Lycopodium is an herb that is widely prescribed in homeopathic medicine, but some of the most common uses include as a treatment for digestive issues and as a natural way of controlling certain mental health concerns, particularly anxiety and panic attacks. It is also frequently administered to people suffering from respiratory tract infections and airway problems, and many practitioners consider it to be something of a “cure all” that can be taken for everything from headaches to the common flu. Simply ingesting part of all of the lycopodium plant isn’t usually the proper way to go about getting these benefits, though. Most homeopathic practitioners recommend taking the supplement in either powdered capsule or brewed tea format, both of which concentrate the benefits to deliver a regulated and measured dose. Like any herbal remedy, though, it is not without its risks, and people are usually advised not to self-diagnose or treat themselves in order to avoid potentially dangerous side effects and interactions.
Lycopodium is known scientifically as Lycopodium clavatum, and plants in this class can be known by many names. Club moss, running pine, creeping cedar, and lamb’s tail are among the most common; fox tail and vegetable sulphur are also popular in some places. Plants in this family grow in many regions of the world, though the majority of varietals are native to central Asia. Most parts of the plant have been used medicinally since the Middle Ages, and lycopodium in homeopathy is still common for treating a wide range of physical, mental and emotional ailments.
Treating Digestive Issues
Perhaps one of the most common uses of this plant is as a treatment for different digestive and issues. Since the 17th century, lycopodium has been prescribed to treat problems with the liver, gallbladder, and urinary and digestive tracts. Many people believe that it is effective in relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea and vomiting, indigestion and bloated abdomen. It also can relieve symptoms of gas, cramping, excessive flatulence, constipation and bleeding hemorrhoids.
The leaves and roots may also be beneficial as a preventive measure; when taken this way, they’re usually consumed with or immediately after foods that are known to cause gas or other intestinal discomfort, such as beans or cabbage. The herb has also proven helpful for men who suffer from an enlarged prostate and patients who pass sand-like sediments in urine as a side effect of kidney stones or genital herpes.
Use in Mental Health
Lycopodium also has a number of uses in the mental health arena. It is most commonly recommended for people who project an outward self-confidence but who are actually terrified of failing, usually as a result of anxiety, panic attacks, or extreme nervousness. These include sufferers of stage fright and those who fear public speaking or performing. Certain compounds in the plant may also make it effective for people who have a fear of being alone or a fear of the dark, as well as sleep-related issues like sleepwalking or sleep talking and chronic insomnia.
It is sometimes also used as a treatment for people who suffer from fears of commitment. People in this category tend to fear change and, as a result, often avoid forging close relationships because of the responsibilities they so often bring. These people often suffer sexual problems, too, including low libido or extreme promiscuity, frigidity, premature ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction. All of these symptoms may respond favorably to properly prescribed doses of lycopodium.
A number of chest infections and breathing problems can also be relieved if not cured by regular use of this plant. The plant's spores are useful for soothing dry, tickling coughs and sore throats, for instance, and they may also help the sort of labored breathing that worsens when a person lies on his or her back. In many cases the spores can clear congestion of the respiratory system by breaking up mucus accumulations.
Headaches and Other Issues
Depending on the individual, the plant can have more or less ubiquitous benefits. Homeopathic experts often recommend this herb for relief from neuralgia-type headaches, particularly those occurring on the right side; chronic fatigue syndrome; and exhaustion distinguished by flu-like symptoms, just to name a few. It might also be a useful treatment for a variety of hair and skin conditions like dandruff, hair loss, and psoriasis.
In general, people should not eat or drink anything other than water for at least 15 minutes before and immediately after taking any homeopathic treatment, lycopodium included, in order to maximize the benefits. Patients should also usually avoid coffee, alcohol, carbonated drinks, red meat, chocolates and rich, spicy foods when using a this sort of medicine, because these might interfere with the herb's potency. All homeopathic remedies should be kept away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight and should be stored in a cool, dry place to preserve their strength.
Lycopodium may be all natural, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that is it safe for everyone and in all amounts. As with any treatment, it is important that a patient follows his or her homeopathic doctor's prescribed dosage exactly in order for the supplement to be safe and effective. Most of the time dosing is done based on individual characteristics like weight and overall health, as well as the specifics of the condition being treated.
There aren’t usually any side effects lycopodium in homeopathy when the supplement is taken as directed, but it can interact with a number of prescription medications and it can also cause trouble when too much is taken at time. Somewhat ironically for those using the herb for intestinal trouble, overdose can usually cause serious bowel and intestinal cramping. It’s almost always a good idea for people to discuss any other medications and conditions with their practitioner before beginning a lycopodium regimen to avoid dosing and interaction problems.