Introduction of Shen Jin Cao:Common Club-moss Herb or Herba Lycopodii.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The TCM herbalism is also known as pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Chinese pharmaceutics, is the branch of health science dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of Chinese herbs. It is majorly composed of Introduction of Chinese Medicinals, Classification of Chinese Herbs, Formulas, and Patent medicines.

Classifications of Herbs:Dispelling Wind-Damp Herbs.

 TCM Herbs Icon06 Introduction: Dispelling Wind-Damp Herbs: an agent or substance herbs that dispels wind and damp, mainly for relieving rheumatism and related conditions.

Herba Lycopodii(Common Club-moss Herb).

Herba Lycopodii Pin Yin Name: Shēn Jīn Cǎo.
 English Name: Common Club-moss Herb.
 Latin Name: Herba Lycopodii.
 Property and flavor: neutral, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Herba Lycopodii is the dried entire plant of Lycopodium japonicum Thunb.(family Lycopodiaceae), used to dispel wind-damp and relieve contracture in cases of arthralgia with stiffness. The herb is commonly known as Herba Lycopodii, Common Club-moss Herb, Shēn Jīn Cǎo.

 Lycopodium japonicum Thunb.:growing plant Botanical source: Official herbal classics defined the herb Herba Lycopodii(Common Club-moss Herb) as the dried entire plant of (1). Lycopodium japonicum Thunb. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Herba Lycopodii(Common Club-moss Herb) as the dried entire plant of (1). Lycopodium japonicum Thunb., or (2). Lycopodium centro-chinense Ching., or (3). Palhinhaea cernua(L.) Franco et Vasc. They are plants of the Lycopodium L. genus, Lycopodiaceae family, Lycopodiales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

(1).Lycopodium japonicum Thunb.

 Lycopodium japonicum Thunb.:drawing of plant Botanical description: It is commonly known as Shí Sōng. Perennial native plant. Stolons terrestrial, slender transverse, 2-3 branches, green, covered with sparse leaves; Lateral branches erect, up to 40 cm, polycyclic binary branched, sparsely, compressed (young branches terete), branched and foliate 5~10 mm in diameter. Leaves spirally arranged, dense, ascending oblique, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, 4~8 mm long, 0.3~0.6 mm wide, base cuneate, descending, sessile, apex acuminate, with transparent hair, margin entire, herbaceous, midrib inconspicuous.

 Sporangium 3 or 4-8 clusters on 30 cm long stalk, bracts spirally sparsely grow on it, thinly grassy, like leaves; Sporangium spikelets unequal, erect, cylindrical, 2~8 cm long, 5~6 mm in diameter, with 1~5 cm long petiole; Spore leaf broadly ovate, 2.5~3.0 mm long, ca. 2 mm wide, apex acute, awnish long, margin membranous, gnarled, papery; Sporangium grows in axillary of spore leaf, slightly exserted, round kidney shape, yellow.

 Lycopodium japonicum Thunb.:flowering plant Ecological environment: The plant is native to lowland acid soil grasslands, broad leaves forests, and Masson pine forests. The plant distributes in the south of the Yangtze River.

 Growth characteristics: 

 Lycopodium japonicum Thunb.:growing plant Characters of herbs: Stolons cylindrical, slender and bent, up to 2 meters long, often fractured, 3~5 mm in diameter, yellow or light brown on the surface, lateral branches dense, about 6 mm in diameter, light brown on the surface. Stolon has many yellow and white adventitious roots below, bifurcate. Leaves dense, linear-lanceolate, often wrinkled and curved, 3~5 mm long, 0.3~0.8 mm wide, yellow-green or gray-green, apex mannish, entire or slightly serrate, veins inconspicuous. Spore heads sometimes visible at branches, erect rod-like, multi fracture, 2~5 cm long, about 5 mm in diameter. Tough, not easy to break, section light yellow, white wood heart. Slight smell, mild taste.

 Herba Lycopodii:herb photo Pharmacological actions: ①.diuretic, promotes uric acid excretion; ②.inhibitory effect on dysentery bacillus; ③.antipyretic; ④.analgesic effects.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispel wind and eliminate dampness, dissipate cold, relax tendons and activate collaterals, promote blood circulation, reduce swelling, relieve cough and detoxify. It is indicated for joint pain, bend to stretch disadvantage, wind cold and arthritis with fixed pain caused by dampness, numbness of the skin, weakness and flaccidity of limbs, edema, injury from falls, jaundice, cough, sores, herpes, scald.

 Administration of Herba Lycopodii(Shēn Jīn Cǎo): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Herba Lycopodii(Shēn Jīn Cǎo)
TCM Books: Internally:3~12 grams(CP), Internally:water decoction, 3~5 qian(about 9~15 grams), or infusing in wine. Externally:mashed and apply stick(DCTM), Internally:water decoction,9~15 grams, or infusing in wine. Externally:proper amount, mashed and apply stick(CHMM).
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:should avoid using the herb Herba Lycopodii in conditions pregnancy.

(2).Lycopodium centro-chinense Ching.

 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Huá Zhōng Shí Sōng. Similar to lycopodium, but the stem is bifurcated into acute Angle spread, lateral branches are relatively sparse, small branches and leaves dense, leaves with membranous long awn.

(3).Palhinhaea cernua(L.)Franco et Vasc.

 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Dēng Lóng Cǎo. Upper much-branched, 30~50 cm long, or folded into short segments, 1~2 mm in diameter, yellow or yellowish-green surface. Leaves dense, linear subulate, 2~3 mm long, yellowish-green or light green, entire, often curved upward, thin, fragile. Spore heads often sporangium, rectangular round or cylindrical, 5~15 mm long, sessile, often pendulous. Slight smell, mild taste. All with yellow and green color, no impurity is better.
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  • 1.Introduction of Shen Jin Cao:Common Club-moss Herb or Herba Lycopodii.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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