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Family Lycopodiaceae
Lycopodiella cernua (L.) Pic.Serm.
P'u-ti Wu-sung

Scientific names  Common names 
Lepidotis cernua (L.) P. Beauv. Iuiukou (Ig.)
Lycopodiella cernua (L.) Pic. Serm. Iakiakan (Ig.)
L. cernua var. caboverdeana (Gilli) O.Eriksson, A.Hansen & Sunding Kolokolud (Ig.)
Lycopodiella cernua var. capillacea (Willd. ex Spring) D.Heller Kuio-kuio (Bis.)
L. cernua var. sikkimensis (Müll.Hal.) Panigrahi & Sarn. Singh Lamon-babae (Tag.) 
Lycopodium brevivracteatum Alderw. Licopodio (Tag.) 
Lycopodium capillaceum (Willd. ex Spring) Willd. ex Spring Samong-babai (Bik.)
Lycopodium cernuum L. Monkey's paws (Engl.)
Lycopodium cernuum var. blancheanum Stehlé Nodding clubmoss (Engl.)
Lycopodium cernuum var. brevifolium Christ Rat's foot (Engl.)
Lycopodium cernuum var. caboverdeanum Gilli Sinew-extending herb (Engl.)
Lycopodium cernuum var. capillaceum Willd. ex Spring Staghorn clubmoss (Engl.)
Lycopodium cernuum var. chaminadeanum Stehlé True club moss (Engl.)
Lycopodium cernuum var. crassifolium Spring  
Lycopodium cernuum f. durissimum Herter ex Nessel  
Lycopodium cernuum var. dussii Christ  
Lycopodium cernuum f. ingens B.C.Tan & Tolentino  
Lycopodium cernuum var. laxum Blume  
Lycopodium cernuum f. macrostachyum Christ  
Lycopodium cernuum var. majus C.Presl  
Lycopodium cernuum var. medium C.Presl  
Lycopodium cernuum var. minus C.Presl  
Lycopodium cernuum var. panamense Wercklé ex Nessel  
Lycopodium cernuum f. sikkimense (Müll.Hal.) H.Kung  
Lycopodium cernuum var. sikkimense (Müll.Hal.) C.B.Clarke  
Lycopodium cernuum f. watsonianum Herter ex Nessel  
Lycopodium heeschii Müll. Hal.  
Lycopodium hupeanum Müll. Hal.  
Lycopodium marianum Willd.  
Lycopodium polycephalum Colenso  
Lycopodium secundum Müll. Hal.  
Lycopodium sikkimense Müll. Hal.  
Palhinhaea brevibracteata (Alderw.) Holub  
Palhinhaea capillacea (Willd. ex Spring) Holub  
Palhinhaea cernua (L.) Franco & Vasc.  
Palhinhaea cernua f. ciliatomarginata W.M.Chu  
Palhinhaea cernua var. lanceolata Gias & Pasha  
Palhinhaea cernua f. laxa (Blume) Satou  
Palhinhaea cernua f. sikkimensis (Müll.Hal.) H.S.Kung  
Palhinhaea cernua var. sikkimensis (Müll.Hal.) Ching  
Palhinhaea crassifolia (Spring) Fraser-Jenk. & Kholia  
Palhinhaea lufengensis C.Y.Yang  
Palhinhaea mariana (Willd.) Holub  
Palhinhaea polucephala (Colenso) Holub  
Lycopodium cernuum L. is a synonym of Lycopodiella cernua (L.) Pic. Serm.
Lycopodiella cernua (L.) Pic. Serm. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Hai nan chui sui shi song, Chui sui shi song, P'u-ti wu-sung.
HAWAIIAN: Wawae'iole.
INDONESIAN: Paku kawat, Pakis kawat, Singingiri, Paku serani.
JAPANESE: Mizu-sugi.
KOREAN: Mul seok song.
LAOTIAN: Kout ngong, Kout khi khep.
MALAYSIAN: Paku serani, Rumput serani, Rumput kenarus.
PORTUGUESE: Licopodio-dos-brejos, Musgo-do-mato, Musgao, Pinheirinho
SPANISH: Licopodio.
THAI: Kuut khon, Rang kai, Slap
WEST AFRICA: Akuru eke, Nyonyo.

Gen info
- Lycopodiella is a genus in the family Lycopodiaceae, members of which are commonly called bog club mosses, referring to their wetland habitat.
- The genus was often incorporated within the genus Lycopodium, but was segregated in 1964. Depending on circumscription, the genus has 15-40 species.

Lamon-babae is a prostrate plant, with stout and creeping stems, 30 to 100 centimeters long, and with small bristly leaves throughout. Primary branches are rigidly erect, 20 to 60 centimeters long, much branched in the upper portion; the lower branches are divided and short, spreading or ascending, pendulous towards the tips. Leaves are inserted all around the stems and branches, crowded, narrowly linear-subulate, 2 to 3 millimeters long. Spikes (cone-like fruiting bodies) are numerous, solitary, and sessile on the tips of the branchlets, 5 to 15 millimeters long.

- Native to the Philippines.
- Widely distributed; abundant at medium and high altitudes, rare at low altitudes.
- Found throughout the warmer countries of the Old World.

- A perennial or subshrub growing primarily in the wet tropical biome.

- Study yielded a new triterpenoid (16-oxo-21-episerratriol) and a flavonoid (cernoside) together with known alkaloids lycocernuine and cernuine, triterpenoids, aonocerin diacetate, serratenediol diacetate, serratriol triacetate and 21-episerratriol triacetate.
- Study isolated three new serratene-type triterpenoids (1-3) and a new hydroxy unsaturated fatty acid (13) together with nine known compounds (4-12). (see study below) (12)
- Study of whole plant isolated three new compounds, namely: lycocernuaside E (1), lycernuic ketone F (2), and lycernuic B (3) and 12 known ones (4-15). (see study below) (16)
- Study of Lycopodiella cernua isolated three new serratene-type triterpenoids (1-3) and a new hydroxy unsaturated fatty acid (13) together with nine known compounds (4-12).  (see study below) (19)
- Study of whole plant isolated two serratane triterpenoids, 3β, 14α, 15α, 21β-tetrahydroxyserrat-15-(3'-methoxyl-4'-hydroxybenzoate) (1) and 16-oxoserrat-14-en-3β, 21α-diol (2). (see study below) (19)
- Study of aerial parts isolated four metabolites, serrat-14-en-3β,21β-diol (1), serrat-14-en-3β,21α-diol (2), 3β,21β-dihydroxyserrat-14-en-21-yl acetate (3), and nonacosanol (4). (20)
- Study isolated a new pentacyclic Lycopodium alkaloid named isopalhinine A, (1) which possesses a sterically congested architecture built with a tricyclo[,7]decane (isotwistane) moiety and a 1-azabicyclo[4.3.1]decane moiety, and palhinines B (2) and C (3). (22)

- Sweet tasting, cooling natured.
- Antirheumatic, antitussive, diuretic.

- Studies have suggested anti-influennza, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-H. pylori, cholinesterase inhibitory, nootropic, anti-amnesic, nootropic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-silicosis properties.

Parts utilized
· Whole plant.
· Collect the plants throughout the year.
· Rinse, cut into pieces and sun-dry.
· Compress before storing.

• Decoction of 15-30 gms of dried material used for acute hepatitis, reddening and swelling in the eyes, costochondritis, chronic cough.
• Decoction used as a lotion in beriberi.
• Decoction used for coughs and uneasiness of the chest.
• Embrocation of its ashes in vinegar used for skin eruptions.
• Decoction of plant used as diuretic; also for rheumatism, diarrhea, dysentery and tenesmus.
• Used medicinally throughout Malaysia for external application.
• In Fiji, traditional use as an antifungal.
• In the Antilles, powder is dusted on irritated parts of children from contact of urine.
• Powder used against diarrhea and dysentery.
• In French Guiana, used for leg pains, spider bites, fever, and in herbal baths
• In French Polynesia, used in treatment for hay fever.
• In India, spores are applied as antiseptic in wounds and injuries. Also, fresh plant infusion used for intestinal infection. Also, for rickets in children.
• In Kerala, for chicken pox drink a lukewarm water concoction of 5 gm of Oryza meyeriana seeds ground to a paste with 5 gm of L. cernuum, a black ant's head (Monorium dichroum) and 100 mg Jumboldtia unijuga (root gall).
Ornamental / Crafts: In the Philippines, in much demand among florists, especially around All Saints' Day, when it is used for making wreaths, baskets and other floral decorations. In India, used as an ornament. (•) In Indonesia and Columbia, used for stuffing cushions as a kapok substitute. (14)
Gunpowder: Spores mixed with gunpowder to increase efficiency of gunpowder and reduce the decibel of explosion.
Rituals / Superstition: Leaves used for sacred rituals. Women do not use the plant during their menstrual periods. In some places, plants are harvested with utmost respect for cultural traditions. Some believe improper use can put the user in great danger. (11)
• Agro: In Malaysia, used as a cover crop in rubber plantations, especially on degraded soils.
• Repellent: in Micronesia, used as a cockroach repellent. (14)

Antimicrobial / Anti-Helicobacter pylori: In vitro anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of Lycopodium cernuum (Linn) Pic. Serm: All fractions of LC extracts demonstrated antimicrobial activity suggesting the plant contains compounds with therapeutic activity. Pharmacologically active compounds such as alkaloids and serratene triterpenes have been found in L cernuum which may be responsible for its antimicrobial effect. 5 fractions from the hexane fraction (100% hexane) yielded the highest activity. Study suggests the plant is a potential source of an antibacterial agent for the treatment of H. pylori. (1)
Antifungal: Fractionation of ethanol extract of L cernuum for Candida albicans secreted aspartic proteases (SAP) inhibition resulted in six new and four known serratene triterpenes and an apigenin-glucopyranoside. Two compounds, lycernuic acid C and and apigenin-4'-O(2',6' '-di-O-p-coumaroyl)-beta-D-glycopyranoside, showed inhibitory effects against C albicans secreted aspartic proteases. (2)
Cholinesterase Inhibitors: Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors increase the availability of acetylcholine in the central cholinergic synapses and are promising drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Study showed the water fraction of a methanolic extract of Lycopodiella cernua significantly inhibited AChE in vitro. Fractionation isolated a new lignan glycoside, lycocernuaside A, together with 15 known compounds. Compound 7 exhibited potent AChE inhibitory activity. Compound 15 showed potent inhibitory activity against BChE and BACE1 while compounds 4 and 7 showed mixed- and competitive-type AChE inhibition. (9)
Anti-Amnesic / Nootropic: Study evaluated the alkaloid fraction of a methanol extract for in vitro acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity in cognition-relevant brain areas of mice. In the in vivo study, the cognitive enhancing effect on amnesic mice induced by scopolamine was investigated by assessment of passive avoidance and a water maze test. Results showed anticholinesterase activity with significant reversal of cognitive impairment in mice. (10)
Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Activity: Study isolated three new serratene-type triterpenoids (1-3) and a new hydroxy unsaturated fatty acid (13) together with nine known compounds (4-12). Compound 13 showed the most potent inhibitory activity against AChE with IC50 value of 0.22µm. (12)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Aerial and Ground Parts: Study evaluated crude methanolic extract of aerial and ground parts for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Phenolic contents were 33.04 and 4.91mg GAE/g, flavonoids contents 11.46 and 5.82 µg QE/g for aerial and ground parts, respectively. DPPH radical scavenging was also relatively low at 19.13%  and 12.21%, respectively. COX-2 inhibition activity was 74.78% for ground parts. A COX2:COX1 ration of 1.29 of aerial parts suggested selectivity for COX2. Extracts were nontoxic against HEKn normal cells lines and A549 cancer cell lines. Results suggested nontoxicity and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. (15)
Anti-Inflammatory / Anticancer / Whole Plant: Study of whole plant isolated three new compounds, namely: lycocernuaside E (1), lycernuic ketone F (2), and lycernuic B (3) and 12 known ones (4-15). Compounds 5, 12, and 13 exhibited NO inhibitory effects in LPS-stimulated BV2 cells, with IC50s of 21.2, 28.5, and 21.9 µM, respectively. Cytotoxic activity of isolated compounds against MCF7 (breast carcinoma), HepG2 (hepatocarcinoma), and SK-Mel2 (melanoma) cancer cell lines were also reported. (16)
Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory / Anticancer / Lycopodium Alkaloids / Whole Plant: Bioactivity-guided isolated of alkaloidal extract of whole plant led to isolated of six lycopodium alkaloids. Compound 5 showed most activity against AChE with IC50 of 1.9 µM, while the new compound 1 showed weak inhibitory activity wit IC50 of 102 µM. Compound 1 and 3 inhibited A549 (lung carcinoma epithelial cells) cell line with IC50 of 12.6 and 18.4 µM, respectively. (17)

Cholinesterase and ß-Secretase 1 Inhibiting Compounds: Study of Lycopodiella cernua isolated three new serratene-type triterpenoids (1-3) and a new hydroxy unsaturated fatty acid (13) together with nine known compounds (4-12).  Compound 13 showed most potent inhibitory activity against acetylcholinesterase (AChE) with IC50 0.22 µM. Compound 5 showed most potent activity against butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibitory actiivity with IC50 0.4 µM. Compound 2 showed most potent BACE-1 inhibitory activity with IC50 0.23 µM. AChE inhibition by 4, 5, and 13 were mixed; BChE inhibition by 5 was competitive; 2 and 6 were mixed. (18)
Serratane Triterpenoids / Anti-Influenza A Virus Activity / Whole Plant
: Study of whole plant isolated two serratane triterpenoids, 3β, 14α, 15α, 21β-tetrahydroxyserrat-15-(3'-methoxyl-4'-hydroxybenzoate) (1) and 16-oxoserrat-14-en-3β, 21α-diol (2). The two compounds were evaluated for anti-IAV (influenza A virus) activity against A/WSN/33 (H1N1). Preliminary antiviral screening showed compounds 1 and 2 exhibited 9% and 36% inhibition activity at 50 µmol/L, respectively. (19)
Anti-Silicosis: Study evaluated the anti-silicosis action of Shenjincao injection prepared from Palhinhaea cernua for prophylaxis and treatment of experimental silicosis in wistar rats. Silicosis was injected intra-tracheally using quartz dust. Silica-exposed rats were injected intra-peritonerally three times a week with shenjincao for 5-11 weeks. Results showed shenjincao injection is efficacious against experimental silicosis, both prophylactically and for treatment of disease.  (21)

- Wild-crafted.
- Plants and powdered formulations in the cybermarket.

Updated August 2023 / May 2018 / December 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Lycopodiella cernua - Palhinhaea cernua / Eric Guinther / CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported / click on image or link to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: Lycopodium cernuum var. dussii / Patrice78500 / CC BY-SA 3.0 / click on image or link to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Lycopodiella cernua / click on image to go to source page / © Guatemala Cloud Forest Biodiversity

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
In vitro anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of Lycopodium cernuum (Linn) Pic. Serm
/ Ndip R.N., Ajonglefac A.N. et al / African Journal of Biotechnology, 2008; 7(22): pp 3989-3994 / ISSN: 1684-5315
Natural products inhibiting Candida albicans secreted aspartic proteases from Lycopodium cernuum
/ Zhang Z, ElSohly HN et al / J Nat Prod., 2002; 65(7): pp 979-985 / DOI: 10.1021/np0200616
FOLK MEDICINAL PLANTS OF THE NAGAS IN INDIA / Sapu Changkija / Asian Folklore Studies, Volume 58, 1999: 205–230
Studies on the Constituents of Domestic Lycopodium Genus Plants. XIII. : On the Constituents of Lycopodium cernuum L. and Lycopodium inundatum L. [in Japanese] / Inubishi Yasuo, Harayama Takashi et al / Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan 91(9): pp 980-986, 1971-09-25
Traditional uses of some Indian plants among islanders of the Indian Ocean / S K Jain and Sumita Srivastava / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 4(4), Oct 2005, pp 345-357

Traditional remedies of Kani tribes of Kottoor reserve forest, Agasthyavanam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala / Arun Vijayan, Liju VB et al / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 6(4), Oct 2007. pp 589-594.
Palhinhaea cernua (L.) Franco et Vasc. / Chinese names and synonyms / Catalogue of Life, China
Lycopodiella cernua / Synonyms / KIEW: Plants of the World Online
Kinetics and molecular docking studies of cholinesterase inhibitors derived from water layer of Lycopodiella cernua (L.) Pic. Serm. (II). / Hung TM, Lee JS, Chuong NN, Kim JA, Oh SH, Woo MH, Choi JS, Min BS / Chem Biol Interact. 2015 Oct 5;240:74-82. / doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2015.07.008
Anti-amnesic effect of alkaloid fraction from Lycopodiella cernua (L.) Pic. Serm. on scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice. / Chuong NN, Trung BH, Luan TC, Hung TM, Dang NH, Dat NT. / Neurosci Lett. 2014 Jul 11;575:42-6. / doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.05.031
Lycopodiella cernua--Taboos that limit overharvesting / Sacred Natural Sites: Conserving Nature and Culture / Edited by Bas Verschuuren, Jeffrey McNeely, Gonzalo Oviedo, Robert Wild
Isolation of cholinesterase and β-secretase 1 inhibiting compounds from Lycopodiella cernua. / Nguyen Van Thu, To Dao Cuong, Tran Manh Hung, Oh Sang Ho, Kim Jeong Ah et al. / Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 2015; 23 (13) / doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2015.04.080
Licopodiella / Wikipdedia
Lycopodiella cernua (PROSEA) / N Wulijarni-Soetjipto, W P de Winter / Pl@ntUse
Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant and Cytotoxicity Studies on Lycopodiella cernua (L.) J. Sm. in Bukidnon, Philippines / Heidi Chavez Porquis, Aileen May Gabule Ang, Glenda Zerda Doblas, Reggie Yadao de la Cruz et al / Asian Journal of Biological and Life Sciences, 2018; 7(2) / DOI: 10.5530/ajbls.2018.7.3
Chemical constituents from Lycopodiella cernua and their anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activities / Vu Huong Giang, Le Thi Thuy, Pham Thi Cham, Le Ba Vinh, Ninh Khac Ban, Tran My Linh et al /  Natural Product Research, 2022; 36(16): pp 4045-4051 / DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2021.1958807
Bioactive alkaloids from Palhinhaea cernua / Dong-Bo Zhang, Jian-Jun Chen, Li Zhang, Qiu-Yan Song, Kun Gao et al / Phytochemistry Letters, 2014; Vol 10: pp 76-79 / DOI: 10.1016/j.phytol.2014.08.008
Isolation of cholinesterase and β-secretase 1 inhibiting compounds from Lycopodiella cernua / Van Thu Nguyen, Dao Cuong To, Manh Hung Tra, Byung Sun Min et al / Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2015; 23(13): pp 3126-3134 / DOI: 10.1016/j.bmc.2015.2015.04.080
A New Serratane Triterpenoid from Lycopodiella cernua / Jin Yu, Huang Zhengwan, Huang Yingna, Xu Yingting, Yan Jian, Yang Jie, Zhou Zhongyu, Wei Xiaoyi / Chinese Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2020; 40(8): pp 2531-2534 / DOI: 10.6023/cjoc202004006
Serratene-type triterpenoids from Lycopodium cernuum / Pham Huu Dien, Nguyen Thi Thao, Nguyen Thi Hai, Le Thi Khanh Linh, Dang Ngoc Quang, Bui Tuan Nam, Nguyen Quang Tung / Vietnam Journal of Chemistry, 2018; 56(4): pp 521-524 / DOI: 10.1002/vjch.201800041
Shenjincao (Palhinhaea cernua) Injection for Treatment of Experimental Silicosis of Rats 
/ Li-Zhong He, Ze-Hua Huang, Hui-Ru Wang, De-Yun Tu, Zheng-Fang Mao / Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 1998; 50(3): pp 351-354 / DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-7158.1998.tb06872.x
Isopalhinine A, a Unique Pentacyclic Lycopodium Alkaloid from Palhinhaea cernua / Liao-Bin Dong, Xiu Gao, Fei Liu, Qin-Shi Zhao et al / Organic Letters, 2013; 15(14): pp 3570-3573 / DOI: 10.1021/ol40141m


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