Club Moss
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Club Moss CLUB MOSS  
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Botanical:  Lycopodium clavatum
Family:  Lycopodiaceae (clubmoss)

Other common names:  Common Club Moss, Vegetable Sulphur, Wolf's Claw, Stag's Horn Clubmoss, Muscus Terrestris Repens, Ground Pine

Club Moss has been used for many years as an effective herbal diuretic that eases many conditions associated with suppressed urine, including the flushing of stones and gravel from the kidneys and gallbladder, accumulation of fluids in the tissues that produce swelling (edema), bladder irritation, cystitis, gout and rheumatoid arthritis, and that's just the beginning.

The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Club Moss is a moss-like evergreen plant with spores in club-shaped strobiles, and despite the name, it is not technically a moss, but rather, it is a plant allied to ferns.  Like fern, it is flowerless and seedless and has true leaves, stems, and roots.  Club Moss is a descendant of primitive plants that once dominated the Earth, growing nearly one hundred feet in height during the Carboniferous Era of about 360-286 million years ago.  The vast amounts of Club Moss vegetation that decayed has greatly contributed to the coal deposits we know today.  Modern Club Moss, which is a creeping plant, is much smaller in size, usually growing no higher than four inches or longer than ten feet and thrives in wet-to-moist, well-drained, loamy soils in woodlands, dappled shade, or even deep shade, in a humid atmosphere.  Club Moss does not propagate by seeds, but rather by single-celled propagules, or spores, and the species herein described (L. clavatum) is a rather advanced vascular plant that has specialized fluid-conducting tissues and produces a cluster of strobiles at the shoot apex, which increase the number of spores that can be produced.  Club Moss is found throughout the world, but the spores used for herbal medicines and commercial purposes are chiefly collected in Russia, Germany and Switzerland in July and August.  The tops of the plants are cut when the spikes approach maturity, and the spores (yellow powder) are shaken out of the kidney-shaped capsules (or sporangia) that grow on the inner side of the bracts covering the fruit spike and are separated by a sieve.  The whole plant was used by physicians of the Middle Ages as a stomachic and diuretic, mainly to flush stones and calculus from the kidneys, but the spores do not appear to have been used alone until the seventeenth century, when the herb was employed as a sedative, antispasmodic and diuretic to treat chronic urinary complaints and dropsy (edema).   It was officially listed in the United States Pharmacopœia as a treatment for irritability of the bladder.  It is interesting to note that the whole plant contains two toxic substances: lycopodine, which paralyzes the motor nerves, and clavatine; but the spores, which are used today in herbal medicine, are totally non-toxic.  Club Moss has widely valued commercial applications.  The spores are strongly water-resistant and are used to coat medicine tablets to prevent adhesion to one another when placed in containers or to confine a bad tasting medicine inside the pill.  It is such a powerful water-repellant that it is claimed when a hand is coated with the powder, it will not become wet when dipped in water.  The dried spores of Club Moss are also used in dusting powders for the skin and to dress moulds in iron foundries; and interestingly, the dried spores ignite explosively and have been used to produce fireworks, flash powder and theatrical flame effects.

Beneficial Uses:
Club Moss is a diuretic that has been used to treat chronic urinary complaints, such as irritability of the bladder and cystitis, as well as fluid buildup issues, such as dropsy (or edema, the accumulation of fluids in tissues that produces swelling).

Further supporting its diuretic applications, Club Moss helps to treat many ailments that are characterized by the suppression of urine, such as renal colic, calculi and stones in the kidneys and bladder (by helping to increase urine flow and flush debris through the system). This action also helps to relieve gout, hardening of the testes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Club Moss is said to be helpful in "women's complaints" and is thought to help treat irregular menstruation.

Used externally, Club Moss may be used as an herbal dusting powder to relieve various skin diseases, such as eczema, itchy or irritated areas and erysipelas, and it can also be used to absorb fluids from injured tissues and as a powder to prevent chafing in infants.  Moreover, it can be dusted on wounds to stop bleeding or inhaled to stop bleeding noses.

Club Moss is considered a digestive aid and stomachic that strengthens the function of the stomach, and as such, it has been used to aid digestion and ease gastritis.  It is also thought to be an antispasmodic and nervine that helps to calm spasms, diarrhea, dysentery and hydrophobia.

Overuse (many times the recommended dosage) of Club Moss Herbal Supplement may cause griping or grumbling pains in the intestinal tract.

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