Recent evidence suggests that the fern leaf tea was used in the Middle Ages to treat diseases such as dandruff, alopecia and kidney stones.
Archaeologists discovered the body of a man from the ninth or tenth century, in which cell traces were found from the leaves in the tooth plate of his teeth.
Written descriptions from the first century indicate that the plant was used to alleviate the symptoms of non-life-threatening diseases. This is the first time physical evidence has been found.
Today, ferns are used all over the world to cure various diseases, including wounds, abdominal pain, snake bites and even mental disorders.
It is believed that the man was between 21 and 30 years old. Shown are his teeth, which were analyzed in the new study
Historical records show that people would have made ferns by pouring fresh or dried leaves with water, sometimes with orange peel as an aroma.
There is no evidence that the fern was eaten as part of a general diet.
The skeleton of the man between 21 and 30 years was found buried in the necropolis of Can Reiners on the Spanish Balearic Islands.
There is no way to know what the man used the treatment for.
Herbal texts show that the plants were used exclusively for the cure of certain diseases, mostly as dandruff, colds, kidney stones and alopecia.
There is also evidence that the plant is used to stimulate menstrual flow in women.
Archaeologists say the remains show how much information can be inferred from the dental analysis.
Written descriptions show that the fern leaf was used to stimulate non-life-threatening diseases such as dandruff, alopecia, skin diseases and even menstrual flow (image).
Dr. Elena Fiorin from York University's Department of Archeology said: "These ferns have been used by herbologists, surgeons, doctors and other healers throughout Europe for centuries.
"So far, however, we only had written documents describing their use.
"It shows that communities in Spain knew about the medicinal properties of some plants and how they need to be administered to achieve the desired result.
"These ferns have been used in Europe today and are still used to cure a variety of diseases, and archaeological reports allow us to see how people have used the natural environment to support health care throughout our evolution."
The skeleton of was found in the necropolis of Can Reiners in the Spanish Balearic Islands
Scientists have taken a closer look at medieval medicine.
The development of antibiotic-resistant microbes always makes it necessary to find new medicines to combat those microbes that are untreatable.
Chemist Tu Youyou won a Nobel Prize in 2011 after creating a malaria treatment using sweet vermouth, which was used in China in the fourth century to treat malaria.
When her team began searching for a malaria medication, more than 240,000 substances had been tested unsuccessfully around the world, eventually using the old text.
WHAT REMAINS REMOTE TO TREAT?
Nowadays, various types of ferns are used all over the world to cure various ailments, including wounds, abdominal pain, snake bites and even mental disorders.
Sections, wounds, wounds or snake bites: Ophioglossum vulgatum is considered a panacea when burned in oil and reduces inflammation.
A lotion made from the roots of Botrychium virginianum is used in snake bites, bruises, cuts and wounds in the Himalayas.
Adiantum lunulatum is used in India as an antidote to snakebite. Nephrolepis cordifolia extracts from fresh leaves help with blood clotting, even in India.
Stomach pain: Lycopodium is chewed in the central highlands of Vietnam to induce vomiting after food poisoning.
In the Philippines ,. L. clavatum is used as an emetic to induce vomiting.
Filtered water extract from rhizome and petiole of Tectaria macrodonta is used in India for constipation.
Mental disorders: Dryopteris cochleata is used in mental disorders. Filtered water extract is administered to epileptic patients in India.