Shen Jing Cao

Lycopodil Herba, Club Moss


The decoction is orally taken at a dose of 9-15g.


Injection of lycopodium alkaloids at 50-200mg/kg into the lymphocytes of frogs can lead to asynergic movement and muscular paralysis.

Chemical Composition

Lycopodine; Clavolonine; Clavatoxin; Nicotine; a-onocerin; Lycoclavanol; Lycoclavanin; Serratenediol; Diepiserratenediol; 21-episerratenediol; 16-oxoserratenediol; Clavatol; Lyclaninol; Diepilycocryptol; 16-oxolycoclavanol; 16-oxolyclanitin; b-D-glucoside; b-sitosterol; Stigmasterol; Campesterol; Vanillic acid; Ferulic acid; Azelaic acid; Physcion; Cernuine; Lycocernuine; Deoxocernuine; Tohogenol; Lycernuic acid A and B; Cernoside; a-obscurine; b-obscurine; Obscurinine; Lycodine; Dihydroly-copodine; Flabelliformine; Clavatine; b-lofoline; Lycofoline; Acrifolinol; Lyconnotinol; Lobscurinol; Epilobscurinol; Acetyllobscurinol; Ikshusterol; Epiikshusterol; Emodin; Emodin-8-D-glucoside; N-methyl lycodine; 21-epilycocryptol; Lyclanitin; Ergosterol; Dihydro-brassicasterol; Diepiserratenediol; Physcion-8-D-glucoside; Hydroxypropyllycodine; Des-N-methyl-a-obscurine; Des-N-methyl-b-obscurine; O-acetyldihydrolycopodine; 16-oxodiepiserratenediol; 16-oxo-21-episerratenediol; 26-nor-8-oxo-a-onocerin; 3b,6b-dihydroxystigmast-4-ene; 26,27-bisnor-8, 14-dioxo-a-onocerin; 3b,5a,6b-trihydroxystigmastane. (1)


Exercise caution when administering to pregnant women and patients suffering from excessive bleeding.


Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects

Experiments show that chloroform-, n-butanol-, and water-based extracts of Shen Jing Cao all have a rather pronounced analgesic effect on heat-induced pain, with the effect of chloroform-based extract being the most pronounced. All three extracts, however, don’t seem to affect acid-induced body torsion reaction. Furthermore, all three extracts have a significant inhibitory effect on dimethylbenzene-induced otitis and on acetic acid-induced peritonitis in mice, with the most pronounced effect produced by, again, the chloroform-based extract. The chloroform-based extract also inhibits formaldehyde-induced inflammation in rats’ ankles, while the other two extracts do not. These results indicate that Shen Jing Cao as a herb has significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, and the active components seem to concentrate in its chloroform-based extract. (2)


  1. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Techonology Press; 1998.
  2. Zeng Yuan Er, et al. Journal of Shizhen Medicine. 1999;10(9):641-642.