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Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Acorn
Poppy
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
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House Leek (crassulaceoe)



Club Moss








Though not generally thought worth more than a passing notice, or
to possess any claims of a medicinal sort, yet the Club Moss,
which is of common growth in Great Britain on heaths and hilly
pastures, exerts by its spores very remarkable curative effects, and
[114] therefore it should be favourably regarded as a Herbal
Simple. It is exclusively due to homoeopathic provings and
practice, that the Lycopodium clavatum (Club Moss) takes an
important position amongst the most curative vegetable remedies
of the present day.

The word lycopodium means wolf's claw, because of the
claw-like ends to the trailing stems of this moss; and the word
clavatum signifies that its inflorescence resembles a club. The
spores of Club Moss constitute a fine pale-yellow, dusty powder
which is unctuous, tasteless, inodorous, and only medicinal when
pounded in all agate mortar until the individual spores, or nuts, are
fractured.

By being thus triturated, the nuts give out their contents, which are
shown to be oil globules, wherein the curative virtues of the moss
reside. Sugar of milk is then rubbed up for two hours or more with
the broken spores, so as to compose a medicinal powder, which is
afterwards to be further diluted; or a tincture is made from the
fractured spores, with spirit of ether, which will develop their
specific medicinal properties. The Club Moss, thus prepared,
has been experimentally taken by provers in varying material
doses; and is found through its toxical affinities in this way
to be remarkably useful for chronic mucous indigestion and
mal-nutrition, attended with sallow complexion, slow, difficult
digestion, flatulence, waterbrash, heartburn, decay of bodily
strength, and mental depression. It is said that whenever a fan-like
movement of the wings of the nostrils can be observed during the
breathing, the whole group of symptoms thus detailed is specially
curable by Club Moss.

As a dose of the triturated powder, reduced to a weaker
dilution, ten grains may be taken twice a day [115] mixed with a
dessertspoonful of water; or of the tincture largely reduced in
strength, ten drops twice a day in like manner. Chemically, the oil
globules extracted from the spores contain alumina and
phosphoric acid. The diluted powder has proved practically
beneficial for reducing the swelling and for diminishing the
pulsation of aneurism when affecting a main blood-vessel of the
heart.

In Cornwall the Club Moss is considered good against most
diseases of the eyes, provided it be gathered on the third day of the
moon when first seen; being shown the knife whilst the gatherer
repeats these words:--

As Christ healed the issue of blood,
Do thou cut what thou cut test for good.

Then at sundown the Club Moss should be cut by the operator
whilst kneeling, and with carefully washed hands. It is to be
tenderly wrapped in a fair white cloth, and afterwards boiled in
water procured from the spring nearest the spot where it grew,
and the liquor is to be applied as a fomentation; or the Club Moss
may be made into an ointment with butter from the milk of a new
cow. Such superstitious customs had without doubt a Druidic
origin, and they identify the Club Moss with the Selago, or golden
herb, Cloth of Gold of the Druids. This was reputed to confer the
power of understanding the language of birds and beasts, and was
intimately connected with some of their mysterious rites; though
by others it is thought to have been a sort of Hedge Hyssop
(Gratiola).

The Common Lycopodium bears in some, districts the name of
Robin Hood's hatband. Its unmoistenable powder from the
spores is a capital absorbing application to weeping, raw surfaces.
At the shops, this [116] powder of the Club Moss spores is sold as
witch meal, or vegetable sulphur. For trade purposes it is
obtained from the ears of a Wolfsfoot Moss, the Lycopodium
clavatum, which grows in the forests of Russia and Finland. The
powder is yellow of colour, dust-like and smooth to the touch.
Half a drachm of it given during July in any proper vehicle has
been esteemed a noble remedy to cure stone in the bladder.
Being mixed with black pepper, it was recognized by the College
of Physicians in 1721 as a medicine of singular value for
preventing and curing hydrophobia. Dr. Mead, who had repeated
experience of its worth, declared that he never knew it to fail when
combined with cold bathing.

Club Moss powder ignites with a flicker, and is used for stage
lightning. It is the Blitzmehl, or lightning-meal of the Germans,
who give it in doses of from fifteen to twenty grains for the cure of
epilepsy in children.

When the Mortal Struggle was produced (see Nicholas Nickleby)
by Mr. Vincent Crummles at Portsmouth, with the aid of Miss
Snevelicci, and the Infant Phenomenon, lurid lightning was
much in request to astonish the natives; and this was sufficiently
well simulated by igniting, with a sudden flash and a hiss,
highly inflammable spores of the Club Moss projected against
burning tow within a hollow cone, producing weird scenic effects.





Next: Coltsfoot

Previous: Clover



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