- Complaints worse 4-8 pm
- Excessive hunger, but little food overfills. Wakes up at night feeling hungry
- Noisy flatulance, worse in lower bowels
- Red sand in urine, child cries before urinating
Source: Vegetable kingdom
Synonyms: Club moss, Wolf’s foot. Wolf’s claw.
Prover: Dr Hahnemann in 1828
Duration of Action: 40 to 50 days
Miasmatic Background: Psora, syphilis and sycosis
Temperament: Nervous and irritable
Diathesis: Uric acid and lithic (inclined to hepatic and lung affections) Thermal Relationship: Chilly patient
Introduction and History: Lycopodium is a magical, constitutional, deep acting remedy for chronic diseases. It is also called ‘Vegetable Sulphur‘. The name Lycopodium is derived from the word ‘lucos’ which means wolf and ‘pes’ meaning the foot, since the shoots appear like wolf’s foot. Clavatum is derived from the Latin word ‘clavatus’ meaning club-like. The fertile spikes look like the club. Until 1828, it was used only as an absorbant and to prevent pills from adhering.
Habit and Habitat: It is found in Europe, Russia, Finland, North America, from Kumaon eastwards in Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Manipur and in the Western ghats. It is a small plant growing mostly in dry woods and in hilly pastures in all parts of the world. Lycopodium spore is yellow and mobile. It floats upon water and is not wetted by it. It is tasteless and odourless. It sinks in the water when boiled with it. It burns quickly. The spores are three sided pyramids.
Preparation and Parts Used: The spores are used in the preparation of the mother tincture. Spores of the moss are triturated with sugar of milk from which higher potencies are prepared in alcohol.
Constitution and Physiognomy: It has Grauvogl’s carbo-nitrogenoid constitution. It is adapted to both old people and children who are intellectually keen, but muscularly weak; persons whose upper part of the body and neck are emaciated, and the lower part is semi-dropsical. Anaemic, pale patients with an unhealthy complexion. Patient looks older than he is. Children look wrinkled and prematurely old.
Ailments From: Mortification, anger, vexation, fright, tobacco chewing and smoking, liquors, wine, onions, masturbation, riding in a carriage, over lifting, oysters.
Seat of Action (Pharmacodynamics): Lungs, liver, sex organs, digestive tract, mucous membranes, skin, urinary tract, nutrition and throat.
Doctrine of Signature: It is prepared from the spores of Club moss. The spores are externally hard but once broken, they are very soft internally. Similarly, the patient does not give his/her full cooperation to the physician in the beginning, but once he starts believing in the physician, he is very cooperative. Similarly, while giving a speech, his speech is not fluent in the beginning but after a while, as the speech continues, it becomes more fluent.
Active Principles (Chemical Constituents): It contains 50 per cent of fat, mixture of oils, hexadecanoic, dehydroacetic acid, aluminum as the trace elements besides palmitic acid, myristic and lycopodium acids.
Physiological Action: Moderate doses of the tincture produce nervous excitement, quickened action and circulation, headache, increased appetite, diarrhoea and increased sexual desire; also frequent, painful urination; cloudy urine depositing much sediment sometimes with mucous and even blood.
Physio-pathological Changes (Pathology)
- The chief action of the drug is on the gastrointestinal tract. It reduces the process of digestion and thereby causes flatulence and constipation.
- Lycopodium acts powerfully upon the vegetative system depressing its action and causing a slowly advancing weakness of the functional power and decay of tissues.
- It acts upon the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract producing respiratory disturbances.
- It acts upon the lymphatic and glandular system where it produces congestion, atony and induration.
- It acts upon the liver where it produces a hepatic congestion and later on hypertrophy.
- Acts upon the genitourinary tract and kidneys, causing uric acid diathesis.
- It acts upon the skin causing sluggish, unhealthy skin and weakness of the muscular tissue.
Characteristic Mental Symptoms (Psychology)
- Fear of being alone, afraid that something will happen; lest he will forget something.
- Wakes up in the morning with sadness. Cries when thanked.
- Dread of appearing in public. Dread of men, wants to be alone; dread of solitude, with irritability and melancholy.
- Weak memory. Inability to express oneself correctly. Writes or spells wrong words, confused speech.
- Lycopodium patient is intellectually keen, but physically very weak.
- Tired state of mind. Loss of self-confidence, timidity.
- Absentminded, thinks he is in two places at the same time.
- Very miserly, greedy, Voracious, malicious and very sensitive.
- Weeps all day, cannot calm herself. Sad or cheerful and merry.
- Gets angry very quickly, cannot tolerate opposition, seeks disputes and quarrels with anybody.
- Anxious as if about to die; even prepares the final messages.
- Vertigo when drinking. Wants to keep silent.
- Lack of confidence; confused thoughts; great anticipation.
- Extremely sensitive. Averse to undertaking new things. Headstrong and haughty when sick.
Characteristic Physical Guiding Symptoms
Emaciation: Process of emaciation is from above downwards. First upper part of the body emaciates, then lower parts; lower part semi-dropsical.
Impotency: Penis Small, cold, relaxed; impotence of young and old men from onanism or sexual excesses. Impotence with strong desire but imperfect erections, falls asleep during coition or embrace; premature ejaculation.
Flatulence: Constant fermentation of gases in the abdomen. Excessive accumulation of gases, rumbling in the abdomen, especially in lower abdomen. Fullness, not relieved by belching and flatus.
Dryness: Great dryness of the skin, palms, mucous membranes. Dryness of vagina; physometra, burning in vagina during and after coitus.
Right-sidedness: It is a right sided remedy, affects the right side; symptoms go from right to left.
Catarrh: Nose dry, stopped at night, must breathe through the mouth, rubbing its nose; child starts from sleep.
Red sand in urine: It is a peculiar symptom of Lycopodium. Red sand-like particles are found in the urine; child cries before urinating. Right sided renal colic, pain in back, relieved by urinating.
Cough: Cough – deep, hollow, even raising mucous in large quantities affords little relief.
Time aggravation: All symptoms are aggravated in the afternoon from 4 to 8 pm. This is a very peculiar symptom of Lycopodium.
Sourness: Everything tastes sour. Sourness of all discharges, eructations, heartburn, waterbrash. Sour vomiting.
Constipation: Constipation is seen since puberty, since last confinement and when the patient is away from home.
Nose: Fan-like motion of alae nasi, generally found in abdominal and cerebral complaints.
Desires and aversions: Great desire for sweet things, warm drinks and food. Craves everything warm but an aversion to coffee, bread and tobacco. Cannot tolerate cold drinks.
Vision: Hemiopia, patient can see only the left half of the object.
Foot: Right foot hot while the left is cold. It is the characteristic of Lycopodium patients.
Canine hunger: Canine hunger; however, only a few mouthfuls make a person feel upto the throat. Eating increases the hunger; aggravation after eating.
Eyes: Eyes remain half open during sleep. It is a characteristic symptom of Lycopodium.
Sleep: Baby cries all day but sleeps all night.
Headache: Headache if he does not eat, waking at night feeling hungry.
Foetus: In pregnancy, foetus appears to be turning somersaults.
Diphtheria: Right sided, goes from right to left, descends from nose to right tonsil.
Acidity: From wine; bloating of abdomen, especially the lower part of abdomen. Sourness after belching.
Important Characteristic Features
Constipation: It is a very good remedy for constipation. Lycopodium has a sensation after stool as if something remained behind. Constipation due to constriction of the rectum. Constipation may be associated with haemorrhoids. The rectum contracts and protrudes with the stool. Stools are dry and hard or the first part hard, the last soft. Great deal of rumbling occurs in the abdomen following the stool. Constipation in infants; since puberty or last confinement; constipation when away from home with ineffectual urging.
Flatulence (abdomen): It is one of Nash’s Trio of Tympanitic and Flatulent remedies. Patient is very hungry but a few mouthfuls feel upto the throat. Eating increases the hunger; aggravation after eating. Headache if he does not eat. There is excessive accumulation of gases and bloating, especially in the lower part of the abdomen with loud grumbling sounds; rolling of flatus as there is fermentation going on. No relief even by passing flatus or belching. Eructations are sour in taste and acrid in nature. Everything is sour. All symptoms are aggravated after noon from 4 to 8 pm. The other remedies of Nash’s Trio of Tympanitic and Flatulent remedies are Carbo vegetabilis in which gas is accumulated in the upper part of the abdomen and China officinalis where the gas accumulates in the entire abdomen.
Liver affections: It is a very useful remedy in jaundice and infective hepatitis. Lycopodium acts powerfully on the liver. The region of the liver is sensitive to touch and there is a feeling of tension in it; feeling as if a cord were tied about the waist. Cirrhosis. The pains are dull and aching instead of sharp and lancinating. Recurrent bilious attacks with vomiting of bile. Fullness in the stomach after eating a small quantity. There are no real icteric symptoms but there is a peculiar sallow complexion. Lycopodium is more useful than any other remedy in old hepatic congestions. Pain in back and right side from congestion that will often yield to the remedy. All symptoms worse in the evening from 4 to 8 pm.
Urinary symptoms: It is a very good remedy for complaints of the urinary system. It is very effective in right sided renal colic. Pain is very terrible along the right kidney and ureter. Scanty urine during day time and profuse at night time. Small children cry before urination. Red sand-like particles are seen in the urine. Urine is dark, red or albuminous. Backache relieved after urination. All symptoms worse in the evening from 4 to 8 pm.
Pneumonia: It is a very good remedy for pneumonia. It is useful in the advanced stage of pneumonia or in delayed or partial resolution. There is a tightness across the chest, aching over the lungs and general weakness. Hughes says it is the best remedy where the case threatens to run into acute phthisis. Constrictive feeling in the throat. Right lung is usually affected. Cough is deep, hollow and shattering; mucous is purulent, copious, thick and yellow, dirty, foetid; face is cyanosed during pneumonia. There is fan-like movement of alae nasi. Face is shallow and has an unhealthy complexion. All symptoms are worse in the evening from 4 to 8 pm.
Aggravation: 4 to 8 pm, cold drinks, lying on the right side, bread, from heat, warm air, on awaking, eating ever so little.
Amelioration: Loosening the clothing, damp weather, passing urine, warm drinks and food, open air, from uncovering the head.
Complementary: Graph, Chel, Iod, Med.
Follows well: Anac, Bell, Bry, Coloc, Dulc, Hydr, Hyos, Kali-s, Nux-v, Phos, Puls, Sep, Sil, Stram.
Antidotes: Acon, Camph, Caust, Cham, Op, Graph, Puls.
Remedy antidotes: Chin.
Compare: Sep, Ign, Phos, Puls, Hyos, Anac.
Confusion in a warm room: Lyc, Puls.
Mistakes in writing: Lach, Lyc, Thuj.
Mistakes in cofounding letters: Lyc.
Shrinking before urination: Borx, Lyc.
Hemiopia, sees only left half: Lith-c, Lyc.
Constipation of old people: Alum, Op, Lyc.
Fan-like motion of alae nasi: Ant-t, Brom, Lyc.
Satiety after a few mouthfuls: Cycl, Lyc.
Cough with blood daily at 4 pm: Mill, Lyc.
Diarrhoea from oysters: Brom, Lyc, Puls.
Potency: 3x, 6x, 12x, 30,200, 1000, 10M, CM.
Dosage: Lowest to highest. Single dose.
Repetition: No need of repetition.
Therapeutic Value: Abdomen distended, Biliousness, Cancer, Colic, Constipation, Cough, Dysentery, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Gall stones, Gout, Heartburn, Hysteria, Impotency, Liver affections, Locomotor ataxia, Male and female sexual organs, Menstrual disorders, Renal colic, Throat affections, Urinary troubles, Whooping cough.
- While commencing the treatment of a chronic case, where Lycopodium, seems to be the simillimum, it is always better to avoid it unless very clearly indicated; it is advisable to administer another antipsoric remedy first.
- A dose of Carbo vegetabilis every eighth day facilitates the action of Lycopodium.
- Lycopodium is a deep seated, long acting remedy. It should rarely be repeated after improvement begins.