The True Maidenhair.

Botanical name: 

Also see: True Maidenhair - English Maidenhair - White Maidenhair - Black Maidenhair - Golden Maidenhair

Adiantum verum.

A very beautiful plant of the fern kind, but exceeding the ordinary ferns very much in delicacy. The stalks are small, black, and glossy; each divides toward the top, into a great many branches, and on these stand the smaller leaves, which make up the complete one, or the whole plant; for in this, as in the fern, every leaf is an entire plant; these are short, blunt, rounded, and notched very beautifully and regularly at the edges, and they are of a pale green colour. The seeds are fixed to the edges of the under side of the leaves, in form of a brown powder. The whole plant is used: our druggists have it from France.

A decoction, of the fresh plant, is gently diuretic, and opens obstructions, especially of the lungs; but as we cannot easily have it fresh, and it loses a great deal of the virtue in drying, the best expedient is to use the fine syrup of capellaire, which is made of an infusion of the plant, when in its perfection, with fine Narbonne honey. We suppose this a trifle, but barley water sweetened with it, is one of the best known remedies for a violent cough.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.