Drynaria is a Chinese herb that’s known to be used for healing broken bones. Drynaria goes by many names, including basket fern and Gu-Sui-Bu. Drynaria refers to a plant genus that contains 16 different known species.1 The plant features wooden stems and fern-like leaves. The root, also known as the rhizome, is what’s used in medicine. Drynaria is available in most health food stores, where you can purchase the whole or dried rhizome or buy the herb as a powder, pill, or decoction.2
Drynaria Uses and Health Benefits
Studies show that drynaria has many health benefits. The species Drynaria fortunei has been used to treat inflammation, arteriosclerosis, rheumatism, and hyperlipemia. It also has antioxidant properties and can help fight oral bacteria.3 The species Drynaria quercifolia contains antibacterial properties and can be used to treat cough, typhoid fever, and tuberculosis.4
Most notably, drynaria species have a positive effect on bone health.5 One study set out to test the biochemical effects of drynaria on bone cell cultures. Researchers added extracts of the plant to rat bone cell cultures and used colorimetric assay to determine the mitochondria activity of bone cells after exposure. They also evaluated biochemical markers like alkaline phosphatase and acid phosphatase. They found that adding 1 mg/ml of the extract to the bone cultures for 7 days increased the intracellular alkaline phosphatase amount and that multinucleated osteoclast formation was more active in the experimental group. Researchers concluded that drynaria affects bone cell cultures and affects osteoclast activity. This makes it a highly effective herbal remedy for:
- Fractures - Fractures occur when bones break, such as due to trauma, stress, or medical conditions that reduce bone density. Drynaria can help treat these types of bone injuries.
- Osteoporosis - Osteoporosis is a condition where bone mass decreases as you age. Drynaria may help prevent the condition.
Drynaria Side Effects and Precautions
Though drynaria benefits have been well studied, the herb is still fairly uncommon, so it’s best to remain cautious when using it. As with any herb, drynaria may interact with other herbs and medications, though these interactions are currently unknown. Do not take drynaria if you have a severe yin deficiency. Drynaria side effects may include upset stomach and toxicity when taken in large quantities.2 Talk to your doctor before starting on any herbal remedy to ensure it’s a safe, effective option for you.