Feb 12, 2014
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Family ► Lycopodiaceae.

Habitat ► Indigenous to North America, Europe, Asia; found in Kumaon, eastwards in West Bengal, Sikkim, Asam, Khasi Hills, Manipur and in Western Ghats.

English ► Common Club Moss.

Folk ► Naaga-beli (Nepal), Bendarali (Maharashtra).

Action ► Sedative, antispasmodic, diuretic. At one time used for urinary disorders (spasmodic retention of urine, catarrhal cystitis and chronic kidney disorders), and as a gastric sedative in gastritis.

The plant contains alkaloids (about 0.1-00.2%), including lycopodine, ly- codoline, faucettimine and lycoflexine; triterpenoids including clavatol and oxoserrat derivatives; flavonoids including apigenin; polyphenolic acids including dihydrocaffeic.

Lycopodine produces uterine contractions and stimulates peristalsis in the small intestines of rodents.

The plant contains (dry basis): lipid 4.06 and desmethylsterols 0.05%.

Used in homoeopathy for distended abdomen, cough, cystitis, renal colic and disorders of menstruation.

Chinese Club Moss, equated with Huperzia serrata, is a different herb. Its constituent, huperzine A is thought to be beneficial in dementia due to its effect on acetylcholine levels.

L. annotinum Linn., L. complanatum Linn. (American Club Moss) and L. selago Linn. are among other species of Lycopodium occurring in India.

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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