ASPIDIUM, Sm. Malefern, Sweetbrake. We have nearly 25 species, many are medical: the A. filixmas, most used as a vermifuge, to expel the tenia, it is united to Skunkweed and given before and after a purge: useful also for rachitis or rickets; the root is the part used, it is edible, and eaten by the Indians as well as the leaves. Plinius knew its vermifuge quality. All the sweet scented species are equally medical, vermifuge, pectoral, diaphoretic and demulcent. The Aspidium gives by analysis, a peculiar fatty substance, Aspidine, which is nauseous, heavier than water, has a bad taste, and forms soaps; it contains also gallic and acetic acids, tannin, sugar, starch, gelatine, lignine, &c. The root taste is bitterish, sweetish, subastringent and mucilaginous. Used in England to flavor Ale.