What happens if I use Artificial Intelligence to write a homeopathy blog about Lycopodium?

Reflecting upon AI and Lycopodium Clavatum as a homeopathic remedy

For some number of months I’ve been meaning to write a blog on Lycopodium Clavatum. For a number of reasons I hadn’t done this, and after a few more months of thinking about Lycopodium, I stumbled upon another thought “I wonder what Artificial Intelligence(AI) will tell me about Lycopodium Clavatum as a homeopathic remedy if I ask it?”

This blog is a reflection on both Lycopodium and AI after asking AI what it knows about Lycopodium Clavatum. I’ll include reflections about AI and homeopathy and explore how the initial response from AI fulfils the answer to my question. I hope this will kickstart a conversation amongst practitioners and patients about the impacts AI may have on what we do and how we engage with AI.

To get started with the project, I used Microsoft Copilot which integrates ChatGPT and a range of other AI activities in Microsoft. I used it as I had it already on my computer. It is free and easy to use. On March 6th 2024, I asked: “Write me 500 words on the homeopathic benefits of Lycopodium Clavatum”.  Within 4 seconds, 411 words, several images, and links to other sites and advertisements appeared on my screen. 

AI and Homeopathy

Here it is as it appeared:

Certainly! Here’s a detailed exploration of the homeopathic benefits of Lycopodium clavatum:

Lycopodium Clavatum: A Deep-Acting Homeopathic Remedy

Overview: Lycopodium Clavatum, commonly known as Club moss or Wolf’s claw, is a powerful and frequently used remedy in homeopathy. It has a broad spectrum of action, affecting various parts of the body. This remedy is particularly well-suited for treating chronic diseases that have deep-seated roots.

Key Characteristics:

  • Appearance: Individuals who benefit from Lycopodium often exhibit an “Old Man-like appearance.” Even young children may appear mature beyond their age. They tend to be weak, anemic, and pale, with wrinkled and unhygienic skin.
  • Body Composition: The upper part of their body appears emaciated, while the lower half is swollen and cold to the touch.
  • Intellectual Keenness: Lycopodium personalities are intellectually sharp but physically weak. They excel mentally but struggle with physical stamina.
  • Fear and Apprehension: These individuals fear failure and dread public interactions. Professionals like doctors, lawyers, and teachers may experience this fear when facing their responsibilities.

Areas of Action:

  • Respiratory Tract: Lycopodium has a significant impact on the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract.
  • Digestive System: It influences the digestive system, making it useful for conditions like constipation.
  • Genitourinary Tract: Lycopodium benefits kidney and urinary issues.
  • Liver: It is a top remedy for liver ailments.
  • Digestive Tract: Lycopodium helps with indigestion linked to anxiety and stress.
  • Sexual Function: It assists with urological and sexual function issues.

Common Uses:

  • Frequent Urination: Lycopodium can address frequent urination.
  • Hair Regrowth: It may aid in hair regrowth.
  • Kidney Stones: Lycopodium is beneficial for kidney stone-related discomfort.
  • Sciatica: It can alleviate sciatic nerve pain.
  • Grey Hair: Lycopodium may help with premature greying of hair.
  • Vertigo: It can ease vertigo symptoms.
  • Constipation: Especially for constipation with offensive gas.
  • Hernia: Lycopodium is considered in hernia cases.


  • Lycopodium 30 and Lycopodium 200 are commonly used potencies in homeopathy.
  • Dosage should be individualized based on the specific case and the practitioner’s guidance.

Availability: Lycopodium is found in hilly regions of Central and Northern Europe, Russia, Asia, and North America. It thrives in Great Britain, especially in the North.

In summary, Lycopodium Clavatum is a profound remedy for chronic diseases, offering relief to those who exhibit intellectual keenness but struggle with physical weakness. As with any homeopathic treatment, consult a qualified practitioner for personalized advice and dosages1234.

Remember, this information is for educational purposes, and individual responses to homeopathic remedies may vary. Always seek professional guidance for your specific health concerns

Lycopodium Clavatum

Lycopodium Clavatum

My first reaction to the output was: Wow – that’s impressive. AI produced this answer in 4 seconds. 

A short journey into AI

AI is here and there is no going back to a time where it doesn’t exist. We can engage with its activity, and indeed are already engaging with it through many processes. Examples of where AI is already in our lives are: in personalised shopping, eCommerce, fraud detection, spam filters, facial recognition, and the list goes on. If you use any social media, AI is there learning from you, about what you want, so that it can give you more of it. 

It is now considered a significant tool that the UN has an advisory body on development of AI for the future

Some believe that it is already too late to stop it evolving, to control it, or be in charge of what it does. 

In the Sydney Morning Herald (March 12, 2024) James Titcom writes in his analysis piece “Disruption Alert: AI start-up aims at search engines” about the way AI could supersede search engines. He raises an important question: when we visit Google, or as some people often say Dr Google, are we seeking an answer to a question, or a website that has the answer? He suggests that we are seeking an answer and we don’t really care about the website anymore.  The difference between Google and AI is that one is passive, the other is interpretive and makes decisions. We may need to rethink an assumption about AI, the one that says it is only a very smart search engine.

We will use AI to get answers to all sorts of questions. This opens a layered smorgasbord of questions for me about AI. Right now AI is learning. We might ask a question and be amused at the answer. Like for me, in 4 seconds, 411 words and several images later I am astounded at what it produces, how quickly it produces it. Reasonable questions we might like to keep in mind are: where does this information come from? Is it accurate? Can I explore where the answer came from to see for myself if I agree with the answer? I am wondering at what point our critical thinking will slumber into unconscious acceptance of the output. Maybe in time I won’t care about any of these questions and just be happy with the instant answer? James Titcom and Perplexity think so.

If we fall into the heuristic trap that AI works most of the time, we will get very used to the answers it provides without feeling the need to critically assess the content it provides.  That’s great for 80% of the time when the importance of the decisions made don’t really matter. What if the answer was informing a life and death decision?

In medicine, the use of ChatGPT is being explored to enhance the decision making role of medical practitioners. Studies indicate that many people leave an outpatient hospital clinic undiagnosed, potentially leading to a critical situation for the patient.  Using AI as part of the diagnosis in a crisis situation in hospital or indeed in a medical consultation could become normalised.

I know several people who insisted at hospital emergency departments that something was wrong, refusing to leave, to find that they had a serious problem that was not diagnosed. They lived to tell the tale. A tool that supports accurate diagnosis sounds like a great idea, especially in a time sensitive arena. Could the AI tool get it wrong like the human doctor? Or will it always give the right result? We are yet to find out the answer to that question.

On a more local level, a trend is occurring in my practice, where many of my patients regularly inform themselves with medical and homeopathy facts through Google. This happens more so when they don’t get an answer to their issue, either from me or from their medical practitioner. The destination of that answer could easily be AI through ChatGPT, Copilot, Gemini, and if it takes off Perplexity. I think AI and its use in our practice and by our patients is something for homeopaths to consider. To do that we need to engage with it so that we can begin to understand how it might help or hinder our efforts.

Let us consider an example: my patient comes and I prescribe Lycopodium. My efforts to explain why I’ve prescribed it fall short for the patient’s needs. They ask AI, using Copilot on their phone, about Lycopodium, and at least on March 6,  2024 the 411 words and images come out.

So what did Copilot tell me about Lycopodium?

Firstly, I asked for 500 words on the topic and AI gave 411. I wonder why? It could be that Copilot already made several decisions on my behalf and decided 411 words gave me the sufficient information I requested. The truth is I have no idea why it did that, nor why it gave me links to advertisements and other professionals I could also visit, especially when I did not ask for that information. I don’t suppose Copilot knows I am a professional homeopath yet, but I really don’t know what Copilot knows about me or about homeopathy. It may seem like I’m quibbling. I made a request, and it did not fulfil a simple quantifiable parameter that I set for it. The reason why is unknown.

The report starts by informing me that Lycopodium is a deep acting remedy. We can assume we know why it does that. For over 200 years homeopaths have been writing this phrase repeatedly in all of the fundamental homeopathy texts. Copilot gives it to me now and I’m very pleased. Why? It is a familiar phrase to me as a homeopath.  This phrase also evokes other responses. It feels good to me to know that a remedy is deep acting as opposed to shallow acting. I want the best remedy, the deepest remedy, the medicine that will help me the best. But what on earth does “deep acting remedy” actually mean to a homeopath? What does this phrase evoke for a patient who knows little or nothing about homeopathy? These are the things that come to mind for me about the words deep acting remedy.   

In Chronic Diseases (2nd edition 1835) Samuel Hahnemann lists 1608 expressions of symptoms that he noted were linked to the recorded action of homeopathically prepared Lycopodium. These were reported by his patients, himself (most likely) and 7 other doctors who also took the remedy. In other words he provided a detailed record of clinical as well as proving results from the 1800’s. Today there are over 23, 402 such symptoms recorded for Lycopodium (in Complete Repertory 2021). These symptoms and experiences are windows into the heart and nature of Lycopodium.  

Are the list of symptoms listed about a remedy equivalent to the remedy?

An analogy I like to use is to think how would you describe the taste of an orange to someone who hasn’t tasted an orange before? Describing the skin, the colour, the texture, the heaviness, the smell, juiciness or dryness, none of it gives you the taste. When you’ve tasted the orange you can know of that sweetness, and the word sweetness in regards to orange now has a context for you. But without having had the taste of that type of sweetness, the word “sweet” doesn’t convey the orange taste. Likewise with remedies: it is not the description of the symptoms that are helped by the remedy, it is the experience of the taste of that specific remedy that fits the state of the patient, that which resonates with the patient, that is the deep action of the remedy. It is the taste of the orange.

Deep acting means to a homeopath that some core knowledge about the person’s nature and experience of their maladies is addressed by the remedy. The taste is known and matched. The output of Copilot today does not give us that understanding or any clues as to how homeopathically prepared Lycopodium would act if such a state was addressed.

Many homoeopaths have taken the remedies that they prescribe, either through participating in provings themselves, or through their own healing work with the remedies. Often they have a deep sense of what the remedy deep action is through the experience it had on them. They have tasted the orange. 

At this time Copilot is reporting the remedy Lycopodium is a generalised way. It is not giving the information that allows an understanding of the taste of the orange, of the essence of Lycopodium. If you are a novice or know nothing about homeopathy, you may read the output from Copilot and feel like you’ve been given something real and tangible to understand about what Lycopodium is good to be used for.

All of the main areas of action that the AI report gave are true. A person in the Lycopodium state may exhibit all or some of these physical areas with ailments.  They may not, as well. 

I will use a young person as an example, as they are likely to be the most influenced and affected by AI technologies, as it becomes part of their education. They will live the longest with it and see it in its future incarnations as it evolves.

The practitioner prescribes a young girl, Lycopodium, based on a range of physical symptoms and a sense that the girl is highly capable but afraid to be herself. The girl goes to AI to ask for information about Lycopodium, and doesn’t relate to any of the information it produces. “I don’t look pale, wrinkled and unhygienic! I don’t look like an old man! This is quite insulting really that someone has decided I should have Lycopodium. What an outrage. I’m not taking that remedy, I’m not seeing that practitioner again.”  And a possible deep acting remedy is not taken because the language and output of AI turns the patient off.

  • Appearance: Individuals who benefit from Lycopodium often exhibit an “Old Man-like appearance.” Even young children may appear mature beyond their age. They tend to be weak, anaemic, and pale, with wrinkled and unhygienic skin.

At the end of the report, Copilot lists two potencies and muddles the idea of individuation for the posology of the prescription. It gives the regular reader the idea to try 30C or 200C and offers a link to where you can buy the remedies. Individuation is the process of the entire homeopathic consultation, seeking to bring the best remedy of the moment for the person presenting with their ailments.  It is part of the remedy selection as well as the potency and frequency of dose. The inclusion of “Seek Advice” from the practitioner is useful. In reality how many people register that information, when their goal is to find out about the remedy?  How often do you read the fine print in anything you are seeking information about? 

The least useful part of the 411 words on Lycopodium is the description where the remedy has some sphere of action. Lycopodium is known in homeopathy as a polycrest remedy, as noted earlier has at least 23,000+ recorded symptoms; it has spheres of activity in all areas and functions of the human being.

The information provided here is empty. It is full of generalised statements that don’t really tell us what the effect of the remedy could be. Or how useful Lycopodium could be. Take Item 10. It is a top remedy for liver ailments.

Liver: It is a top remedy for liver ailments.

Roger Morrison (Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms 1993) lists Lycopodium for liver ailments under Abdominal – Hepatitis, acute or chronic cases, Cholecystitis with pains worse from eating and deep inhalation.  This condensed extract from Morrison is more descriptive than “a top remedy for liver ailments”. Much more helpful if we are trying to get the taste.

Looking at the last section of the report on the common uses for Lycopodium, it is here that we gain the greatest disservice to homeopathic principles. By reviewing these statements it could be easily determined that if I have a urinary frequency problem taking Lycopodium could be a good idea especially if my hair is grey prematurely and failing out.

  • Frequent Urination: Lycopodium can address frequent urination.
  • Kidney Stones: Lycopodium is beneficial for kidney stone-related discomfort.
  • Grey Hair: Lycopodium may help with premature greying of hair.

Referring again to Morrison for a summary of some symptoms, we can get a far better sense of what all of these symptoms are about. We can slowly move towards the taste of “orange.”

Painful urges for urination, right sided pains and right sided kidney stones, reddish sediment in the urine, enuresis, back pain better from enuresis. This tells us a lot more than simply “beneficial for kidney stone-related discomfort”. What really helps stone discomfort? Dissolution, softening, passing.  The action of Lycopodium helps all calculi anywhere in the body: kidney, bladder, gallbladder. It helps the calculi of the mind and emotions, a grievance that can’t be let go, a memory that haunts, and a dream that repeats.  In The Soul of Remedies, Sankaran talks of the hard heartedness of a Lycopodium, censoriousness, egotism, need for power. Hard hearted needing love. These too can be seen as expressions of calculi.

What is the tendency within to create a calculus? The action is a gripping, holding on, hardening. That action repeats itself in constipation, old ideas, sedentary nature, not wanting to move, even when the act of moving will be of great benefit to the health of the person. Holding onto a love that isn’t there, a concept of love that is not matched in reality. It can be very useful when the act of change and advancement requires something held onto to be let go, but the person is stuck in the holding on because they can’t conceive how to simply let something be as it is.

When reading the report from Copilot you may feel you have been given something to understand, some knowledge. Maybe in time my belief about AI means that I can believe it has learned far better than any human has, so I will believe its output without critically analysing it.  This would be a reasonable thing to assume at some stage, maybe not today, but in some tomorrow it is likely to be true. 

The taste of Lycopodium is so much more than these words, ideas and concepts. Copilot clearly does search the information published about Lycopodium to put together its output. This I believe puts an onus on homeopaths who are writing about modality to consider what we are sharing. Do we want people to be understanding of the benefits of homeopathy treatment, are we happy with a empty summary that says this is good for you, or do we educate them in the depth of healing possible when they taste the remedy?

The taste or essence of the remedy isn’t present in the 411 words Copilot answered to my request “Write me 500 words on the homeopathy benefits of Lycopodium Clavatum.” At least, it is not present in March 6, 2024.  We may see over time how this changes. I plan to run this test again in a few months time to see what happens and will let you know. 

Celeste Salter

Dr Celeste Salter is the research co-ordinator of The Aurum Project which is an Australian charity for homeopathic medicine research. Celeste is also the Editor for Similia: The Journal of the Australian Homoeopathic Association. Celeste practices homeopathy in Faulconbridge NSW, and sees patients who appreciate an integrated approach to their health care. Her practice website is