FERNS (MALE FERN), Dryopteris filix mas

Fern (Male) Plant

Ferns grow all over the world. They don't like direct sunlight. They would rather have it shady. If the sun is too direct or too hot, the fern will wither and die. The fern likes it kinda shady, kinda moist and kinda warm. Most ferns thrive in the rain forests, although they can be found in most damp forests.

The male fern got it's name “bear's paw” from a brown, creeping, hairy rhizome root that grows on top of the ground or just under the surface, and looks like a bear's paw. Fronds grow off of the mature root at the base and gradually unroll until the entire leaf, or frond, has expanded. The seeds are small spores which hide on the underneath side of the lower leaflets.
The genus name Dyopteris means “oak fern” in Greek and this is because this plant likes to grow in among the oak trees. The species is named filix mas, meaning male fern, because the plant is vigorous in its nature. The main active ingredient in the root is filicic acid. It is strong enough to make hookworms, tapeworms or intestinal parasites want to live someplace else.

Worms and parasites are much more common than most of us would imagine. In some parts of the world, they are very prevalent. Studies show that in some Third World countries, most of the people have some kind of parasites or worms in their body. World-wide, the numbers are staggering. 1.4 billion people have intestinal roundworms and 500 million have malaria, which is caused by a parasite. It is interesting to note that worms outrank cancer as man's deadliest enemy.
In the United States, they say that one person in five or six is a host to worms or parasites. If you have children and dogs and cats or other small animals, the chances are greater. Now, parasites and worms are bad, and if you happen to get a hookworm or tapeworm, that's really bad. I had a friend who had a tapeworm that was about 10 feet long. Doctor's couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. The worms can zap your strength, can cause all kinds of sickness and health problems, and they are very difficult to get rid of.

There are many different kinds of parasite and worm remedies on the market these days, but most of them are loaded with chemical and drugs. However there are many herbal combinations that can discourage these little critters enough to make them want to leave their happy home inside our bodies and look for a new residence somewhere else. Some anthelmintic or vermifuge(used to destroy intestinal worms) herbs, besides male fern, are garlic, black walnut, tansy, blue flag, chaparral, gentian and eucalyptus. These are about the best all around vermifuge herbs that I know of. However, most of these herbs don't have a whole lot of effect on a tapeworm. Some experts say male fern is possibly the best tapeworm remedy there is. They say first eat onions, garlic, pickles and salted fish for a few days. The tapeworm doesn't like them. Then use one teaspoon of finely cut male fern root to a cup of hot water and steep the root. When cool, strain and drink one cup in the morning. The tea paralyzes the worm and it loses its grip on the intestine. The worm doesn't like the garlic, so it wants to get out. Do an enema or prune juice cleanse two hours after drinking the tea. Be sure you get the small end of the worm. That's the head of the worm, and it can grow a new body. Use this tea sparingly. Too much could be harmful. Male fern is good for more than just getting rid of tape worms. It is good against other parasites also.

An old folk tale tells of a curse that was placed on the fern by a pagan god who was jealous of its beauty. It cursed the plant so it could not have a blossom. But I think the curse was placed on the fern by the tapeworm, because the male fern is one of the few plants that can get rid of a tapeworm.

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