Lycopodium. Lycopodium clavatum.

Botanical name: 



Fixed oil, sugar, volatile base (methylamine), alumina, phosphoric acid.


Specific Medicine Lycopodium. Dose, from one to fifteen minims.
Powdered Lycopodium. For external use.
Tincture of Lycopodium. Dose, from one to twenty minims.

The tincture prepared from the triturated sporules, contains to the fullest extent the medicinal principles of the herb.

Physiological Action—The older writers claimed that the agent acted as a stimulant to the sympathetic visceral system of nerves and influenced the functional activity of all organs so controlled. It was believed to increase the tone of the liver, and to restrain over-action of the kidneys and eliminative organs.

Specific Symptomatology—Extreme sensitiveness of organs of special sense. Pain under the ribs and around the waist; shooting pains under the shoulder blades; severe pains across the stomach; nausea; vomiting of sour and bitter food; persistent constipation; painful bleeding piles; coldness of the extremities; pale, ashy or jaundiced complexion, with dirty skin; in some cases of flatulence, with distention of the intestines; persistent constipation of children; irritation of the bowels following an injection; sour stomach and heartburn; in old standing congestions of the liver, with great desire to sleep after eating. All conditions accompanied with excess of uric acid are benefited by it.

Therapy—The simple powder is used extensively as an application to tender and irritable conditions of the skin, and as an application to certain skin diseases to which a dry powder would seem applicable—to intertrigo, erysipelas, eczema, herpes, and ulcerated surfaces and perhaps to burns. Its domestic use is in its application to chafed surfaces and as a dusting powder for infants.

The agent is said to be dependable in its influence upon certain severe forms of dyspepsia. That common condition present in catarrhal gastritis, evidenced by soreness on pressure over the stomach, and a sensation of fullness of the stomach when only a little has been eaten, is quickly relieved by its use.

It is advised in rheumatic conditions, especially if accompanied by any of the above indications. It is depended upon as a cure for the uric acid diathesis and in this probably lies its influence upon rheumatism.

Dr. Harrison of Illinois treated several cases of fever that had morning remissions, but the highest occurred in the middle of the afternoon, in which the urine was suddenly of a dark red color, and deposited the usual stains of the urates with considerable uric acid. In another case, there was cerebral and spinal irritation. The urine was similar in all the cases. Small doses of lycopodium, twenty drops in four ounces of water, a teaspoonful every two hours, was sufficient to modify all the conditions and overcome the fever.

In its action upon the urinary apparatus it relieves urinary incontinence, especially if caused by an excess of uric acid and the urates, painful urination and vesical catarrh.

It is also serviceable in gonorrhea and in gleet.

The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.