Adiantum capillus-veneris Linn (Maidenhair fern) is an herb belonging to the family Pteridaceae. It is named as "Pare-siavashan" in medical and pharmaceutical textbooks of Iranian Traditional Medicine. The fronds of Maidenhair fern were mainly administrated by ancient physicians as single medicine or in combination with other plants in multi-herbal formulations for curing different diseases. Because of different chemical compositions, the herb fronds were also assessed for its numerous pharmacological effects. Therefore, the current study was done to review the traditional usage and modern pharmacological and toxicological effects of Maidenhair fern.
Scientific databases and publications including Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, Science direct, Cochrane Library, SID (for Persian papers) and medical and pharmaceutical textbooks of traditional medicine as well were searched for "Adiantum capillus-veneris", "Maidenhair fern" and "Pare-siavashan" without limitation up to 2016.
Maidenhair fern exhibited to possess anti-diabetic, anticonvulsant, analgesic, hypocholesterolemic, goitrogenic, anti-thyroidal, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing, antiobesity, anti hair loss, anti-asthmatic, anti-inflammatory, antidiarrheal and antispasmodic, antioxidant as well as diuretic, anti-urolithiatic and detoxifying effects in modern medicine. Ancient physicians declared some of the confirmed pharmacological effects.
Maidenhair fern frond can be a good candidate for clinical purpose. Therefore, future researches on the other mentioned effects in traditional medicine are recommended.
Adiantum capillus-veneris Linn.; Maidenhair fern; Phytotherapy; Traditional medicine