The Lycopodium genus (of the family Lycopodiaceae) is a genus of herbs more commonly known as Clubmoss or Toothed Clubmoss, the genus (Lycopodium) is synonymous with Huperzeria in reference to the main bioactive of clubmoss being Huperzine-A (also known as shuangyiping); other less common synonyms for this plant include Devil's Ash, Devil's Claw, or Ground Pine.
The related herb Lycopodium serratum appears to be a traditional chinese medicine for memory and the overall genus includes the species of serratum or serrata, alpinum, annotinum, clavatum, complanatum subspecies chamaecyparissus, obscurum, and selago.
The genera of Lycopodium (also known as Huperzeria) is traditionally used for memory improvement and cognition, and several species of this plant appear to have traditional usage
Plants of the Lycopodium genera tend to contain (species stated if only found in those species, otherwise the compound has been found in various species and is thought to be general):
Huperzine-A (shuangyiping; commonly seen as the main bioactive)
Lycoflexine and lycoposerramine
Lycopoclavamine A (Lycopodium clavatum)
Ferulic Acid (0.443% dry weight)
There appears to be a large amount of structurally unique alkaloids in this plant. Although their bioactivity is not completely elucidated right now, they are unique to the genera of Lycopodium/Huperzeria and there is more than just Huperzine-A
Complanadine structures from lycopodium complanatum have been found to induce mRNA for NGF at a concentration of 100μM by 3.9 (complanadine A), 2.3 (complanadine B), 2.4 (complanadine D), and 2.8-fold (complanadine E). This has been reported previously with complanadines C and D.
Complanadine structures (unique to lycopodium complanatum) may increase NGF levels, but this occurs at quite a high concentration and may not be practically relevant for supplementation of the plant
A study using fractions of Lycopodium clavatum in a mouse model of acetic-acid induced capillary permeability increases, it was found that the most active fragment (500mg/kg chloroform extract causing 32.1% inhibition) was less potent than the reference drug of indomethacin at 10mg/kg (44.6% inhibition). This fraction was mostly (84.5%) lycopodine.
Potential anti-inflammatory effects, but seems pretty weak relative to reference drugs and requires quite a high dosage as well