Club Moss is also known by the names Vegetable Sulphur and Wolf's Claw. Club Moss is found all over the world. The part of this small vascular plant used for health benefits are the minute spores which, as a yellow powder, are shaken out of the kidney-shaped capsules or sporangia growing on the inner side of the bracts covering the fruit spikes. The spores are collected chiefly in Great Britain, Russia, Germany and Switzerland, the tops of the plants being cut as the spikes approach maturity. The spores of Club Moss are gathered and sold as "lycopodium powder," or "vegetable sulfur," a highly inflammable yellow powder sometimes used for nutraceutical or scientific purposes (e.g., as an absorptive powder) and in fireworks.
The whole plant was used by ancient physicians as a stomachic and diuretic, mainly for kidney complaints. The spores do not appear to have been used alone until the seventeenth century, when they were employed as a diuretic in dropsy, diarrhea, dysentery, and complaints resulting in the suppression of urine. As a nervine, Club Moss was used in spasms and hydrophobia, as an aperient in cases of gout and scurvy, as a corroborant in joint pain, and also as an application to wounds. They have been prescribed for irritability of the bladder, in the form of a liquid extract, which was official in the United States Pharmacopoeia.
The spores are still medicinally employed by herbalists, both internally and externally, as a dusting powder in various skin problems such as eczema and erysipelas, and for excoriated surfaces, or to help avoid chafing in infants. Their chief pharmaceutical use is as a pill powder. They have such a strong water repellent power that, if the hand is powdered with them, it can be dipped in water without becoming wet. This is an herb also used on wounds to help support bleeding. It can still used by herbalists today to help support minor skin wounds. For gout and joint pain, even if the joints are deformed, and for chronic constipation and piles, Club Moss tea is often recommended. However, people who suffer from diarrhea should use the tea only with the greatest caution as cramps in the intestines could develop. The tea is also useful for all complaints of the urinary. and reproductive organs, for inflammations and hardening of the testes, formation of gravel in the kidneys and renal colic. For inflammation of the liver, growth of the connective tissues of the liver, even if malignant, Club Moss is considered indispensable.
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Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes. Pour into your cup; add milk and natural sweetener to taste.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea itself. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the serving pitcher straining the tea. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
More Photographs - Club Moss Tea (Lycopodium Clavatum) (Loose)
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."