Aspidiaceae - male fern, worm fern, Echter Wurmfarn
„Its specific epithet filix-mas means „male fern (filix)“, as the plant was thought to be the male version of the female fern, being robust in appearance and vigorous in growth.“ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dryopteris_filix-mas
The root was used as an anthelmintic to expel tapeworms, hence the name worm fern (german Wurmfarn).
„The Committee for Proprietary Medical Products (CPMP) ahs classified the rhizome of Dryopteris filix-mas as herbal drug with serious risks (CPMP, 1992).The components of the drug are very toxic and severe poisoning can occur when the absorption is increased.“ BfR Risikobewertung von Pflanzen und pflanzlichen Zubereitungen, 2012, 263-269
„Extracts, oils and some individual phloroglucinol compounds prepared from the fern Dryopteris dilatata and Dryopteris filix-mas were tested for taeniacidal activity against the dwarf tapeworm Hymenolepis nana. In D. dilatata activity is concentrated in the phloroglucinol compounds (mainly aspidin, phloropyrone and aspidinol) of which aspidin is the most potent. In D. filix-mas the mixed phloroglucinol compounds (mainly flavaspidic acid and aspidinol) are active, but no more so than the total ether extract. Flavaspidic acid seems to be the most active phloroglucinol constituent of the fern. Desaspidin which occurs in a third fern, Dryopteris austriaca, is more potent than either aspidin or flavaspidic acid. A method of detecting phloroglucinol compounds by thin-layer chromatography is described.“ [BLAKEMORE, R. C., BOWDEN, K., BROADBENT, J. L. and DRYSDALE, A. C. (1964), Anthelmintic constituents of ferns. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 16: 464–471]