Male fern (male shield fern)

Perennial herbaceous plant 30-100 cm tall. The rhizome is thick, brown, covered with numerous adventitious filamentous roots and numerous brown scaly leaves, which also cover the young leaves. From the top of the rhizome come out large, pinnately compound leaves, wrapped in a cochlear shape. On the underside of the leaves, sporangia with spores develop by autumn; later, after maturation, they spill out through the rupture of the sporangia and serve for fern propagation. Spores form from June to September.

Medicinal raw materials are rhizomes with strong poisonous properties. Collection is made in autumn (September-October). Rhizomes are cleaned of earth, roots and scaly leaves. Dry in dryers, ovens or ventilated areas. Stored in jars tightly closed with lids, in compliance with the rules for storing poisonous plants. Storage period 1 year.

The rhizomes that have turned brown inside are not suitable for consumption.

Fern rhizomes contain fern, flavaspidic acids, albaspidin, aspidinol (phlorolucin derivatives) and others. These substances are mainly muscle poisons. When acting on tapeworms, they cause paralysis of their muscles. In medical practice, it is used in the form of an ethereal extract and more in tablets “filik-san” (filiksan is less toxic than the extract) mainly against tape and round worms (broad tapeworm, bovine and pork tapeworm, etc.). Fern products are also effective against dwarf tapeworm.

Caution must be exercised when using male fern products, as they are poisonous. Treatment should be carried out only as directed and under the supervision of a doctor according to a certain scheme.

For the successful expulsion of the tapeworm, if the treatment is carried out without the supervision of a doctor, the following rules must be observed: 1-2 days before treatment, a nutritious, but easily digestible (liquid) food, poor in fats (white bread, crackers, cereal soups, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, liquid milk porridge, boiled fresh fish, kissels, coffee, tea; sugar is also allowed).

On the eve of treatment at dinner, they drink only sweet tea or coffee with crackers; at night take a laxative salt (30 g); Before going to bed, it is recommended to eat a piece of herring with onions. In the morning, on an empty stomach, ready-made or home-made pills from male fern extract are taken after 15-20 minutes. After 30 min. after taking the last dose of the product, the patient is given a saline laxative (30 g); if there is no stool within 3 hours, a warm enema is given. When the parasite comes out without a head, it is necessary to give an enema 1-3 more times.

It is customary for the people to sit on a pot of hot milk (a quarter of a dish) and push when they are called to a chair.

In folk medicine, an aqueous extract of the rhizomes of the male fern is used externally for baths, for rheumatism and convulsive contractions of the muscles of the legs, purulent wounds and ulcers.


Essential fern extract – the finished product in the amount of 5 g, divided into 10 capsules, should be taken after 5 minutes, washed down with water or 1% soda solution.

If there is no finished product, it can be replaced with a decoction of the rhizome (South by 200 ml), condensed to half, and taken 1 teaspoon with honey. This amount of decoction is kneaded with flour and divided into 10 pills – a serving for adults; children should be given a decoction according to age.

Filiksan tablets – 2 tablets every 5 minutes, followed by a saline laxative (for the expulsion of tapeworms).

Signs of poisoning with male fern products: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, respiratory and cardiac depression, jaundice, convulsions, blurred vision.

First aid and treatment: gastric lavage, saline laxatives, intravenous administration of isotonic sodium chloride solution, glucose; heating pads, warm baths, with convulsions – chloral hydrate.

Infusion for baths: 50 g of dry rhizome or 100 g of fresh root boil for 2-3 hours in 2-3 liters of water, bath temperature 28-30°C.

Preparations (extract) are contraindicated in decompensation (failure) of the heart, diseases of the liver and kidneys, peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum, acute gastrointestinal and febrile diseases, pregnancy, severe exhaustion, anemia and active tuberculosis. In such cases, pumpkin seed products can be used.

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