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Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss)

Close up of Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss)

What is Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss)?

Selaginella tamariscina (juan bai, 卷柏), also known as Spikemoss, Herba Selaginellae or Wan Nian Song (万年松), is an evergreen perennial plant that is widely distributed in East Asia. These plants belong to the Lycopodiophyta division which is the oldest lineage of vascular plants on earth. 

In China, this plant is listed in Chinese Pharmacopoeia and is used as a traditional medicine for promoting blood circulation. This herb was first recorded in The Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica (Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, 神农本草经), which is one of the foundation books of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss) falls under the category of ‘Herbs that invigorate the blood’. Such herbs tend to stimulate blood flow, and can aid the circulation of blood in cardiovascular conditions or menstrual irregularities, as well as to treat Blood Stagnation symptoms. 

Neutral in nature, Spikemoss does not affect the yin-yang balance in your body. Pungent in taste, Spikemoss can promote the circulations of qi and body fluids. In particular, Spikemoss targets the Heart and the Liver.

Functions and Benefits of Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss)

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss) has the following health benefits.

Selaginella tamariscina can stop bleeding and disperse Wind. The herb is thus often indicated for symptoms such as hemoptysis, rectal bleeding, intestinal bleeding, hemorrhoidal bleeding and hematuria. 

Also, as Selaginella tamariscina can invigorate blood circulation and regulate Lung qi, it is often used to relieve post-traumatic cough, back strain and sprains.

In addition, Selaginella tamariscina can regulate menstruation and promote urination. Thus, Selaginella tamariscina is used to treat abdominal pain, menstrual cramps and atrophic debilities.

Close up of Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss)
Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss) can help to improve blood circulation.

How to Use Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss)

The recommended daily dosage of Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss) is 4.5 – 10g, when used as a decoction. When stir-baked, the effects of Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss) in stopping bleeding is enhanced.

For external application, you can pound the herb into powder before sprinkling it on the desired area. Do consult your healthcare provider on the appropriate dosage for external application.

You may find Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss) and its supplements such as pills and powder in herbal stores and Asian specialty markets.

Cautions and Side Effects of Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss)

Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss) should not be used by individuals experiencing pregnancy.

We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider before deciding to add Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss) to your healthcare routine!


Here is a summary for Selaginella tamariscina (Spikemoss):

  • Herb name (Chinese): 卷柏
  • Herb name (Pin Yin): juàn bǎi
  • Herb name (English): Spikemoss
  • Herb name (Botanical): Herba Selaginellae
  • Origin of species: Selaginella tamariscina (Beauv.) Spring; Selaginella pulvinata (Hook. et Grev.) Maxim.
  • Part(s) of herb used: Whole plant, including root
  • Geo-specific habitat(s): Most parts of China
  • Taste(s) & Properties: Pungent; Neutral; Administrates the Heart and Liver Meridians
  • Actions: Helps to improve blood circulation, to ease pain

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