Male shield – fern of a man (harvesting and storage)

Name: Male shield – fern cholov_cha (harvesting and storage)

Male shield (Driopteris male, male fern). Dryopteris filix-mas (L.) Schott. The Ukrainian name is the fern of a cholovіch, the shield of a cholovіchi, the drіopteris of a kolovіchi, the popular names are a worm, іvanové zіllya, etc.


Shield family – Dryopteridaceae.

The rhizome is used for medicinal purposes.

It occurs almost throughout Ukraine, with the exception of the south of the Steppe. It grows in forests and in subsequent forest thickets on rich, fresh soils. In the forests of the Carpathians on the northern and western slopes, it sometimes forms an almost continuous cover on tens and even hundreds of hectares. It is also found in significant quantities in the forests of Rostochya-Opole, Volyn and western Forest-steppe, much less frequently in other forest and forest-steppe regions. In the Steppe, it grows only in moist ravine and floodplain forests. The main industrial preparations are possible in the Transcarpathian, Lvov, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Ternopil regions, as well as in the Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv and Chernihiv regions.

Stocks of raw materials are large, many tens of tons of rhizomes can be harvested annually. In the future, due to the cutting down of natural forests and their replacement with artificial forests, the reserves will decrease.

The male shield plant is a perennial plant with a thick, rather short rhizome, covered with the remains of leaf petioles and numerous roots. From the tops and lateral branches of the rhizomes, bunches of large leaves depart, the petioles of which are thickened and covered with brown, shiny, lanceolate scales.

Instead of male fern, inexperienced pickers can procure other species found in Ukraine – ferns.

Harvested rhizomes in autumn (September – October) or early spring at the beginning of regrowth (April), digging them with a knife or shovel (you can pull them out of soft soil). Then they shake off the ground and cut off the leaves, roots, and also the dead parts of the rhizome. Thick rhizomes are cut lengthwise, and long ones also across.

The collected raw materials are dried in ovens or dryers at a temperature not exceeding 40 °, spreading a thin layer on sieves. You can first dry the rhizomes for several days in the open air under sheds, and then dry them. The yield of dry raw materials is 30-33%.

According to GF-VII Art. 584, GOST 2872-45, the raw material consists of pieces of rhizomes, dark brown on the outside, light green inside, cut lengthwise and across, with the remains of leaf petioles covered at the base with rusty-brown scales. The smell is weak, uncharacteristic, the taste is sweetish-tart. Humidity is not higher than 14%. No more than (percent) is allowed in raw materials: rhizomes poorly cleaned of roots, leaves, scales – 5, crushed parts (passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 2 mm) – 3, organic impurities – 1, mineral – 2.

The total ash content must not exceed 3%.

Raw materials are packed in bags or bales weighing 40, 60, 100 kg. Store in dry, well-ventilated areas. Storage period up to 2 years. It cannot be overridden.

The rhizome contains filixic and flavaspidic acids, albaspidin, bitterness, tannins. Thick and dry extracts (filixan) are used as an anthelmintic, mainly for tapeworms.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *