From the beginning of recorded time the minute spores of Lycopodium clavatum, and other species, known also to the early botanists as Muscus terrestris, or Muscus clavatus, have been commended for their therapeutic virtues. This plant, the common club moss, is found throughout Central and Northern Europe, Russian Asia, even to Japan, North and South America, the Falkland Islands, and even to the Cape of Good Hope, being so widely distributed as to have led, naturally, to its therapeutic reputation in common life in all parts of the world. The spores of lycopodium have been used in domestic therapy as an application to fresh wounds, and have thus a reputation as an absorbent styptic. Official in pharmacy in the middle of the seventeenth century, the English druggists seem not to have included the powder in their list of drugs before 1692, nor has it been official in any of the London pharmacopeias. Lycopodium is employed in Homeopathic and Eclectic medication, and in connection with shellac and earthy salts is also used in large quantity in the making of different colored signal fires, as well as those for evening celebrations.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.