Latin Name: lycopodium selago, clavatum, muscus terrestris repens
Alternative Name: selago, foxtail, lycopod, vegetable sulpher, wolf claw, stag’s horn moss, ground pine
Forms Available: Above-ground portions of the herb, spores
Club Moss – lycopodium selago or clavatum – Also called Selago, Foxtail, Lycopod, Vegetable Sulphur, Wolf Claw or Stag’s Horn Moss. This toxic, evergreen, mosslike herb has trailing stems, upright branches and developing cones encasing the ripe spores. The spores were once used for gastric and urinary disorders, as an antispasmodic sedative and to coat pills. Blackfoot Indians knew of the spores’ blood-stanching, wound-healing and moisture-absorbing properties and inhaled them for nosebleeds and dusted them on cuts. They are still used on wounds and eczema. The spores are explosive when set alight, and used to create theatrical lightening and added to fireworks. Magicians once used them to create “lightening flashes” and other pyrotechnics as needed. These effects were originally intended as a form of sympathetic magic -of evocation by emulation – not simply as stage effects.
The club mosses are found in North America, northern Europe, Asia, and the southern hemisphere. The plants are several inches in height and resemble moss. They creep by means of prostrate stems, which branch upward at intervals, with crowded, linear, simple leaves. Large two valved spore cases product the medicinally active spores.
While the whole plant was used by the ancients as a cathartic, the spores were used as a diuretic in edema, a drastic -a forceful agent of cure- in diarrhea and dysentery, a nervine for rabies and spasms, a mild laxative in cases of gout and scurvy, and a corroborant -strengthening agent- for rheumatism. The dose is ten to sixty grains of the spores.
The spores also make a dusting powder for skin diseases and diaper rash.
CAUTION: Selago can be an active narcotic poison when overused. For this reason it is probably better to use only the spores, which are non-toxic. The whole plant can be used externally, however, as a counter-irritant – made into a poultice, it will keep blisters open and kill lice.
Aromatherapy & Health Uses: A diuretic. Eases gout, gastritis. Antispasmodic, calms spasms and diarrhea.
Other Uses: When properly gathered, the herb becomes a charm of power and protection. Wear it, add it to incense, and use it to commune with the Gods and Goddesses.
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