Properties and uses of Lycopodium clavatum
The officinal lycopodium, also called Licopodium or Erba Strega (Lycopodium clavatum L., 1753) is a herbaceous species belonging to the Lycopodiaceae family. The plant is characterized by being perennial with scattered leaves, filamentous, with creeping caule that can exceed one meter in diameter. From the caulis branch off the twigs a centimeter long, terminated by two paired cylindrical ears, which carry in the interior a sporangium that contains spores of pale yellow color, morphologically identical (isospore) of about 30 μm in diameter. The plant is found in the mountainous areas of Asia and Europe, in the dry woods. In this sheet we will see properties and uses of Lycopodium clavatum.
Lycopodium officinale is used for its spores, which appear as a yellow-brown powder, odorless and tasteless, called lycopodium powder.
Especially in the past it was used in pharmacies for herbal teas, with diuretic and laxative virtues or for external use as a curative cleanser of skin affections. Also called “witch’s flour”, the spore powder was used in folk medicine against gastric and urinary disorders, against gout, as a sedative, antispasmodic, diuretic, laxative.
Its active ingredients are not well known and the presence of alkaloids (licopodina, clavatina and clavatoxin) makes it slightly toxic. Due to its hydrophobic and flammable properties it is used for fireworks or fake explosions. Historically, it was used as a dust for camera flashes.
Today it is used in homeopathic use with a sphere of action concerning the digestive system, in particular the liver and its functionality. Currently it is still used for external use as a decongestant and soothing in dermatitis and skin irritations in general and also for the hygiene of children. In phytotherapy, however, it is used on wounds and on eczema.
The homeopathic remedy Lycopodium clavatum is a polycrime used for a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. It is used in the acute phase, even if it is mainly used for the treatment of chronic problems.
The remedy is obtained from the mother tincture of the spore powder of the plant and the subsequent dilutions-dynamizations in hydroalcoholic solution.
In general, therefore, Lycopodium clavatum plays a stimulating action of the digestive and draining of the liver and is mainly used when the following disorders occur:
– feeling of abdominal weight;
– spastic constipation;
– bladder tenesmus;
– dry stools and poor defecations.
Lycopodium clavatum stimulates the metabolism and activity of excretory devices. It is extremely effective in case of lack of vitamins, mineral salts and excessive weight loss, because it helps the body to assimilate food.