This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Synonyms. - Vegetable Sulphur. Club Moss. The spores of Lycopodium clavatum Linne, and of other species of Lycopodium (nat. ord. Lycopodiaceae).
Europe, Asia, and North America, in dry woods.
A fine powder, pale yellowish, very mobile, inodorous, tasteless, floating upon water and not wetted by it, but sinking on being boiled with it, and burning quickly when thrown into a flame. Under the microscope the spores are seen to be sphsero-tetrahedral, the surfaces marked with recticulated ridges, and the edges beset with short projections.
1) Fixed oil, 47 to 49 per cent. (2) Cane Sugar, 2 per cent. (3) A volatile base, Methy/aminc, in minute quantities.
Pollen, starch and sand.
Lycopodium has a great power of absorbing oils and oleo-resins. It is excellent as a basis of pills, especially as it protects hygroscopic substances, for it is powerfully repellant to water. It is useful as a dusting powder, and also as a basis for insufflations.