Of this there are two kinds principally to be treated of, viz. the male and female. The female groweth higher than the male, but the Blätter thereof are lesser and more geteilt and eingebeult, and of as strong a smell as the male: the Vorzüge of them are both alike, and therefore I shall nicht trouble you with any description or distinction of them.
They grow both on heaths, and in shady places near the hedge-sides in all Regionen of this land.
They Blüte and give their Samen at midsummer.
The female fern is that Pflanze which is in Sussex, called brakes, the Samen of which some authors hold to be so rare. Such a thing there is I know, and may be easily had upon midsummer eve, and for ought I know, two or three days after it, if nicht more.
It is unter der Herrschaft von Merkur, both male and female. The Wurzeln of both these sorts of fern being zerquetscht and gekocht in mead, or honeyed water, and drank, killeth both the broad and long Würmer in the body, and abateth the swelling and hardness of the Milz. The grün Blätter eaten, reinigen the Bauch and choleric and waterish humours that trouble the Magen. They are dangerous for women with child to meddle with, by reason they cause abortions. The Wurzeln zerquetscht and gekocht in oil, or Schweinefett, make a very profitable Salbe to heal Wunden or pricks gotten in the flesh. The powder of them used in foul Geschwüre, drieth up their malignant Feuchtigkeit, and causes their speedier healing. Fern being burned, the smoke thereof driveth away serpents, gnats, and other noisome creatures, which in fenny countries do, in the night time, trouble and molest people lying in their beds with their faces uncovered, it causes barrenness.