The Polypody is a very common fern in the Iberian Peninsula. It has a branched rhizome that develops horizontally and each year creates new ferns that grow alongside the first. It is commonly found among rocks, dark walls, trunks of oaks and other trees in Andalusia is easily found from sea level to 2000 feet. There are 2 subspecies: the "serratum" own coastal and lowlands, and the "vulgar", most common in the Pyrenees and mountain areas.
The ferns form a separate group of plants with no flowers, like higher plants. In this type of plant it comes to ripening of the sporangia, which are the structures responsible for sexual reproduction of these plants. As for the collection, the question that concerns the Polypody is the rhizome, which is usually harvested in autumn when the subspecies is "vulgar", or in May-June for the subspecies' serratum. In any case, once collected, cleaned and stripped of the green parts and is dried in the sun, then stored in dry, being able to save for no more than a year.
The root has a taste somewhere between sweet and bitter, and are responsible for sweetness of sucrose, which is in considerable quantity, also contains glicirrina, saponins and mucilage. The bitter principle is still not well known. As for its strengths, the rhizome of Polypody has laxative properties, but very soft. It also exerts a colagoga on the liver, ie liver acts as a decongestant in addition to reactivating the functions of the liver. Finally, it is attributed worming and can be used as a sweetener. Popularly, the Polypody has been widely used in bronchitis, asthma and liver problems and constipation.
Decoction. Boil 25 gr. Polypody root in 1 / 2 liter of water is kept boiling for 5 minutes, after which the liquid is filtered and drunk in small cups throughout the day. This decoction is very effective as a blood tonic and diuretic.
Root powder. It takes root and crushed in a mortar until a fine homogeneous powder which can take up to 3 gr. Per day, divided between meals. If it is difficult to swallow the powder can be accompanied by a wafer.
Tisane. In 400 ml. Add boiling water 40 gr. Rhizome of Polypody, let it simmer for fifteen minutes before removing and add 20 gr. Licorice root and 10 gr. Angelica root; is macerated all midday and then filtered. This tea can be drunk in tiny cups during the day by adding honey or sugar if desired.
HABITAT: Between dark walls
PART USED: Rhizome
CATALAN: Herba pigotera, daurada
BASQUE: Aritzgaro, ira-arbola
Fort Colerético, Moderate Colagogo, Moderate Expectorant.
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