Club moss is a low-growing, creeping, evergreen plant. It has dense spirals of bright, yellow-green leaves and a one-metre long stem that sprawls on the ground. Spores are produced in two to three cylindrical cones and are best when collected either in July or August. It is available in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and grows on higher altitudes, on grassy areas in highlands.
The phytochemical components of this plant, which attribute to its diuretic, carminative, anti-alcoholic, antispasmodic, anti-poison, anti-cirrhotic, and purgative properties include-alkaloids, radium, lycopodin, resin, gum, flavonoids, polyphenols and triterpenes.
Parts used are the spores (whole lichen).
Club moss tea is prepared by infusing one teaspoon of club moss in 150 mls of boiled water for 15 minutes. A cup per day is consumed slowly in the morning, on an empty stomach or at least half an hour before breakfast. You may take another cup, two hours after dinner.
Equal amounts of club moss can also be combined with other plants, like- dandelion, parsley, corn (styles) and chickweed. A quantity of 200 ml of the mixture is consumed two to three times per day, between meals, sweetened with honey, if desired. Please note that dosages of different preparations made from club moss may differ and depend on the individual.
Club moss is a plant used in treating and lessening various diseases of the body.
For digestive disorders: Accompanied by too much bloating and formation of gas in the gastro-intestinal tract, club moss tea is recommended. An acquaintance of mine, a victim of sickle-cell anemia, suffered for years from abdominal bloating, which is one of the symptoms of the disease. The stomach was so bloated and very hard that nothing she wore fitted her and she always looked pregnant.
On recommendation, she got some club moss, which she took daily and this helped her very quickly. The result got from this therapy was so amazing that I have ever since then recommended it to many people with bloated abdomens and shapeless figures.
For muscle complaints: Club moss is used for calming muscle cramps, thanks to its analgesic properties. If you are suffering from muscle cramps and gout, stuff up a small cotton pillowcase or cotton cloth bag with club moss and then wrap the affected area in lengths of the club moss. Other herbals recommend the pillowcase be placed over the liver or under the pillow while one sleeps. This may greatly help as an anti spasmodic.
Weakness and numbness of the limbs: One tablespoon used in decoction is topically applied 2-3 X daily.
For menstrual pain and other related problems associated with menstrual period: Club moss helps with cramps and mood disorders, which are two things some women are said to go through in their monthly circle.
Footbaths with club moss infusions are respectively recommended for leg cramps and cramps in the other parts of the body.
For eczema as well as wound healing: Its spores, dusted into powder and applied on the skin could ease skin irritation and itching. I have used it successfully on open sores, bedsores and weeping eczema. I would add half a teaspoon of menthol crystals or camphor to a handful of club moss and apply as dusting powder on skin diseases and skin eruptions. It can also be included in baby powders.
You can add the club moss powder to Shea butters and apply on cracks in the finger and also chronic eczema of the hands and fingers.
For hair manageability: Add 10 drops of the tincture to water meant for washing hair to strengthen the hair and make it less friable, thus preventing hair loss. It is noted to even promote fast hair growth.
Club moss is also said to be useful in curing emotional disorders, anxiety, nervousness, intolerance, insomnia, night and day fears as well as talking and laughing during sleep.
Other uses of club moss include arthritis, chronic constipation and piles, urinary complaints, shortness of breath, food poisoning, hepatitis, infections in the chest and pneumonia. It can also be used to treat irritability, as well as alcoholism and eating disorders, inflammations of the testes, problems of the kidneys as well as the prostate, headaches, fevers, sore throats, exhaustion owing to flu, chronic dry coughs, chronic fatigue syndrome, erectile dysfunction, ear ache among many others.
Safety: Club moss can be toxic if taken in high doses. Always use the plant under the supervision of a professional. It is recommended that people suffering from diarrhea use this herb with caution, so that it doesn’t cause intestinal spasms.