Maidenhair is a delicate perennial fern found in moist cool places in North America and Asia. The creeping rootstock produces leaves from 1 to 2-1/2 feet high, growing on dark, polished stalks which are forked at the top. The leaflets are long, fan-shaped, lobed on upper side and alternate.
Family: Adiantaceae (Fern family)
Other Names: Five-finger fern, Maiden fern, Rock fern
Parts Used: Leaves
Habitat: Rich woods; moist limestone ravines. Maine, south to Georgia and Louisiana; west to Oklahoma; north to Minnesota and westward.
Properties: Expectorant, (cooling).
Main Uses: Tea or syrup used for nasal congestion, asthma, sore throats, hoarseness, colds, fever, flu and pleurisy. This fern was highly valued as a medicinal plant by some 19th century medical practitioners, suggesting that its efficacy should be investigated by science.Stems were used by Indians as a hair wash to make their hair shiny.
Preparation And Dosages:
A decoction made from the leaves helps to clear up coughs and congestion due to colds, as well as hoarseness.
Decoction: 1 teaspoon fresh leaves or 2 teaspoons dried leaves with 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups a day.