Common ram – club moss ram (harvesting and storage)

Common ram (moon ram) -Huperzia selago (L.) Bernh. ex Schrank et Mart. (Lycopodium selgo L.). The Ukrainian name is club moss ram, ram zvichayny, the popular name is p’yadich ram.


The ram family – Huperziaceae.

The herb is used for medicinal purposes.

It occurs in the highlands of the Carpathians on rocky meadows and in Polissya in shady forests. It does not form large thickets, it traditionally grows in small groups and even single specimens.

There are almost no stocks of raw materials (several tens of kilograms of grass can be harvested annually in the Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions). In the last five years, small preparations of this plant were made, and since 1970 they have been completely banned.

The club moss is difficult to recover, its reserves are insignificant and, if it is intensively exploited, it may disappear altogether. The plant is included in the “Chervona Book” of Ukraine. Common ram is a perennial herbaceous evergreen plant with weakly branched small roots. Stem one (or several), erect or more often ascending, up to 25-30 cm tall, simple or forked-branched, densely covered with leaves from the base. Leaves linear-lanceolate, 5-7 mm long, arranged spirally, deflected or obliquely directed upwards. Unlike other types of club moss, the ram does not have spore-bearing “spikelets”. Small reniform sporangia are located in the axils of the upper and middle leaves. The spores are almost smooth. Sporulation in July-August. On the tops of stems and branches, leafy buds develop, which fall off easily.

Grass is harvested in August – September, cutting it with knives or sickles without basal browned parts. You can not pull out plants with roots, as this leads to their very rapid destruction.

Dry in attics under an iron roof or under sheds with good ventilation, laying out a thin layer (3-5 cm) on paper or cloth. The yield of dry raw materials is 25-30%.

According to FS 42-528-72, the raw material consists of whole or crushed leafy stems up to 20 cm long, green. There is no smell. Taste is not determined (the plant is poisonous!). Humidity must be no higher than 12%. In raw materials, no more than 5% of browned stems and leaves, 2 organic and 0.5% mineral impurities are allowed. The ash content should not exceed 7, and the ash insoluble in 10% hydrochloric acid should not exceed 3%.

Dry grass is packed in linen-jute or three-layer paper bags of 10 k. Stored in a group of toxic and potent raw materials, in dry, well-ventilated areas on racks or undercarriages. Storage period 3 years.

The grass contains alkaloids (selyagin, etc., they should be at least 0.4% in raw materials), also within 40 various microelements. Used in stationary conditions for the treatment of chronic alcoholism in the form of infusion.

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