Polypodium Vulgare. This is a perennial herb of the fern tribe. It is a small herb consisting of nothing but roots and leaves, bearing neither stalk, flower, nor seed. It has three or four leaves rising from the root, each one single by itself, of about a hand length, are winged, consisting of many small narrow leaves, cut into the middle rib, standing on each side of the stalk large below and smaller up to the top, not dented at the edges as the male fern is, of a sad green colour, and smooth on the upper side, but on the other side rough, by reason of some yellowish spots set thereon.

The root is smaller than one's little finger, creeping under the upper crust of the earth, of a sweetish harsh taste, set with rough nags on each side, having much mossiness or yellow hairiness upon it and some fibres underneath. It grows also upon old rotten stumps, or trunks of trees, as oak, beech, hazel, willow, or any other, as in the woods under them, and upon old mud walls, and in mossy, stony, and gravelly places near unto wood. That which grows upon oak is accounted the best.

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Polypody of the Oak:

The fresh root is used; it is a safe and gentle purge, used as a decoction it promotes the flow of urine. It is efficacious in jaundice, dropsy, and scurvy. It is an expectorant removing phlegm copiously. Combined with mallows it drives away melancholy, removes hardness of the spleen, stitches in the sides, and colic. Combined with a little ginger it is a safe and gentle medicine, fit for all persons. A drachm or two of dried roots powdered, taken fasting in a cup of honey water, works gently, and for the purposes aforesaid. The distilled water both of roots and leaves, is much commended for the quartan ague, to be taken for days together, and with some sugar-candy dissolved therein, is good against cough, shortness of breath, wheezings, and those distillations of thin rheum upon the lungs, which cause consumption. The fresh roots beaten small, or the powder of the dried roots mixed with honey, and applied to the nose, cures the disease called Polypus, which is a piece of flesh growing therein, which in time obstructs the passage of breathing through the nostrils.

Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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