The Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook, M.D., 1869
MAIDENHAIR, [MAIDENHEIR FERN]
Description: Natural Order, Filices. Genus ADIANTUM: Sori marginal. Indusia membranaceous, formed from the reflexed margins of the frond. Stipe polished. A.. PEDATUM: Frond pedate; divisions pinnate; segments oblong-rhomboid, incisely lobed on the upper side, obtuse at apex. Stipe eight to fourteen inches high, slender, deep, glossy purple-black, highly polished. This delicate and beautiful fern is common in our damp and rocky woods, and usually attracts attention by the arrangement of its pinnaethe stipe dividing into two branches, which in turn give off from six to eight pinnae on the outer side, so that the whole looks like a crescent of delicate frondlets lying on the top of the polished stipe.
Properties and Uses: This plant is a good demulcent, and a very mild astringent. A strong decoction is soothing in bronchial and pulmonic irritations, and useful in irritable coughs. It exerts a similar influence on the mucous membrane of the bladder and uterus, and is of service in cystic catarrh and scalding urine. It is agreeable to the stomach, and may be used in considerable quantities. Half an ounce to a pint of water forms an infusion of which the whole quantity may be used in twelve hours, or less, according to circumstances. It is generally employed as an adjunct to other medicines.
Medical Herbalism journal and medherb.com