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Worm fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

Slightly toxic

worm fern


antispasmodic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial

Areas of application:

anesthetizes tapeworms and roundworms, rickets, rheumatism, gout, limb and back pain, phlebitis, varicose veins, cramps in the calf, for painful conditions, reduces fever, colds, viruses, bacteria, mumps, internal bleeding, uterine bleeding, boils, wounds, skin diseases

Plant parts used:

herb and root

Collection time:

leaves in June and July,

Roots in fall and spring

To find:

In almost all moist mixed forests, near ditches, springs and streams.


Aspidinol, Albaspidin, Filixic Acid, Tannins, Starch, Bitters, Essential Oil


Worm fern is a large fern with graceful fern fronds. It grows up to 120 cm high. The plant does not flower but reproduces through spores and rhizomes. The slowly growing rhizome forms a crown with a ring of fronds on the soil surface. It grows quite wide and becomes denser over time, a characteristic feature. The dull green leaves are usually upright, 20 to 75 cm long and 10 to 30 cm wide, with the widest point in the middle. 20 to 30 pairs of deeply divided, pointed leaves grow on the main stem. The bark of the individual fronds is usually not visible, but is dark brown in color. The plant has no smell.

🛑 Warning: Worm fern is a liver poison and not intended for internal use. Worm fern should only be used in moderation and one should be careful with the dosage. If you are not sure, ask your doctor and pharmacist. Please do not use during pregnancy or if you have heart problems. Do not take with oil, fats or alcohol as this increases its toxicity!

Worm fern has great power, even the devil flees from it. It protects against lightning strikes and anyone who carries a fern in their bag is immune from all evil. The fern seeds bring wealth and good luck in all endeavors whoever carries them with them. It gives you strength and makes you understand the language of animals.

In the past, worm treatments were made with the help of the dried root. The worms were stunned by the active ingredients but not killed. A laxative was then taken to eliminate the worms. However, the laxative had to be mild because of the risk of poisoning.

Fresh ferns keep pests away and bugs and cockroaches avoid proximity.

In Siberia, the rhizome of the worm fern is used as a substitute for hops in beer brewing.

Hildegard von Bingen: If you are deaf and cannot hear anything, tie fern seeds in a cloth and put it in your ear often, then you will regain your hearing. But he makes sure that the fern seed doesn't get through his ear and into his head.

Note: Please don't put anything in your ears!!!

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