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Know Your Remedies: Lycopodium Clavatum (Lyc.)

Common Names: Clubmoss; Stag’s horn clubmoss.

General Information

Lycopodium Clavatum (Lyc.) is a key remedy for lack of confidence, and types of acute and chronic digestive disorders. Physical symptoms such as eczema and cracked heels tend to be on the right-side of the body, be worst on the right side, or start on the right and before extending to the left. Symptoms worsened by warm rooms and between 4 – 8pm. Those needing Lycopodium often have dry skin or mucus membranes, and crave sweets.

Mental-emotional Symptoms

  • Egotistical,. Love of power which is used to dominate.
  • Lack of self-confidence – feels weak and inadequate so avoids responsibility. Anxious about speaking in public but often does it well.
  • Covers up lack of confidence with haughty, boasting, domineering or bullying behaviour. Pleasant, ingratiating behaviour with authority figures.
  • Lack of discipline and lack of commitment.
  • Irritability on waking in the morning.
  • Intellectual pursuits are preferred over energetic sporting activities.

Respiratory Problems

  • Nose blocks on lying down at night.

Gastrointestinal Problems

  • Bloated and full of gas. Flatulent. Rumbling in the abdomen.
  • Symptoms aggravated by flatulent food such as beans, onions, cabbage.
  • Heartburn with sour belching. Constipation when travelling.
  • Headache or other symptoms from missed meals.
  • Preference for warm drinks. Craving for sweets.
  • Changeable appetite – appetite either lost or increased by eating.
  • Night-time hunger – may wake with hunger.

Skin Problems

  • Hair graying in patches or streaks, especially on the right side.
  • Deep furrows or creases in forehead.
  • Dryness of skin and mucous membranes.
  • Cracked heels which start or are worse on the right.

Male Problems

  • Promiscuity and lack of commitment. Premature ejaculation.
  • Impotence with long-term partner but no problem with new partners.

Sleep Problems

  • Waking unrefreshed.
  • Waking with hunger.

For Pets

  • Liver problems or digestive disturbances. Bloating and rumbling.
  • Anxious and lack of confidence but aggressive to non-dominant animals.

Where do I find it?

Lycopodium Clavatum (Lyc.) is available from our online store as a single remedy, and as part of the following Complexes (combination remedies): Anxiety; Colic; Foot Sweat; Indigestion; Irritable Bowel; Joints – Stiff; Panic Stop; Reflux; Restless Legs; Snore Ease; Sore Throat.


While above self-limiting or acute complaints are suitable for home treatment also contact your healthcare provider during emergency situations or if symptoms worsen or fail to improve. Chronic or persistent complaints, which may or may not be mentioned above, require a different treatment and dosage protocol so are best managed by a qualified homeopath for good results.

Dosage Instructions (suitable for babies to adults)

For the home treatment of acute and self-limiting complaints take one pill or five drops of the remedy every 1 minute to 4 hours (1 minute for intense or emergency symptoms (plus seek emergency help), 4 hours for milder ones). Once an improvement is noticed, stop dosing and repeat the remedy only if symptoms return. If there is no improvement at all by three doses, choose a different remedy or seek professional guidance.

Note: Chronic symptoms or complaints require a course of professional treatment by a qualified homeopath to manage the changes in potencies and remedies may be required.

More Information

Guidelines on which potency to use

From Past Masters

Homeopathy is a 200-year system of medicine. Early medical homeopaths recorded initial provings, remedy relationships, and their early experiences with each remedy in great detail.

These writings were then shared with others to advance homeopathic knowledge and practice.

Today, these same writings give a fascinating insight into the symptoms and clinical conditions for which each remedy was used.

The following extract, with minor editing, is one example.

Leaders In Homoeopathic Therapeutics by E. B. Nash M.D.

Lycopodium Clavatum (Lyc.)

Depression of mind and sensorium, stupid; lower jaw drops; chronic conditions, memory fails; uses wrong words to express himself; mixes up things; failing brain power.

Right-sided complaints, or begins on right and travels leftward; throat, ovaries, uterine region, kidney and skin troubles; hernia.

Sense of satiety, or hunger, but soon fills up.

Great flatulence with rumbling, mostly intestinal and pressing downward.

Lithic acid diathesis; red sand in clear urine; > pains in back or kidneys after passing.

Dark-complexioned people; emaciated in face and upper parts, bloated or swollen in lower; keen intellectual but feeble muscular development.

Modalities: < 4 to 8 P. M., after eating, in warm room; > in cool open air, on motion.

Irritable; peevish and cross on waking; ugly, kick and! scream; easily angered; cannot endure opposition or contradiction; seeks disputes; is beside himself.

Complexion: Pale, dirty, unhealthy; sallow; looks. Older than he is.

One foot hot and the other cold.

Great thirst after the sweat.

Chill on left-side of the body (Caust., Carbo v.).

Sour vomiting between chill and heat; must uncover (Lach.).

Perspiration immediately after the chill. Thirst after sweating stage.

In intermittents, the flatulence, sour eructations, sour taste, sour sweat, sour vomiting.

* * * * *

The remedy with Sulphur and Calcarea forms the leading trio of Hahnemann’s anti-psoric remedies. This makes a good starting point, as the boy said when he set a pin in a vacant chair. They all act very deeply. Each finds its affinity in a certain class of people or temperament.

Lycopodium acts favourably in all ages, but particularly upon old people and children. It acts upon persons of keen intellect, but feeble muscular development; lean people, leaning towards lung and liver troubles. Such people are apt to suffer from lithic acid diathesis for which this is also great remedy.

The Lycopodium subject is sallow, sunken, with premature lines in the face; looks older than he is. Children are weak with well-developed heads, but puny, sickly bodies. They are irritable, and when sick awake out of sleep ugly and kick and scream and push away the nurse or parents.

These temperament remedies are not always appreciated by those who do not understand the true spirit of our own art of healing; but when appreciated the skillful observer can often see the picture of the right remedy in the face and build of his patient before he speaks a word.

A remedy must not only be well proven, but extended clinical use and observation is necessary to develop it and indicate its true sphere of usefulness.

I have known temperaments so intensely Aconite or Belladonna that they could not take these remedies except in the high and highest potencies, and then only in single doses at long intervals. Why should this be thought incredible? Carpenter, in his Physiology, tells of a person who was so susceptible to Mercury that she was salivated by sleeping with her husband, who had taken Mercury.

This is one of the leading trio of flatulent remedies, Carbo veg. and China being the other two.

With Lycopodium there seems to be an almost constant fermentation of gas going on in the abdomen, which produces a loud croaking and rumbling. Remember, while China bloats the whole abdomen Carbo veg. prefers the upper and Lycopodium the lower parts.

With Lycopodium this flatulent condition is very apt to occur in connection with chronic liver trouble. Again this rumbling of flatulence is often found particularly in the region of the splenic flexure of the colon or left hypochondria.

A feeling of satiety is found under this remedy which alternates with a feeling of hunger of a peculiar kind. The patient sits down to the table very hungry, but the first few mouthfuls fill him right up and he feels distressingly full; in a Pickwickian sense “too full for utterance.” This alternation of hunger and satiety is not markedly found under any other remedy.

Constipation predominates under Lycopodium, and like Nux vomica there may be frequent and ineffectual desire for stool, but while that of Nux vomica is caused by irregular peristaltic action that of Lycopodium seems to be caused by a spasmodic contraction of the anus, which prevents the stool and causes great pain.

Lycopodium should be thought of in anal troubles associated with chronic liver troubles, especially if with much flatulence.

Lycopodium is of use in right sided hernia. It has cured cases of long standing without the aid of a truss.

The liver troubles of Lycopodium are more apt to be of the atrophic variety, while those of China are hypertrophic, both being equally useful in their sphere.

Lycopodium has almost, if not quite, as marked action upon the urinary organs as upon the liver. It is the chief remedy for “red sand in the urine.” This not simply the reddish sediment which is generally termed “brick-dust sediment,” and which is found under many remedies, but is an actual sandy, gritty sediment that settles at the bottom of the otherwise perfectly clear urine. Unless thus condition is removed we have sooner or later renal calculi, or gravel forming, and terrible attacks of renal colic.

In children this sand is sometimes found in the diaper after severe crying spells, and in adults much pain in the back in region of kidneys, which is relieved after the discharge of urine containing the sand. (See Borax, Sarsaparilla and Sanicula). No one remedy helps these cases more promptly or permanently than Lycopodium.

Lycopodium is also one of our best remedies for impotence. (Agnus castus). An old man marries his second or third wife and finds himself not “equal to the occasion.” It is very embarrassing for the whole family. A dose of Lycopodium sets the thing all right and makes the doctor a warm friend on both sides of the house.

Young men from onanism or sexual excess become impotent. The penis becomes small, cold and relaxed. The desire is as strong as ever, and perhaps more so, but he can’t perform. (Selenium, Caladium). I have known apparently hopeless cases of this kind cured by the use of this remedy, high single doses at intervals of a week or more.. Give it low, however, if you want to, but do not blame me if you don’t succeed.

Lycopodium affects the right side most, or. at least the troubles begin on the right side.

Swelling and suppuration of the tonsils I have aborted more than once in old quinsy subjects by an early dose of this remedy. In fact, I have had such success with Lachesis, Lycopodium, Lac caninum and Phytolacca that some who employ me for nothing else come for those powders that “break up quinsy” so quick.

In diphtheria, if the disease begins in the nose or right tonsil and extends to the left, you will think of Lycopodium, but remember that Mercurius protoiodide also begins on the right side, but there is no difficulty in choosing between the two. (Bromine diphtheria begins below and comes upward, just the reverse of Lycopodium).

Pains in the abdomen, ovarian and uterine regions also begin in right side, running from right to left; right foot gets cold while the other remains warm, eruptions begin on right and travel across to left side. Sciatica the same; any complaint that begins on right and goes to left makes me think of Lycopodium. The “sides of the body” subject is of more account than some imagine. Drugs have an affinity for particular parts, organs and even sides of the body.

Upon the respiratory organs this remedy also has a strong influence. It is one of our best remedies for chronic dry catarrh of the nose, which becomes completely closed, so that’ the patient has to breathe through the open mouth, especially at night. Here the choice often lies between this remedy, Ammonium carb. and Hepar Sulphur., other symptoms, of course, deciding the choice. In infants Sambucus comes in for a share of attention.

Lycopodium has often saved neglected, mal-treated or Imperfectly cured cases of pneumonia from running into consumption. It may even come into the later stages of the acute attack itself, and here as usual the disease is apt to be in the right lung, and especially if liver complications arise.

The disease has passed the first or congestive stage, and generally the stage of hepatization, or is at the last part of this stage, and is trying hard to take a favourable turn into the breaking-up or third stage, the stage of resolution.

Just here is where many cases die, neither free expectoration, nor perfect absorption of the disease product taking place. There is extreme dyspnea, the cough sounds as if the entire parenchyma of the lung were softened; even raising whole mouthfuls of mucus does not afford relief, the breath is short and the wings of the nose expand to their utmost with a fan-like motion. Now is the tame when Lycopodium does wonders.

Again, even when this stage is imperfectly passed, and the patient still coughs and expectorates much thick, yellow, purulent or greyish-yellow, purulent (sometimes fetid) matter, tasting salty, with much rattling in the chest, Lycopodium is indispensable. Here the choice may have to be made between this remedy and Sulphur, Kali hydroiod. or Silicea.

The characteristic aggravation as to time, of this remedy is from 4 to 8 o’clock P. M. Colocynth has 4 to 9 aggravation of abdominal pains, and Helleborus Niger, of the headache, with coryza; but the 4 to 8 aggravations of Lycopodium are general, not confined to any one, or one set of symptoms.

Lycopodium profoundly impresses the sensorium. We see by studying its pathogenesis that it depresses. This is found particularly in typhoid. The patient lies stupid, eyes do not re-act to light; lower jaw drops; apparent impending paralysis of the brain.

This condition may also be found in the advanced stage of many different acute diseases such as cerebro-spinal meningitis, typhoid fever, pneumonia, etc. Now if you get the 4 to 8 P. M. aggravation this remedy surely comes in. But this depression of the sensorium is also found in chronic form.

You remember what was said of this remedy in the impotence of old men. If you find corresponding failure in the sensorium of old men, the memory fails, they use wrong words to express themselves, mix things up generally in writing, spelling, and are, in short, unable to do ordinary mental work on account of failing brain power, remember Lycopodium. Here again Anacardium, Phosphorus, Baryta or Opium may come in for comparison. Also Picric acid and Agnus castus.

Many more things might be written of this wonderful polychrest, but I have given the most important.

Its strongest curative powers are not developed below the 12th potency, hence neither the old school nor the homeopaths who confine themselves exclusively to the low preparations know much about it.

Like Carbo vegetabilisSilicea and Sulphur its best powers are only developed by Hahnemann’s peculiar process of potentization; “prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”