Northern maidenhair fern

Family • Polypodiaceae - Adiantum pedatum Linn. - COMMON MAIDENHAIR

Scientific names

Adiantum pedatum Linn.
Adiantum boreale
Adiantum pedatum var, glaucinum

Common names

Northern maidenhair fern (Engl.)
American maidenhair fern (Engl.)
Common maidenhair (Engl.)

Northern maidenhair fern

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Adiantum pedatum / Plants For A Future

(2) A Review on the Potential Uses of Ferns / M. Mannar Mannan, M. Maridass and B.Victor / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 281-285. 2008.

Northern maidenhair fern2Botany
Adiantum pedatum is a terrestrial ferm growing up to 60 cm tall. Frond stalks are purplish, forked like a fan, with circular or horseshoe shaped rachis. Leaflets are papery and light green.

Recently introduced to the Philippines.
Native to North America.

Phytochemical screening has yielded terpenoids, cardiac glycosides and steroids.

Considered to be antirheumatic, astringent, demulcent, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, haemostatic, pectoral and tonic.

Parts used
Fronds, stems.

Northern maidenhair fern3Northern maidenhair fern4

No reported folkloric use in the Philippines.
Tea or syrup used for nasal congestion, asthma and sore throats.
Root decoction used externally to massage into rheumatic joints.
North Americans chewed the fronds, then applied them to wounds to stop bleeding.
Whole plant infusion used as emetic in agues and fevers.
Used for bronchitis, whooping cough and excessive menses.
Plant used as hair conditioner.
Alcohol leaf extract used topically for thicker hair growth
Stems used as hair wash to provide shine in the hair.
In Malaysia, whole plant used for chronic catarrh and other pectoral affections.

Basketry: Stipe used as ornament in basketry.
Landscaping: Makes a good ground cover.

Study Findings
• Antioxidant / Antibacterial: Study of acetone and ethyl acetate extracts showed inhibitory activity against S aureus, K pneumonia, P aeruginosa and E coli. Results showed A pedatum to be a potential source of natural antioxidants.