Lycopodium clavatum Anhang 3



Lycopodium is sometimes called “vegetable Sulphur”. It is a plant remedy and belongs to the psoric miasm. I have been told that several thousands of years ago,

Lycopodium clavatum was actually a huge tree, and that over the years it reduced to a small fern – the club moss.

The main feeling in Lycopodium is that if the person remains small, his survival will be difficult, he will be humiliated, he will be nowhere. The main theme of Lycopodium therefore, becomes ambition, a desire to grow bigger, a lot of effort which is concentrated fully on becoming bigger, being more powerful, reaching a higher position – the top rung of the ladder.

Lycopodium is a part of the CalcareaLycopodium – Sulphur cycle. Calcarea represents the human need for stability and security, which translates into having a house, family, source of income, good health and protection. Stability also entails lack of movement, adventure and growth.

The other need of the human is represented by Sulphur, and that is the need for a name, for an ego, an image; the need to be somebody important, to matter, to be recognized, to be counted in; the need to be proud of oneself, to think highly of oneself, to have a good self-image.

In order to reach from the position of Calcarea to that of Sulphur one has to concentrate on growing, on making an effort to achieve one’s ambitions, on movement – undertaking new things rather than sticking to the old and the stable, on goal-oriented activity. Lycopodium represents precisely this phase in human life, and becomes

a person’s remedy when he/she gets stuck in this phase and cannot think of anything else.

The original situation from which a Lycopodium state may have arisen is probably that of a person who feels he has no power. Therefore aggravated with anything that concerns loss of power, while anything to do with acquiring power will make him feel better.

Lycopodium is very ambitious and can employ any means to achieve success. He can dictate, dominate, and will take the help of anyone he can. But Lycopodium people

have one big fear, and that is the fear of undertaking new challenges, facing new situations, meeting new people.

All these situations have to be encountered if he is to achieve success, and in the face of these situations Lycopodium lacks confidence; he feels incapable. He develops an anticipatory anxiety from this lack of confidence. This may appear like Silicea, but the difference is that in Silicea, it is not whether he is actually capable of doing the task

that bothers him, rather it is that his image should be protected at all costs.

Silicea is afraid to go on stage, and Lycopodium is afraid to speak. In the adult Lycopodium person however, this cowardice may be hidden by an outward show of bravado. This becomes necessary to protect his ego. He may take recourse to tall talk, and boasting with bravado, and this may eventually produce in him a fear of being discovered.

An offshoot of this egotism is his censorious attitude towards others. Lycopodium is not unhappy with others, he nonetheless criticizes them in order to establish his own superiority. At the same time, his conscientiousness does not allow him to be overcritical although he will justify his criticism on the grounds that it is his duty to do so in

the interest of the person being criticized. Lycopodium can thus be subtle in his criticism of others.

The timidity and cowardice of Lycopodium is best seen in children requiring the remedy. They have a fear of facing new situations, meeting new people, and will try and avoid the same. As a result of this timidity, and also because of the physical weakness, in Lycopodium children we find an aversion to play.

The Lycopodium adult however, being too egoistic to admit his lack of self-confidence and fear in facing new situations and meeting new persons, will try and compensate

the same by surrounding himself with people whom he can dictate, and therefore need not fear.

He creates around him a world in which he is all powerful, and others accept his authority and can be dominated by him. For example, he will select a woman who is mild

and can be easily dictated over – a Pulsatilla woman, perhaps. The same will be true in his work, play and social situation.

His dictatorial attitude is however confined to within the safety of his domain, and when he steps outside he is still timid. And so, he seldom does venture out of his domain, rather he seeks only to expand it further, and bring more and more people under his power. Hence the rubric: “Love of Power”.

Lycopodium thus represents a constant struggle between cowardice and egotism, between lack of confidence and haughtiness, between timidity and a dictatorial attitude.

The person is scared of those in authority, but to those for whom he can represent it, he is rude and contemptuous.

Lycopodium has a tremendous fear of being alone, amidst unfamiliar people. He seeks out known persons, wants someone with him “even if in the next room”. He can’t do without people, he needs them. This may make him appear sentimental, affectionate and sympathetic like Phosphorus, but the contrast is that while Lycopodium depends

on and dictates people, he does not like others to depend on him.

He does not like responsibilities and avoids them as far as possible. Even in his love affairs (a part of lasciviousness of Lycopodium) he does not want to commit.

So when an affair reaches a peak, he backs out. Lycopodium persons very often are late to marry. But once he does commit himself, he accepts full responsibility due to

his strong sense of duty.

In my observation, Lycopodium is a grateful person. If someone has done something for him, he is bound to remember and return the favour when the opportunity comes.

He is also much affected by gratitude as well as the ungratefulness of others. Under the irritable exterior he is a sensitive person and can weep while watching sentimental scenes, of both of joy and sorrow.

Lycopodium can be hurried. The patients do things fast but not necessarily in an orderly manner. This hurried nature could be explained on the basis of the lack of self-confidence. Because they are anxious to complete the job, they are hurried in their work. In the clinic during the interview, especially during follow-ups, they are very impatient and want to get away quickly. This along with weakness of memory accounts for a lot of mistakes especially in speech and writing. Weakness of memory is especially for proper names, but also extends to dates, events and other things they have to do.

The situation of Lycopodium is that of a man who feels that he is not loved as he is, but only if he achieves something in his life. So he must achieve in order to be loved.

He must reach a goal that is not easy, one that is very difficult. When Shivaji’s mother told him to conquer the fort, he did not have any army and the fort belonged to

the Emperor. It was an uphill task.

He had to collect an army around him to achieve what his mother wanted him to. Lycopodium is the child of a parent who demands achievement, the wife of a husband

who demands achievement. So he has the anticipatory anxiety, the lack of confidence and the “Fear of being unable to reach his destination” on one hand, and love of

power, ambition, egotism and domineering attitude on the other.

When looking for a wife, he may feel that a woman would not love him unless he is an achiever. He would want her to like him not for what he is but for his achievements, and so he constantly emphasizes to her that he is achieving, that he is an achiever.


DD.: Aurum, Staphysagria, Nux vomica, Chelidonium, Phosphoricum acidum, Platinum, Medorrhinum, China, Argentum nitricum, Bryonia, Lachesis.

Being a remedy of the plant kingdom, Lycopodium is very sensitive, sentimental. He is also imaginative and intellectual, and can easily make abstractions and theorize.

He can generalize and make up a theory by looking at many facts.


Lycopodium is the most syphilitic remedy of the Calcarea, Lycopodium and Sulphur cycle, all three being essentially psoric remedies.


Physical concomitants:

The physical concomitants of Lycopodium that I have observed are:

    Dilated nostrils.


    Cracks on the heel.

    They show signs of premature senility, like greying of hair, baldness, enlarged prostate, etc.

    There is desire for warm food and drinks, and for sweets.

    Hurriedness in eating and drinking.

    Ill effects of overeating.


    Confidence, want of self.




    Fear, people, of.

    Contemptuous, hard for subordinates and agreeable, pleasant to superiors or people he has to fear.

    Dictatorial, command, talking with air of.

    Dictatorial, power, love, of.

    Fear, alone, of being.

    Fear, undertaking anything.

    Hurry, eating, while.

    Timidity, appearing in public, but capable to.

    Weeping, thanked, when.

    Weeps ungratefulness at.


    Cough, bending head backwards.

    Dry cough in emaciated boys.

    Dilated nostrils.

    Appetite: eating increases hunger.

    Desires warm food.

    Axilla: boils recurrent.

    Extremities: cracks in the heel.


    Strangers, presence of, aggravates.


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[Valerie Lovejoy]

The Lycopodium Tug-of-War

With a glance at the Materia Medica of the Mind, one can see that this remedy appears to be under quite a lot of pressure.  Caught in the middle of the Calc. - Lyc. - Sulph.

as triad, Lyc. will be at tug-of-war between Calc. and Sulphur, torn between the need for stability and protection on the one hand, and the need for self-image, self-confidence, and recognition on the other – to be recognized as an achiever, as someone important or worthy (Sankaran).  It is interesting to note that Lyc. (called Vegetable Sulphur) likes and may even crave oysters, but gets sick upon eating them as they “seem poison” (Kent).  This is synonymous with its aggravation regarding anything that concerns lack of power or lack of confidence (such as Calc.).  This remedy is described as being in “constant struggle” and in “constant tension between strengths and weaknesses, image and reality” (Coulter).  It is nearly poetic that Lyc. may present with one foot cold and the other warm, normal or even hot, further emphasizing that this remedy represents a skirmish between the traits and symptoms of Calc. (chilly and cold) and Sulphur (hot and fiery).  Lyc. is “intellectual with self-distrust” (Tyler), whereas Sulphur is intellectual with overt trust of self, and Calc. suffers with the intellect; Lyc. has a keen intellect (Sulph.) but weak muscular power (Calc.).  Although Lyc. is quite capable, there is a fear of failure and a lack of confidence to the degree that this type will fret and worry over completing a task (such as a public speech), only to pull through it without a problem (but never gain the confidence for the next time!). Lyc. may not readily demonstrate its lack of confidence since by adulthood it has generally covered this over with a type of puffed-up bravado or false presence of authority or supremacy; the type is described as arrogant, inclined to “tall talk”, and has a decided love of power (this suggests that Lyc. is at first lacking in confidence and is more cowardly, and then develops into “love of power”).  It is not surprising to find that Lyc. types will be equally “puffed up” with flatulence, suffering from a great amount of gas and “weakness of digestion” (Phatak) and is known as “one of the most flatulent” remedies – truly a remedy that is ‘full of wind.’  In fact, it is asserted that 95% of Lyc. types will have gastro-intestinal disturbances. 

Lyc. will tend to criticize, dominate, and even verbally abuse in order to elevate himself over others and may even seek out and surround himself with persons of lesser will in order to make himself ‘bigger’ or ‘taller’ – yet he will be subdued and cowardly when in the company of those with greater authority or status.  This is not unlike the tiny plant that was once a great tree, only now is dwarfed by nearly all the plants around it, yet still “standing tall” over more diminutive flora.  If Lyc. marries, it will likely be to someone far more mild and yielding, or perhaps even chronically ill or weak in order that his will always prevail (Sankaran).  Lyc. is described as “Nice outside, tyrant at home” (Morrison). Lyc. dreads being alone, yet does not do well in company – one would find this type perfectly happy at home in a room by himself with people in the next room over (Tyler).  He is averse to company, conversation, being in a crowd, or is anxious in these circumstances, suggesting that the rubric “Company, desire for, aggravated when alone” is really less about desiring company and much more about not wanting to be alone, or having a dread or fear of being alone.  The symptoms of ‘cowardice’ and being ‘easily frightened’ support this idea, as does the rubric “desire to be carried” (which indicates a kind of need for support in the case of Lyc.).  In fact, just as the yellow powder of this remedy was once used to prevent pills from sticking together, Lyc. wants nothing stuck to it – it wants to be dependent but wants no one to depend on him;

it wants company, but does not want to interact; it fears and shuns responsibility and does not want to make a commitment in relationship (“flees from his children”). 

Just as the yellow powder flashes brightly when thrown into a fire, the type will often explode into rage and fury under pressure or when “faced with fire” (this type is inclined to be contradictory, yet hates being contradicted; “cannot bear to be corrected or found fault with or opposed”) and may “erupt into brilliant talk or blazing wrath” (Gibson).

Like the plant, Lyc. types have the ability to adapt to many different environments without becoming affected by them (Coulter) and is described as having a “persevering manner”.  This type refuses to engage – unable to admit being wrong or in defeat, it will simply walk away from a struggle without comment and can be depicted by others

as obstinate or “pig-headed.”  The type may also be very difficult to recognize (Tyler) and those needing the remedy may not demonstrate any of the symptoms of provings (Morrison), and in fact the main guidance to the remedy is said to be a “physical mediocrity associated with mental alertness and emotional diffidence” (Gibson) coupled with liver complaints and flatulence.  Lyc. has affects of all three miasms and being at a crossroads of sorts between the Animal Kingdom (Calc.) and the Mineral Kingdom (Sulphur), this little member of the Plant Kingdom is inert and unassuming unless in potent form and remains inert “until the spores are crushed” (Boericke). The ailments of the Lyc. type will come on slowly and gradually, over a length of time.  There may be jaundice, chronic hepatitis, and other ailments of the liver (the remedy is symbolically “yellow” in cowardice and will tend to “yellow” physical ailments (liver and urinary tract) as well as “yellow” mental ailments, such as claustrophobia, agoraphobia, and other expressions of great fear or anxiety (nightmares, ghosts, death, people, etc).  He may have a yellowish or pale face with gray or blue under the eyes, and might present with yellow or brown spots on the skin (liver spots). If it is not enough that Lyc. is under these extreme struggles during the day, there seems no rest at night as indicated by the many rubrics dealing with waking, being in bed, mornings (is “ugly” on waking), and night, and there seems to be great potential for sleep-talking and sleep-walking. 

One finds in the repertory a presence of restlessness and nervousness, with anxiety (Kent): •Loathing of life, on waking; in the morning. •Unconsciousness while talking; somnambulism; aversion to bed.

Sympathetic – opposed by malicious.   •Unconscious, periodical; while standing. •Restlessness, nervousness; in the morning; in the evening, in bed.  At night; after midnight; driving out of bed; tossing about in bed. •Fear on waking from a dream; fear while walking; Confusion of mind on walking, on waking; frightened easily on waking;

Weary of life in the morning in bed; Quarrelsome, disputes with absent persons on waking. •Anxiety, in the morning, on waking, in the afternoon, in the forenoon, in the evening, in bed, at night, on waking, before midnight, in bed, with fear, about salvation, on going to sleep, during sleep, while walking in open air. Sleep will tend towards dreams, nightmares, and a sense of being suffocated or suppressed, or somehow held back.  Lyc. wakes from sleep “cross, ugly, and depressed.”  Lyc. can be quite grateful and moved to tears under circumstances of being thanked or appreciated and can be quite sensitive (can be countered with haughty insolence and a contemptuous attitude.).  This type is also imaginative, and once finally committed will remain committed out of a sense of duty or responsibility; Lyc. may also be “noticeably conscientious and orderly” as well as intellectually active (and finds relief in action) and could demonstrate quite a fondness for sugar and sweets (Gibson). Some of the mentals exhibited

(again, these may be deeply hidden and difficult to see in a patient): Cowardice; Frightened Easily; Confidence, want of self – opposed by defiance, love of power, presumptuous; Haughty; Insolent. Cheerfulness; Liveliness, mirth, hilarity; playful; laughing; thoughtful – opposed by repulsive mood, rage, fury; Suspicious, Contemptuous; Censorious, critical; avarice. Cheerful, gay, happy – opposed by abusive, anger, irascibility: with silent grief, from contradiction; violent, vehement.

Irresolution – opposed by dictatorial. wonder with the stress and tension on being dominated (cowardice) and such aggravated sleep, Lyc. may eventually decline to having difficulty with concentration and focus (also contrasted by clarity and the ability to be productive.).  There may be mistakes in writing, omitting of words or letters, difficulty with names.  There is a “fear of the future” and a “fear of being able to reach his destination,” emphasizing Lyc.’s lack of confidence and anxiety as an impact on his desires

to achieve or be recognized.



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