Fern Root. The dried Rhizome of Aspidium (Nephrodium). Filix mas. Nat. Ord. Filices. Linn. Syst. Cryptogamia Filices. Hab. Europe and many parts of Asia and America. It should be collected in summer.

Med. Prop. and Action. Anthelmintic. It contains a volatile oil, a resin, and a fixed oil The Ethereal Extract (Extractum Filicis Liquidum) is commonly known as the Oil of Male Fern (Oleum Filicis Maris). It contains the volatile and fixed oil, and resin in solution. Male Fern appears to act specifically on the worms, as they are mostly discharged dead, after the medicine has been taken, as directed below. Mr. Squire states that an extract of the unexpanded frond is equally effective with that of the rhizome.

Offic. Prep. Extractum Filicis Liquidum. (Fern Root in coarse powder lb. ij.; Ether Oiv., or a sufficiency. Prepared by percolation and subsequent evaporation or distillation of the Ether.) Dose, exxx. - fl. drs. ij.

Dose of Powdered Rhizome, gr. Ix. - gr. clxxx.

1277. Therapeutic Uses

Against Tape Worm, the rhizome of the Aspidium was employed by the ancients; but it fell into disuse until about the middle of the eighteenth century, when Madame Nouffler obtained great celebrity by her nostrum, the base of which was found to be the rhizome of this fern. After the employment of an enema, she directed 5iij. of the powdered root to be given, and two hours after, a bolus containing Calomel gr. xij., Pulv. Scammon. gr. xij., and Gamboge gr. v. The practice was doubtless very efficacious. Male Fern is said to be more useful against the Bothriocephalus latus than against the TAenia solium. It is generally administered in the form of the liquid extract (Oil of Male Fern). Of this fl. drm. j. should be taken in the morning fasting, and should be followed by a dose of Castor Oil. It is one of the most effectual remedies we possess. The dry ethereal extract was employed by Brera and Ebers in doses of gr. xij. - gr. xxiv. at night, and repeated in the morning. In whatever form it is prescribed, it should be followed by a mild purgative. The worms are generally discharged dead It has been successfully employed by Christison, Martin Solon,§ Dr. Budd,|| Mr. Pollard,¶ Dr. Gull,** Dr. Peacock, &c. The last named gentleman prefers the Oil to all other tAenicides. Dr. Fleming* considers that the Oil should be given fasting in a draught of milk, the favourite food of the parasite.

* 2 Kings, chap. xx. v. 7.

Companion to the Pharmacopoeia, p. 89.

Garrod, Essentials of Mat. Med. and Therap., p. 317.

§ Bull. Gen. de Therap., 1850.

II Lancet, Dec. 21, 1850. Ibid., Dec. 7, 1850. ** Guy's Hospital Reports, 1855. Med. Times and Gaz., Nov. 6, 1858.