Thursday, March 26, 2009

Polypodium vulgare L.

English Name : Common Polypody

Family : Polypodiaceae

Smallish evergreen fern of rock crevices, 10 - 25 cm high; fronds form a network of spreading, mat-like rhizomes. Leaves single; leathery, green, erect or spreading; blade elongated, tapering to a pointed tip, deeply cut almost to the central axis; leaflets almost altemate, hairiess, margins entire or shallowly toothed, blunt-tipped; central axis basically winged; leafstalk lightly scaled near the base. The fruit is borne on the lower surface of the frond, in large, distinct, golden dots, sori, or capsules, without any indusium, round, in a double row, and becoming finally brownish.

Dry shaded ledges and crests in ravines, in calcareous or somewhat acid soils.

Parts Used : Roots

Herb Effects
Alterative, anthelmintic, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, pectoral, purgative, tonic (root).

Active Ingredients
Benzoic acid, citric acid, citrostadienol, malic acid, (root); beta-sitosterol, butyric acid, caffeic acid, catechins, filicin, glycyrrhizin, lauric acid, methyl-salicylate, stearic acid, sucrose (rhizome); salicyclic acid (leaf).

Medicinal Use
For melancholia and also for rheumatic swelling of the joints (fresh roots); in jaundice, dropsy and scurvy, and combined with mallows removes hardness of the spleen, stitches in the side and colic. In the treatment of pleurisy, hives, sore throats and stomach aches and as a mild laxative for children (tea from roots).

Powdered plant: from 1 to 4 drachms.
Decoction or syrup: 1 to 4 fluid ounces, 3 or 4 times a day.


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