- A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. M. Grieve Home Page

Moss, American Club

Botanical: Lycopodium complanatum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Lycopodiaceae

---Synonym---American Ground Pine.

The American Ground Pine is not a flowering plant, but one of the Club Mosses, which with the Ferns and Mosses belong to the great class of Cryptogams. The genus Lycopodium holds, as it were, an intermediate place between the Ferns and Mosses and includes only six British species, though there are about sixty-five distributed over the world.

Lycopodium complanatum, the American Club Moss, is a small mossy plant with aromatic, resinous smell and slightly turpentiny taste, the stalks hairy and the leaves close set, characteristics which have gained it the popular name of Ground Pine, as in the case of Yellow Bugle. The stem is long and creeping, only about 1/2 inch in diameter, yellowish-green, giving off at intervals erect, fan-shaped forked branches about 4 inches high, with minute scale-like leaves, leaving only the sharp tips free, the branches bearing fructification in the form of a stalked tuft of four to five cylindrical spikes, consisting of spore cases in the axils of minute bracts. The stem roots below at long intervals, the roots being pale, wiry and slightly branched.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---The whole plant is used, dried and powdered for infusion.

It has properties similar to the European Ground Pine, being a powerful diuretic, promoting urine and removing obstructions of the liver and spleen. It is therefore, a valuable remedy in jaundice, rheumatism and most of the chronic diseases.

A decoction of this plant, combined with Dandelion and Agrimony, is a highly recommended herbal remedy for liver complaints and obstructions.


Common Name Index

Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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