Alternate Title

  • Lycopodium clavatum

Related Terms

  • Alpha-onocerin, ground pine, lyclavatol, lycopodine, Lycopodium alpinum, Lycopodium annotinum, Lycopodium chamaecyparissus, Lycopodium clavatum, Lycopodium complanatum, Lycopodium hamiltonii, Lycopodium selago, Lycopodiaceae (family), nankakurine A, running club moss, stag’s-horn clubmoss.
  • Combination product examples: Hepeel® (homeopathic extracts of chelidonium from Chelidonium majus, Carduus marianus from Silybum marianum, veratrum from Veratrum album, colocynthis from Citrullus colocynthis, lycopodium from Lycopodium clavatum, nux moschata from Myristica fragrans, houtt, and China from Cinchona pubescens).
  • Note: This monograph does not cover Chinese club moss (Huperzine serrata, Lycopodium serrata), a separate species that contains the sesquiterpene alkaloid huperzine A.

Background

  • Club moss grows along the ground and reproduces by producing spores, rather than seeds. Lycopodium clavatum has been used in folk medicine to treat bladder and kidney disorders and to increase urine flow. There is insufficient available evidence in humans to support the use of Lycopodium clavatum for any condition.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) PLANTS database, numerous species of club moss belong to two separate genera in the Lycopodiaceae family: Lycopodium and Huperzia. There is some overlap between the scientific names for species in both genera. The information in this monograph refers to the species Lycopodium clavatum.
  • Club moss species that contain huperzine, a cholinesterase inhibitor (e.g., Huperzine serrata, Lycopodium serrata) have been mistaken for Lycopodium clavatum and ingested, resulting in cholinergic poisoning.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (18 years and older)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for club moss in adults.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for club moss in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to Lycopodium clavatum, its constituents, or members of the Lycopodiaceae family.
    • Occupational asthma due to exposure to club moss spores in a condom-manufacturing facility has been reported.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Use cautiously in patients taking anti-inflammatory agents, cholinergic agonists, cholinesterase inhibitors, or cholinergic antagonists.
    • Avoid in patients with known allergy or hypersensitivity to Lycopodium clavatum, any of its constituents, or members of the Lycopodiaceae family.
    • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
    • Avoid confusing Lycopodium selago, a huperzine A-containing species with potent anticholinesterase activity, with Lycopodium clavatum. Ingestion of Lycopodium selago may result in cholinergic toxicity. Symptoms may include sweating, nausea, dizziness, cramping, and slurred speech.
    • Lycopodium clavatum spores used to coat protective condoms for ultrasound probes have been reported to interfere with test results from prostate biopsies.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Club moss may interfere with anticancer drugs, anticholinergic agents, anti-inflammatory agents, cholinergic agonists, and cholinesterase inhibitors.
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Club moss may interact with anticancer herbs, anticholinergic herbs, anti-inflammatory herbs, antioxidants, and cholinergic herbs.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • Andersen TC, Jurgensen GW, Christensen E. Lycopodium spores in transrectal ultrasound-guided core biopsies of the prostate. Scand J Urol Nephrol 1998;32(2):148-149.
    View Abstract
  • Berkefeld K. [A possibility for verifying condom use in sex offenses]. Arch Kriminol 1993;192(1-2):37-42.
    View Abstract
  • Cullinan P, Cannon J, Sheril D, et al. Asthma following occupational exposure to Lycopodium clavatum in condom manufacturers. Thorax 1993;48(7):774-775.
    View Abstract
  • Felgenhauer N, Zilker T, Worek F, et al. Intoxication with huperzine A, a potent anticholinesterase found in the fir club moss. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 2000;38(7):803-808.
    View Abstract
  • Gebhardt R. Antioxidative, antiproliferative and biochemical effects in HepG2 cells of a homeopathic remedy and its constituent plant tinctures tested separately or in combination. Arzneimittelforschung 2003;53(12):823-830.
    View Abstract
  • Nakamura S, Hirai T, Ueno, J. [Studies on bronchial asthma. 4. On occupational asthma considered to be caused by Lycopodium clavatum]. Arerugi 1969;18(4):258-262.
    View Abstract
  • Orhan I, Kupeli E, Sener B, et al. Appraisal of anti-inflammatory potential of the clubmoss, Lycopodium clavatum L. J Ethnopharmacol 2007;109(1):146-150.
    View Abstract
  • Orhan I, Terzioglu S, Sener B. Alpha-onocerin: an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor from Lycopodium clavatum. Planta Med 2003;69(3):265-267.
    View Abstract
  • Rollinger JM, Ewelt J, Seger C, et al. New insights into the acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of Lycopodium clavatum. Planta Med 2005;71(11):1040-1043.
    View Abstract