The Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook, M.D., 1869
ROCK POLYPODY, BRAKE ROOT, FEMALE FERN
Description: Natural Order, Filices; sub-order, Polypodineae. Fronds six to ten inches long, simply and deeply pinnatifid, ever-green, glabrous; divisions alternate, linear-oblong, obtuse, minutely and obscurely toothed. Fruit dots large, round, irregularly scattered on the backs of the frond, at the ends of the veins. Common in shady and rocky situations throughout the United States. The root is medicinal; is several inches long, one-fourth of an inch in diameter, covered with thin brown scales.
Properties and Uses: The root of this plant is demulcent and somewhat tonic, acting upon both the lungs and the bowels. An infusion or sirup is used as an expectorant tonic and mild laxative, but requires to be used very freely to make much impression. It is reported anthelmintic, and an oil is said to be obtained from it after the manner employed for procuring oil of aspidium; but its power of removing worms has been much overrated.
Medical Herbalism journal and medherb.com