Family: Adiantaceae

English name: Maiden hair Fern.

Description of the plant:
ADIANTUM CAPILLUS -VENERIS L. is a tufted fern. Stipes wiry, suberect, 10-23 cm long, polish, blackish; fronds bipinnate, with a short terminal pinna and numerous erect-patent lateral ones on each side, the lowest slightly branched again; segments 1.25-2.5 cm broad, the base cuneate, the outer edge rounded, deeply lobed; sori roundish or obreniform, placed in the roundish sinuses of the crenations.

Actions and uses:
The plant is pectoral, expectorant, emmenagogue, astringent and diuretic; used as a popular cough medicine in Europe. It is also used in throat affections and bronchial disorders. The leaves along with pepper are given as a febrifuge; prepared with honey they are used in catarrhal affections. In Mexico the plant is used as a tea to relieve colic and for amenorrhoea. The rhizome is used to get relief from respiratory diseases. Decoction of the leaves cures stomach pain. Fresh juice is taken with sugar or honey in irregular menstruation.

Adiantum Capillus Veneris

Chemical constituents:
Astragalin, isoquercitrin, nicotiflorin, kaempferol-3-glucuronide, rutin and querciturone has been isolated from the plant. The plant also contains mixture of esters, ketone, a diol, a nortriterpene-adiantone, and a triterpene epoxide-adiantoxide, characterized as 3α, 4α-epoxyfilicane (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990). Plant also contains 21-OH-adiantone, triterpene, 3,4-epoxyfilicare and flavons (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chittagong, Mymensing on shady walls.