had no illnesses or stresses. He describes the headache as bursting. They would occur whenever he bent down and might last for a minute or two. They were worse if he coughed or sneezed and straining would increase the pain. Cigarette smoke, which he detested as it made him feel sick, seemed to make the pain worse. The headaches were bilateral and all the investigations were negative (including an MRI scan).

He sleeps poorly and often wakes at about four o’clock in the morning when his brain is very active. Sometimes he will drop into an uneasy sleep just before its time to get up. He is a very self-disciplined person and always makes himself get up at 7.30am. Occasionally in the night he gets very hot and he likes to throw off the bedclothes and uncover himself.

On examination
The patient is well dressed and a very good historian; he communicates well and seems quite at ease during the interview. He is articulate and co-operative.

Past history
He has always been a very healthy person but for the last few years he has suffered from time to time from attacks of labrynthitis, sometimes associated with vomiting, which were diagnosed as being due to inner ear viral infections. He had a slightly raised cholesterol (but normal blood pressure) that has responded successfully to diet. He does not suffer from indigestion.

Family history
His mother is still alive at 78 but little is known of her parents. Nothing is known of his natural father. He has a sister who is alive and well and two children, a son and a daughter, both alive and well plus two healthy grandchildren. There are no severe or recurrent illnesses in the family.

He has a moderately sweet tooth and quite enjoys well-salted dishes. He prefers his food hot rather than cold.

Weather and temperature reactions
Although he quite likes the heat, he is a warm person and is much better for cool weather. He likes being by the sea but hates to be on it as he is always seasick.

Social history
He had a very stressful and unhappy childhood. His natural father and mother were divorced when he was two years old and he had a bad time with his stepfather. He had a younger stepbrother who was always favoured and spoilt, whereas our patient was treated with severity and almost dislike. His stepfather died when Mr S was about 11 years old but our patient has never got on well with his mother even after his stepfather’s death. He disliked school intensely and didn’t do very well. He left home as soon as he could at 17 or 18 and enlisted with the RAF.

Although he denies being a worrier, in fact I think deep down there is a very real element of worry and insecurity. He is good at planning and he anticipates events. Although much involved in committees etc, he really prefers small numbers of people and is very happy with his own company. He says he is intolerant of stupidity although he very rarely loses his temper, however when he does he may blow up. He is tidy and neat and a very good planner. He quite likes speaking in public so long as he has the subject well prepared – which he always has!

(I am always interested in patients who say that they have no apprehension at all before speaking in public and that they enjoy it; it often transpires on questioning that initially they were terrified but by sheer determination, or demands made on them, overcame their fears and now rather delight in doing what used to frighten them!)

So far as his hobbies are concerned he is good at a number of ball games – all of which he has taught himself by determination rather than by a natural aptitude. He likes travel and is computer literate. He is not an animal lover. Collecting is not among his hobbies.

Although, far from having in any way a “closed personality”, I decided to give him Nat mur as I thought that the early traumas in his life might well have had an important part in the aetiology of his headaches. I also gave him Belladonna 6c to take at the first twinge of pain in the hope of aborting the attacks.

A month later
There was no improvement so I reconsidered the history.

Mr S told me that he had had occasional difficulties on the telephone when he would find it very difficult to choose the right words. He said moreover that when he was at school, which he hated, he became very easily confused by numbers and words particularly in stressful conditions; quite often he became inarticulate because of this confusion. His teachers interpreted this as stupidity. After he left home and joined the RAF he found difficulty in finding the right words when he was under pressure or stress; for instance, if addressing a senior officer. This anxiety-motivated confusion suggested Lycopodium to me. I gave him three powders of Lycopodium 30c.

I saw him a month later when there had been a slight improvement in the headaches just after taking the medication, but it only lasted a few days.

On 7 June last year, I gave him three powders of Lycopodium 1M, since when he has had no headaches even though he continues to play a number of different sports involving some bending and stooping. He feels very well.

There is a type of Lycopodium personality who forced by pressures or stresses or even by expectations of other people, learns sometimes at an early age, to surmount and cope with the sensitivities, fears and apprehensions, which are so typical of this remedy. Such people however, although able to overcome them, retain the Lycopodium anxieties and misgivings, particularly about things like public speaking and responsibilities, all their lives. These people, toughened by experiences, show great determination and often achieve eminence in many walks of life, including the arts, medicine and the forces. They are almost always basically gentle, retiring, sensitive patients who are thrust into public life by their considerable achievements and abilities.

I think that Mr S is an example of somebody who, because of the severe stresses put upon him in early childhood, was forced to overcome his natural apprehensions and fears to a very large degree and who has coped with them and almost completely subdued them. In fact he turns them to good account in that he is very sensitive to other people, good at conducting meetings and so on.

Our patient had none of the Lycopodium features, which are usually so evident. His brow was unfurrowed, he is athletic and forthcoming and is involved a number of societies and at meetings he is a good chairman (I think that the overcoming of his natural fears and anxieties makes him more inclined to undertake things than he would otherwise have done). He is not a collector (the Lycopodium personality often finds some degree of reassurance in surrounding himself with attractive, beautiful and valuable objects and Lycopodium patients are often connoisseurs of these things). He certainly isn’t in any way miserly. He doesn’t have any of the unpleasant attributes that according to some authorities are a tendency to whistle tunelessly between the teeth and to dribble a great deal in their sleep!

Lycopodium suggested itself very strongly in his mental confusion in times of stress, in his four o’clock aggravation, particularly at night when he would wake up and worry, in his becoming over-heated at night and wanting to uncover himself and in his preference for warm food. The headaches were worse for bending or stooping.

Of these things, of course, the mentals are the most important and this rather peculiar mental of confusion over words and figures, which I have found more than once in Lycopodium patients, is particularly significant. It is also most interesting that he hardly responded at all to the 30c of Lycopodium but 1M completely cured him. The Nat mur, often so useful for mitigating, lessening or undoing the ill effects of past mental trauma, may have prepared the way for the Lycopodium.

There are, I think, two interesting observations here; one is that the mentals are, as we all know, by far the most important in selecting a remedy and if one has a strong or peculiar mental, it carries a great deal of weight in deciding the prescription. The second is that potency can be extremely important.

Mr S is now thoroughly well and enjoying life without the headaches. As you might imagine, he is now a keen PR man for the homeopathic method.

A Fellow of the Faculty of Homeopathy and a past president, John Hughes-Games FFHom MBChB, was taught homeopathy by Margery Blackie and used it in general practice for nearly 30 years. He now lectures and examines for the Faculty as well as working privately in Bristol.

Effect of homeopathic Lycopodium clavatum on memory functions and cerebral blood flow

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