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Black Spleenwort (Asplenium adiantum-nigrum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Black Spleenwort
Asplenium adiantum-nigrum

A decoction of the herb is a good hair wash[17].

  • Medicinal Use

    The plant is bitter, diuretic, laxative and ophthalmic[240]. It is taken internally to treat diseases of the spleen, jaundice and ophthalmia[240]. It is said to produce sterility in women[240].

    A decoction or syrup made from the fronds is emmenagogue, expectorant and pectoral[240]. It is used to relieve troublesome coughs[4].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[172].

Cultivation & Habitat

Spores – best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Germinates in spring[1]. Spring sown spores germinate in 1 – 3 months at 15¡c[134]. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse. Keep them humid until they are well established. When they are at least 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.
Requires a partly shaded site with preferably less than 3 hours sunshine daily[200]. Plants can be grown in old brick walls[219]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
Most of Europe south of the Faroes, including Britain, to the Himalayas, N. and S. Africa.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.