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Plant Profile: No 69 Bracken Fern

Pteridium esculentum

Bracken Fern is the Triumph essence. This plant essence helps you to overcome challenges, bounce back from adversity and harness your willpower and drive for success. This essence is helpful at times of difficulty and frustration in the life or when you feel opposed or at war with yourself.

Bracken Fern is a common fern in New Zealand, growing in a variety of climates due to its vigour and ability to self-propagate. In fact, it is considered in many quarters to be a ‘weed’ and is notoriously difficult to grow from spores or transplants

Also known as Fernroot or Aruhe (the starchy rhizome, edible component), Bracken Fern was a crucial and fundamental part of the traditional Maori diet. The harvesting of the rhizome was back breaking and the preparation was labourious and time-consuming. A special tool was developed, Patu Aruhe, which was used to pound and pound the root to render it edible. The resulting carbohydrate-rich, fibrous product provided a high-energy food that could be cultivated at all times of the year. It was easily dried and stored and was transportable. An old Maori proverb states of Aruhe:

“Te tutanga te unuhia” – The food portion that is always present”

Another proverb speaks of the ancestor Whete, who would eat large quantities of fernroot cakes before going into battle and performing great feats of valour:

“Te manawa nui o Whete” – The sustaining power of Whete”

The mythological provenance of Bracken Fern stretches back to the story of the separation of Ranginui, Sky Father and Papatuanuku, Earth Mother, by their progeny. Haumiatiketike is one of the sons who agreed to the separation and was pursued by Tawhirimatea, Atua of winds and storms, who had objected to the separation and sought revenge on his brothers. Haumeatiketike sought refuge inside his mother (within the Earth) but was discovered by another brother, Tumatauenga (representing tangata, man), who pulled him out of the ground and devoured his body (the rhizome). To this day, Haumeatiketike is the Atua of uncultivated foods and maintains authority over this domain.

Bracken Fern Deva’s Blessing

I offer you the mantle of self-determination. Through me you conquer and control the twin opposing forces of mind and emotion. A victorious warrior of light battling the odds – rising above inner and outer conflict – achieving through one will.

Negative Condition:

Inner conflict, contradictory thoughts and emotions, uncertainty as to where you are going, feeling defeated by obstacles and problems or afraid of opposition or competition.

Positive Potential:

Triumph, overcoming challenges, creates movement, takes action, keeps the momentum, resilient, determination, discipline, self-control, drive for success, finds new solutions to problems.

— Lesley Lydford-King
Lesley Lydford-King is a First Light Flower Essences of NZ® Registered Practitioner and Teacher teaching both on the North Shore Auckland and Tauranga. She is also a Certified Body Talk Practitioner and is able to tune in to the specific needs of a client in a very effective way. Lesley can be contacted via or Ph: 09-410-6011 or 021-111-2700