Shield, or male fern

Dryopteris filix male (L.) Schott

The Shchytnikov family is Aspidiaceae


What does it look like? A perennial herbaceous spore plant without an aerial stem, with a thick rhizome that grows obliquely. Leaves up to 120 cm long, dark green, grow in bunches collected in a funnel; they are pinnate, with linear-lanceolate pinnate sections, short petioles covered with brownish scales. At the end of summer, round sporangia with spores develop in two rows on the sides of the veins on the underside of the leaves, which mature in August and September.

Where does it grow? In forests, mostly deciduous, in shady, but not dead places, over rivers, streams, in moist places, among bushes – almost throughout the territory of Ukraine.

What and when are collected? Thick rhizomes – in autumn or early spring, before the development of leaves; in summer – leaves. When digging up rhizomes, they are cleaned of roots and dead tissues, various residues, leaving only greenish-colored “healthy parts”, which, without washing, are cut into pieces and dried in the shade.

When is it used? As an anthelmintic, in particular, to drive out the solitaire (the substance filicini acts, which is very poisonous, because of this, it is better to drive out the worms using male fern, in a hospital, under the supervision of a doctor).

For neuralgia and headaches, toothaches, rheumatism, aches and pains, rub the painful places with an alcohol tincture of the bark of a certain fern . For this, 1 part of the crushed rhizome is poured with 4 parts of alcohol or strong vodka for 14 days. After 14 days (if necessary, it is possible already on the 3rd day), the tincture is strained and rubbed into painful places several times a day (the teeth are rinsed with it). In the summer, compresses are made on painful places from fresh fern leaves. When you sleep on a mattress stuffed with dried male fern , pains such as rheumatic, headache, toothache subside.

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