Shen Jin Cao – Common Club Moss – Herba Lycopodii

Shen Jin Cao

English Name: lycopodium, common club moss, stag’s horn club moss

Literal Translation: “stretch the tendon herb”

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Lycopodii

Medica Category: Wind Damp Dispelling Herbs – Channel and Collateral Opening Herbs

Properties: Shen Jin Cao enters the Liver channel; it is bitter ad acrid in nature and warm in temperature.

What is Shen Jin Cao?:

The Chinese Herb Shen Jin Cao is dried lycopodium (aka common club moss or stag’s horn club moss—Lycopodium clavatum L.; Lycopodium cernnum L.; Smilax nipponica Miq.). Lycopodium is an evergreen perennial related to ferns that looks like a kind of pine frond/branch running along the ground with erect shoots that can grow up to about 3ft. high off the ground. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is the aerial parts which are harvested and dried for use as medicine.

**safety note: Shen Jin Cao is contraindicated for use during pregnancy.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Shen Jin Cao:

Shen Jin Cao dispels wind-damp, opens the channels and collaterals, and relaxes the tendons and sinews to treat bi zheng (painful obstruction syndrome). Clinical presentations treated by Shen Jin Cao include joint pain and stiffness related to tightness of the tendons and pain due to traumatic injury.