Benefits of Male Fern Root

Male Fern Root

Male fern root (Dryopteris filixmas) is an extremely powerful anti-parasitical fern-family plant. Also known as Bear's paw, Knotty Brake, Oak Fern, Shield Fern, Sweet Brake, this tuber's essential oils have been used for centuries as a medicinal purgative aid for tapeworms and other harmful organisms. Beyond, the male fern root also has other health benefits for humans associated with the cleansing of the GI tract and many of our vital organs.5

Origins of Male Fern

The common male fern, or Dryopteris filix-mas, is composed of numerous hairy, deep-brown spores and rhizomes. Male fern typically grows in the darkness of the oak woods. It is native to the temperate climates of Asia, Europe and much of South and North America.

Although it prefers moist woodlands and rocky slopes, the male fern is highly adaptable and can grow well in both arid and fertile soils. The rhizome, or root, of the male fern is usually harvested in early autumn. From there is thoroughly cleaned and dried for later medicinal purposes.3, 5

Since 103 A.D., ancient Greek and Roman physicians used the male fern tuber and rhizomes to expel harmful intestinal organisms, as well as liver flukes and intestinal barbs.3 In fact,it is rumored that Louis XVI of France paid large sums of money to add this powerful fern to his own medicine-chest.1

Mechanisms of Action in Male Fern Root

Research shows that male fern root extracts are chock-full of dynamic cleansing compounds known as filicin and filmarone. These are the essential oils responsible for eradicating worms in the body through a mechanism of creating a harsh intestinal environment that is toxic to harmful intestinal organisms. Not only does this cleanse the system, it also promotes overall digestive health. Male fern root is rich in antioxidant tannins, a plant-based phenol astringent with anti-bacterial and anti-enzymatic properties.2 It is also composed of filixid acid, phloroglucin derivatives, and several other necessary trace essential oils.

Studies also show that male fern root's oleo-resins cause worms to become immobile, preventing the worms' larvae from attaching themselves to the interior lining of human intestine walls.1 In both human and animal case studies, male fern root was shown to have a dramatic effect on eliminating parasites both inside and outside of the GI tract.6

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Health Benefits of Male Fern Root

  • Powerful astringent tonic.
  • Acts as a natural vermifuge and anthelmenitic.4
  • Overall promoter of digestive health.
  • Natural purgative.
  • Natural herbal intestinal cleanser
  • Acts as a strong herbal purifier that support the body's natural cleansing process.
  • Improves liver function, and aids in reducing inflammation.

Why Take Male Fern Root?

Male Fern Root works to establish an environment in the body that is inhospitable to potential invaders. These harmful organisms are attracted to unhealthy, toxin-ridden digestive systems weakened by years of dietary neglect.


  1. Male Fern. HYPERLINK ""
  3. James Copland, Charles Alfred Lee. A dictionary of practical medicine: comprising general pathology, the nature ...
  4. The dispensatory of the United States of America. George Bacon Wood, Franklin Bache. HYPERLINK ""
  5. American root drugs. Alice Henkel. HYPERLINK ""
  6. Br Med J. 1958 January 18; 1(5063): 133–134. PMCID: PMC2026959. Piperazine and Male Fern in Expulsion of Tapeworms. L. G. Goodwin and O. D. Standen. HYPERLINK ""
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