Dryopteris

Filix-mas, (Linne) Schott, marginalis, (Linne) Gray.

The dried rhizome and stipes, without roots, dead portions.

Habitat. 1. N. America, N. Asia, Europe, N. Africa. (Canada, westward to Rocky Mountains, Mexico, S. America, Andes, Himalaya Mountains, Polynesian Islands.) 2. N. America, southward to N. Carolina; mountains.

Syn. Male Fern, Male Shield Fern, Bear's Paw Root; Sweet Brake, Knotty Brake, Shield Root; Br. Filix Mas, Radix Filicis maris; Fr. Fougere male; Ger. Rhizoma Filicis, Farnwurzel, Wurmfarn, Waldfarn, Johanniswurzel.

Dry-op'te-ris. L. fr. Gr.

Aspidium Aspidium 105

of the oak, growing among trees, in thickets, +

Aspidium Aspidium 106

a leather, wing or fern - i. e., their favored place of growth.

Fil'ix-mas'. L. filix, a fern, fr. Gr.

Aspidium Aspidium 107

a fern, frond, etc., + mas, male i. e., referring to its asexual fructification.

Mar-gi-na'lis. L. margo, marginis, margin - i. e., the fruit dots are near the edge of the frond.

As-pid'i-um. L. fr. Gr.

Aspidium Aspidium 108

a little shield - i. e., shape of the indusium.

Plants. - Perennials; fronds .3-1 M. (1-3°) high or long, bipinnate, pinnae lanceolate, circular fruit dots situated on the veins, in the first species near the midrib, in the second near the margin, covered by a heart-shaped indusium. Rhizome, horizontal, 15-30 Cm. (6-120 long, 5-7.5 Cm. (2-3') thick, covered with stipe-bases, "fingers," which remain green several years and often constitute the greater bulk of the official drug; when peeled (deprived of stipes, roots) the rhizome itself is 7.5-15 Cm. (3-6') long, 1-3 Cm. (2/5-1 1/5') thick, cylin-draceous, straight, curved, tapering to one end, usually split longitudinally, roughly scarred with remains of stipe-bases, or bearing several coarse longitudinal ridges and grooves; stipes cylindrical, 3-5 Cm. (1 1/5-2') long, 6 Mm. (1/4') thick, straight, curved, tapering to one end, occasional elongated patches of blackish-brown outer layer; fracture short, pale green (inner half), texture rather spongy, exhibiting 12 (D. Filix-mas) or 6 (D. marginalis) vascular bundles (steles), in interrupted circle, each surrounded with an endodermis; odor slight; taste sweetish, astringent, bitter, acrid. Powder, greenish, brownish - must be prepared freshly. Should be kept dark, in tightly-closed containers. Solvents: alcohol; acetone; ether - extracting filicic acid, filicin, volatile oil, resin, chlorophyll, fixed oil, all occurring in the official oleoresin. Dose, 3ss-2 (2-8 Gm.).

Adulterations. - Rhizomes of many indiginous ferns (chiefly Osmuda species) resembling the official, although such are thinner, free from chaff, and have stipes rarely closely imbricate, but when peeled and mixed practically defy detection; composition and properties are less subject to change in the unpeeled, while adulterations are recognized more easily; carelessness often renders the drug unreliable.

Commercial. - The "uncomminuted rhizome" covered with stipes (fingers) should be collected when strongest, autumn, freed from roots and dead portions of rhizome and stipes (only such parts being retained as have green fracture), dried at 70° C. (120° F.), and quickly made into preparations, as it deteriorates rapidly, usually becoming inert in 1-2 years; soil and climate have greater influence upon amount of filicic acid than time of collection, etc., the richest yield being from plants growing on strata of volcanic origin.

Fig. 9.   Dryopteris Filix mas.

Fig. 9. - Dryopteris Filix-mas.

Fig. 10.   Filix mas: transverse section magnified 3 diam.; f, fibrovascular bundles.

Fig. 10. - Filix-mas: transverse section magnified 3 diam.; f, fibrovascular bundles.

Fig. 11.   Filix mas; surface of peeled rhizome.

Fig. 11. - Filix-mas; surface of peeled rhizome.

Constituents. - Filicic acid 5-10 p. c, Filicin 19-31 p. c. (rohfilicin), fixed oil G-7 p. c, filitannic acid 10 p. c, filix red, chlorophyll, volatile oil, 2 resins, ash 3 p. c. Bohm isolates aspidin (2-3 p. c), albaspidin, aspidinin, aspidinol, and flavaspidic acid, and claims virtue to be chiefly in aspidin and filicic acid combined; Kraft and Jaquet believe the virtue to reside in filmaron. Dose, gr. 7-10 (.5-.6 Gm.).

Filicic (Filicinic) Acid, C35H42O13. - Most active constituent, white, amorphous or crystalline, tasteless, more soluble than its anhydride, poisonous. Dose, gr. 10-20 (.6-1.3 Gm.).

Filicin (Filicic Anhydride), C35H40O12. - Yellowish-white, non-poisonous, inactive, crystalline, soluble in most solvents except aqueous; yields with fusing potassium hydroxide butyric acid and phloroglucin.

Preparations. - 1. Oleoresina Aspidii. Oleoresin of Aspidium. (Syn., Oleores. Aspid., Oleoresin of Male Fern, Oil of Fern; Br. Extrac-tum Filicis Liquidum, Oleum Filicis Maris; Fr. Extrait (oleo resineux) de Fougere male; Ger. Extractum Filicis, Farnextrakt, Wurmfarnextrakt, Wurmfarnol.)

Manufacture: Percolate slowly, in a covered glass percolator, 100 Gm. with ether, added in successive portions, until exhausted, reclaim most of the ether on water-bath, transfer residue to a dish, allow remaining ether to evaporate spontaneously in a warm place; yield 10-15 p. c. (acetone 18 p. c). This contains filicic acid 5-10 p. c, some of which deposits in granular crystals on standing, and must be mixed thoroughly with the liquid portion before dispensing. Should be kept in well-stoppered bottles. Dose, 3ss-l (2-4 Ml. (Cc.)), every 3 hours; death has occurred from 3vj (24 Ml. (Cc.)).

Unoff. Preps.: Extract, dose, gr. 15-30 (1-2 Gm.). Fluidextract, dose, 3j-2(4-8 Ml. (Cc.)).

Properties. - Tsenifuge, tonic, astringent.

Uses. - This was known to the ancients as a vermifuge, being mentioned by Dioscorides, Galen, Pliny, Theophrastus, etc. In 1775 the King of France bought and made public this then secret tapeworm remedy from the Swiss surgeon Nouffer's widow.

When requiring this medicine the patient should fast the previous day, being nourished by only a little bread and milk; at night take ℥j (30 Ml. (Cc.)) of castor oil, to expel nidus, and on the following morning a full dose of oleoresin, still fasting; in 3 hours may repeat the dose. At noon may begin moderate eating, and at night should be given another cathartic - not castor oil, as it may aid absorption, but full dose of calomel, jalap, gamboge, Epsom salt, or saline enemas, to clear away the dead worm.

Allied Plants: