Club Moss : Uses, Benefits, Characterstics

Club Moss Uses, Benefits, Characterstics
Club Moss Uses, Benefits, Characterstics

A herb known as Club Moss is one of the most studied plant species in the recent years.The scientific name of Club Moss is Lycopodium annotinum belonging to family Lycopodiaceae.

These plants are inhabitant to tropical mountains but also commonly found in the northern forests. Club mosses are evergreen herbs with needlelike or scalelike leaves. They contain cone-like clusters of small leaves known as

They contain cone-like clusters of small leaves known as strobiles and each of them has a kidney-shaped spore capsule at its base. This herb produces asexual spores to continue its generations.

Common names of Club Moss include Clubfoot Moss, Common Club Moss, Foxtail, Ground Pine, Running Club Moss, Stag-horn, Vegetable Sulfur, and Wolf’s Claw.

During the carboniferous period of ancient earth, several million years ago, Club Moss had a different kind of vegetation. They were vast in number and had almost 100 feet height. This kind of vegetation was found on earth before humans appeared.

So the present Club Moss is said to be a distant relative of the previous ones. Due to various mutations because of earth’s changing scenario it lost its giant figure. The remains of the huge club moss still remain in the fossil fuels and coal which are found under the earth.

Due to various mutations because of earth’s changing scenario it lost its giant figure. The remains of the huge club moss still remain in the fossil fuels and coal which are found under the earth.

It is a small sized herb which possesses a ground touching stem which attains a height about four feet when it becomes fully grown. It has characteristic dense spiral clusters of yellowish-green coloured leaves and about the 3-foot long stem.

The asexual spores which it produces for propagation are present in 2 to 3 cylindrical cone-like structures and they carry the reproductive organs in it. The spores are very minute structures having a light yellow colour.

Uses Of Club Moss:

There are various uses of this small herb. They are as follows-

  • The name club moss had in earlier days was Vegetable Sulfur. This name signifies the fact the yellow spores contain a highly inflammable oil produced by the powder substance in them.In earlier days this powder was used for the stage lightening by stage designers. It was also used as a flash for photography. These spores were also used a baby powder and an absorbent dusting powder during the 18th century.
  • In the middle age, this herb was used as a major constituent in various herbal remedies for disorders like kidney stones and was also used as diuretics.
  • Tablet coating is done by club moss as it provides an excellent waterproof ability as it is resistant to water. This property helps the tablets to not stick to each other and also disguises the taste of the drug.
  • Fires and explosives are also made from club spores because of its inflammation property and those explosives are highly dangerous. They fire up very easily.
  • In earlier days it was used for fireworks.
  • It is also used for the treatment of various urinary bladder disorders.
  • Disorders such as diarrhoea and dysentery can be treated by this herb.
  • Rabies induced hydrophobia, gout, scurvy, and rheumatism can also be treated by the help of this herb.
  • Many homoeopathy treatments can be done with this herb. Disorders such as constipation, chronic obstructive lung disease and bronchial disorders, aneurysms, and persistent fevers can be homeopathically treated using club moss herb.
  • Itchy and irritated areas of the skin can be protected and cured by application club moss spores as a topical herbal treatment.
  • It can also be used as an anti-spasmodic and a sedative agent.
  • It can also be used for rehabilitation from alcoholism and smoking habits.

Chemical Constituents Of Club Moss:

The chemical constituents of club moss are-

  • 1-0.2% alkaloids that include lycopod Eine.
  • Polyphenols
  • Flavonoids
  • Triterpenoids


The dosage varies with the type of disease the person is having and with the dosage form of club moss. For example, if a person is taking infusion for diarrhoea then he has to take only one cup per day.

Preparations Of Club Moss:

Various preparations of Club Moss are as follows-

  • Club Moss Tea or Infusion:

One tablespoon of club moss is added to half litre water and boiled for 1 hour. It is left undisturbed for some time. You can consume one cup of this tea in the morning on an empty stomach before breakfast to cure problems like constipation and congestion. People who are suffering from liver problem should drink 2 cups daily.

People suffering from diarrhoea should drink this tea carefully because it might cause intestinal spasms.

  • Club Moss Decoction:

A decoction of this herb can prepare by boiling water with the herb along with pansies, dandelion, birch, parsley, hip and bean pods for a long time. Consume 200 ml of the decoction 3 times a day before the main meals to keep disorders of lungs and bones at bay.

You can sweeten the decoction by adding honey.

  • Club Moss for Wounds:

This is especially for deep length cuts and bruises. Fill a pillow cover with wet club moss and apply to your wounds 4 to 5 times a day. Fresh herb should be taken every time you use it. For cramps attach it overnight in the area of swelling.

  • Club Moss Bath:

This is done for skin problems. 5-6 handfuls of club moss are taken and added to hot water and allowed to soak in it for a while. Then the water is again heated and used as bath water.

  • Homeopathy Preparation:

The herb is triturated in a lactose solution till the spores disintegrate and the oil contents are absorbed by the sugar solution. The solution is filtered and ready to use.

Toxic Reactions:

  • Overuse of this herb can lead to diarrhoea and it might become fatal.
  • The alkaloid present in this drug tends to paralyse the motor nerves and create internal toxicity.
  • It might create occupational asthma.

Health Benefits Of Club Moss As Drug:


Some studies of the extract of this drug have shown anti-inflammatory properties and also support its folkloric use.

2.Antimicrobial, Antifungal, and Antiviral:

Recent researches have shown that the herb shows antifungal action on Staphylococcus aureus. It also showed the antiradical effect on DPPH. Hence, it can be suggested that the drug has all the above-mentioned properties.

3.Hepatoprotective and Antitumor:

There have been researches which showed that the extract of the herbs when given to a mice actually altered the functioning of the hepato-carcinogens. Treatment with the spores decreased a good amount of occurrence of tumours in the liver of a mice. This proves actions against hepatotoxicity.

4.Anti-Cancer Property and Chemotherapeutic Potential:

Ethanolic extract of the drug contains various types of alkaloids which show major potential for chemotherapy.

5.Carbon tetrachloride-Induced Damage:

Micro-anatomical studies of the hepatic tissues confirmed that herb can protect the livers from carbon tetrachloride damage in rats.

6.Chemical Marker Powder and Forensic Use:

The spores of club moss have been tested to produce a powder which can be used as a chemical marker for various forensic studies and evaluation.

7.Analgesic and CNS Depressant Effects:

Various studies on the homoeopathic formulation os this herb has shown that the drug shows analgesic and CNS depressant effects. Behavioural studies have proved the action of the drugs in rats and mice.

8.Antiprotozoal Activity:

There have been researches done to prove the antiprotozoal activity and it has shown effective results against Trypanosome Rhodesian’s, Trypanosome crazy, Leishmaniadonovani and Plasmodium falciparum. The use of the drug showed zero toxicity.

9.Anti-Cancer and Homeopathic Dilutions:

Homoeopathic treatments of this herb have shown a great ability of this herb to induce apoptosis in cancer cells.


Researches have proved that club moss is very effective in preventing oxidative stress damage in liver tissue of mice.

I hope I have mentioned all the information regarding the evolutionary herb Club Moss and I also hope that you have learned all that you needed to know. We are happy to help.


Dr.M.Gopi Krishna is a renowned professor in the dept. of Rasa Shastra and Bhaishajya kalpana at Sri Jagadguru Gavisiddheshwara Ayurvedic Medical College & Post Graduate Research Center.He has personally made around 250 Ayurvedic preparations and self dispense in his own clinic for his patients.

  • aurica petrovan

    Thank you Dr Gopi for this valuable information of clubmoss homeopathic
    health benefits it is good to know I’m very interested in holistic healing for quite some time and I had many great experience of homeopatic healing