Common bracken

Common bracken (Pteridium aquilinum L.)

Common bracken is a perennial plant from the family of Centipedes (Polypodiaceae).


Perennial rather tall fern with creeping woody, almost black rhizome and erect rounded stem. Leaves on long petioles, most often in whorls of three, dense, light green, triangular; lobes of the second order are oblong, pinnatipartite at the base. In spring, young leaves are twisted at the top; in summer, sporangia are found along the edges of the leaf lobes, merging into a continuous line under the curled edge of the leaf.

Contains active substances:

Bracken rhizome contains hydrocyanic and bracken-tannic acids, alkaloids, essential oil and pteraquilin.

Medicinal use:

Bracken rhizome is boiled and drunk for stomach pains, a decoction of the whole plant is used for tapeworms; a decoction of the aerial part of the plant is drunk for aching joints, for coughing.

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