Latin Name: athrythium filix, capillaire commun, dryopteris filixmas, adiantum pedatum, pteridium aquilinum, polypodium vulgare. Alternative Name: male fern, lady fern, maidenhair fern, de montpellier, hair of venus, oak fern, bracken Forms Available: leaf, root
Ferns, e.g. Male Fern, Maidenhair Fern, Bracken, Lady Fern, Polypody, or Oak Fern. The Druids classified ferns as sacred trees. Uncurled fronds of Male fern were gathered at Midsummer, dried and carried for good luck. The mysterious regeneration of ferns led to the ancient belief that their seed could confer invisibility. The root was added to love potions and the fronds eaten by those embarking on love quests.
Male Fern: The fall gathered root is a remedy for tapeworm. A few hours after it has been ingested, a purgative is given. Begin the vermifuge process by eating fresh garlic. Take one to four teaspoons of the liquid extract of the root, or of the powdered root, on an empty stomach and follow several hours later with castor oil. Caution: do not ingest alcohol while taking this herb. Overdose can result in blindness and death.
The roots are added to healing salves for wounds and rubbed into the limbs of children with rickets.
Aromatherapy & Health Uses: The roots are added to healing salves for wounds and rubbed into the limbs of children with rickets.
Other Uses: Fern “seeds” are said to render one invisible if gathered on Midsummer’s Eve. Ferns are also said to be an herb of immortality. Moonwort is especially effective if gathered by moonlight.