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Maidenhair fern. Italian illustration of a maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris), by Gherardo Cibo, 1568. Maidenhair fern is used medicinally to treat lung disorders and painful menstruation. This plate is taken from Discorsi on Dioscorides' De Materia Medica by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, a work of herbal medicine first published in Italy in 1554. Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501-1577) was an Italian doctor and naturalist who wrote commentaries on De Materia Medica , an encyclopaedia of herbal medicine by the first century Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides.
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