Adiantum capillus-veneris

Flora Palaestina Ethnobotany

Adiantum capillus- veneris L.


  • Black Maidenhair Fern
  • Common Maidenhair Fern
  • Southern Maidenhair Fern
  • Venus's Hair
  • kuzbaret el-bi'r / el-bir كزبرة البئر/ البير
  • sha'r el-'ajuz شعر العجوز
  • sha'r el-'ard شعر الأرض
  • sha'r el-khanzir شعر الخنزير
  • sa'arot-Shulamit metzuyot
  • שַׂעֲרוֹת-שׁוּלַמִּית מְצוּיוֹת


  • Humid habitats
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Medicinal Complaints / Uses

Adiantum capillus- veneris L.

System/State Traditional
Activity / Interpretation
Preparation/ Administration
Parts Used

Hair loss

Hair restorer

Prepare infusion of aerial parts + rue (Ruta chalapensis) & aloe (Aloe vera) & apply to hair.

Aerial parts B
Kidney & Urinary Tract



Cook plant in water, filter & drink.

Aerial parts Z
Pain Relief

Chest pain


Decoct & filter. (Admin. not specified.)

Not specified Z

Chest inflammation /bronchitis/cough /pertussis (whooping cough).

Anti-Infective, Anti-tussive, Expectorant

1. Decoct leaves in water + snail meat to prepare a soup & drink.
2. Decoct plant + " 'innab" (Ziziphus jujuba) + raisins (softens phlegm) & drink
3. Decoct plant in water & drink extract.

Aerial parts, Leaf Z
Ritual /Ceremonial

Against the evil/ jealous eye


Use plant to make incense or charms.

Aerial parts Z

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Z notes that Dioscorides (1st century Greek physician) also describes this plant for treating chest complaints, while Culpeper (17th century English herbalist, botanist, physician & astronomer ) mentions it`s use for asthma & pleurisy.


Adianthum capillus-veneris should not be used in pregnancy / lactation. Large amounts may cause vomiting. Shown to hyper-accumulate arsenic from the soil.