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The maidenhair, whose scientific name is "Adiantum capillus veneris", is part of the large family of Polypodiacee and is a plant that belongs to the extremely widespread group, called by the name of "ferns".

The maidenhair is a medicinal plant and widely used in medicine and is considered extremely useful in numerous world pharmacopoeias, but is not recognized by the official Italian pharmacopoeia.

The name of this plant derives from the Greek word adiantos, or “dry”, which was already used by Theophrastus in his treatises, perhaps due to the fact that the water slips on the leaves, without ever being absorbed.

The maidenhair comes from temperate areas, but also from tropical areas, especially from Central America.

This plant has the particular characteristic of growing spontaneously throughout the old continent (it even manages to develop inside the cracks in the walls in rather humid and not sunny places) and can reach up to fifty centimeters in height.

The leaves have a characteristic light green color.


The maidenhair is a plant that needs a moist and cool soil and a temperature that never falls below seven degrees centigrade.

Furthermore, the soil must never dry out completely, but care must be taken to prevent it from flooding: this explains why it is necessary to have excellent drainage.

It is important to water the plant whenever you can notice how the soil is a little dry.

During the spring season, especially around April, it is important to repot inside a container that is not too small.

The maidenhair is a plant that never requires any pruning: the only operation to pay attention to is to remove all that series of twigs that have dried up.

Like all other species belonging to the fern group, they need diffused light and do not prefer direct sunlight.

The maidenhair has the particular characteristic of reproducing through the division of the tufts, which must be carried out during the spring season, when repotting.


The properties of the maidenhair fern are essentially characterized by the presence of its important active ingredients, which are tannins, phenols (such as the derivatives of canferol, for example adiantone), triterpenoids, mucilage, gums, as well as a small amount of essential oils, sugars and alicicic acids.

The whole of these numerous components allows the maidenhair plant to perform a good number of therapeutic properties.

For example, the maidenhair proves to be extremely useful for the treatment of diseases affecting the respiratory tract: in these situations it is effective against colds, coughs and phlegm, since it is able to exert a fluidifying and soothing action; moreover, it is also very good in cases of hoarseness, aphonia, bronchitis, asthma and many other problems that affect the respiratory system.

It is an excellent aid in case it is necessary to take care of complicated digestions, since the maidenhair can act on the liver, increasing its functionality also as regards the biliary level.

The maidenhair plant is able to promote diuresis and is a good blood purifier, but it is also able to regulate menstrual flow.

Thanks to the presence of a good quantity of tannins, the maidenhair is able to perform an astringent and anti-inflammatory action, being extremely effective in cases of bleeding and regulating blood pressure.

We must not forget, moreover, that the maidenhair proves to be really very effective in the case in which treatment against hair loss is necessary, since it exerts a beneficial action on the hair follicles, managing to reduce and fight hair loss.

Finally, it is an excellent aid in cases of smoking and alcoholism, due to the fact that it can significantly reduce the urge to drink and smoke.

Maidenhair: Use

The parts of the maidenhair plant that are used are the aerial parts: this explains why the fronds are mainly exploited, but in some cases also the rhizomes.

The best period for harvesting is represented by the moment in which the plant presents the spores, that is during the summer and autumn months.

As a decoction, the maidenhair can be usefully exploited against asthma, but also to help promote menstruation; moreover, gargling is also very good for sore throats.

In case it is to be used as an infusion, it is quite effective against stubborn cough, cold, hoarseness, bronchial catarrh, smoking, alcoholism and as a poultice, for external use, essentially serves to increase milk secretion. .

The maidenhair decoction is used mainly on the scalp, in cosmetics, to combat hair loss, but also as an excellent anti-dandruff and as a useful solution for oily hair.

Video: Adiantum raddianum Maidenhair Fern Houseplant Care 238 of 365