Polypody

(Polypodium vulgare) A fern, widespread in Britain in woods, especially in the west, where it often grows on trees. It is known in America as Licorice Fern, for the rhizomes have a strong licorice taste, and were once used as a sugar substitute (Turner & Bell). In Scotland, it was made into a medicine for catarrh (Beith), but it was also used for chest complaints, including tuberculosis (Quelch). The Indians of the Pacific north-west of America chewed the rhizomes for stomach troubles, sore throats and colds, as well as eating them as food, either fresh or sun-dried and stored for winter use (Turner & Bell). If this is what is meant by "pollypodden", it was used in Ireland for burns. The procedure was to boil the stems with butter. The green juice sets to a jelly, and this is put on the burn (Maloney).

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