Historical Use of Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)


HistoricalUse of Male Fern (Dryopterisfilix-mas)HistoricalUse of Male Fern (Dryopterisfilix-mas)Malefern (Dryopterisfilix-mas)is one of the hardiest and commonest fern in Britain. Blumenthal(2008) findings indicate that the male fern has a foliage that iselegant as well as robust hence, it is able withstand and thrivewell in sunny and dry soils. It has been widely used as a traditionalmedicine for the treatment of infections that are caused by worms. Inthe past, many people used it to treat ringworm infections (Winslow,2007). Again older herbalists boiled and used its roots as an oilmentfor healing wounds they also used it powdered roots to cure ricketsin children (Underwood, 2009).

Inaddition, other people use it liquid extracts as an anthelminticagainst tapeworms the liquid expel as well as kill all form oftapeworms. Underwood (2009) argues that the extract work well whenadministered at night and follow it with a purgative, like castoroil, in the morning. Winslow (2007) findings show that most Chineseuse extracts from the fern to treat wounds, heavy menstruationbleeding, as well as recurrent bloody nose. Its components arefurther used as veterinary vemifuges.

Underwood(2009) acknowledges that it is advisable to follow the fern with afairly strong purgative after two hours of its administration. Thisplays a key role in ensuring that it meets it objective in aneffective manner as well as rid the body of both fern and fiend. Ifsome parts of the male fern are left in the body, then they can havedetrimental effects to the host since they become poisonous withtime. According to Blumenthal (2008), blindness and even death mayoccur due to improper use of this fern.


Blumenthal,M. (2008). The Complete GermanCommission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines.Austin, TX: American Botanical Council.

Underwood,L. (2009). TheNumber of Known Ferns. Science,24(624), 761-763.

Winslow,E.J. (2007). TheMale Fern in Vermont. AmericanFern Journal, 7 (3), 87-90.