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This file is currently under construction.

[Summary yet to be added]



Ophioglossum vulgatum L.
Serpent's Tongue, Adder's Tongue, Southern Adder's Tongue, English Adder's Tongue, Common Tongue Fern

According to Wren (1975), the fresh leaves are used as a poultice in scrofulous ulcers [= scrofuloderma?] and tumours, together with an infusion taken internally in wineglassful doses. Interestingly, Wren (1975) uses exactly the same form of words to describe the use of the botanically unrelated Erythronium americanum Ker Gawl. (fam. Liliaceae) — the American Adder's Tongue. Wren (1975) additionally records that the plant boiled in oil or fat is said to be a panacea for wounds and to reduce inflammation, a use also acknowledged by Stuart (1979). An ethnobotanical study in Southern Nigeria revealed that the dried pulverized rhizome of this fern is applied externally to ulcerated sores and wounds; and that the plant is also used in the treatment of burns (Nwosu 2002).



Phlebodium aureum J.Sm.
(syns Chrysopteris aurea Link, Pleopeltis aurea C.Presl, Polypodium aureum L., Polypodium aureum var leucatomos Krug, Polypodium leucatomos Poir.)
Golden Polypody, Rabbit's Foot Fern, Serpent Fern, Calaguala, Polypode Doré

There is uncertainty in the literature as to whether Polypodium leucatomos Poir. should be regarded as an accepted name or whether it is properly considered to be a synonym of Phlebodium aureum J.Sm. And there is further uncertainty as to whether Phlebodium aureum should be considered to be an accepted name or whether it should properly be considered to be a synonym of Polypodium aureum L. This nomenclatural uncertainty is further compounded by the misspelling of "leucatomos" as "leucotomas", an error that can seemingly be traced back to Georg Hieronymus (1909) in his book Plantae Stübelianae : Pteridophyta.

Extracts of Polypodium leucatomos have been used orally to treat a variety of dermatologic conditions, including photodermatoses, vitiligo, and psoriasis (Choudhry et al. 2014).

Calagualine, a saponin extract prepared from the rhizomes of Polypodium leucatomos has been used topically and orally for psoriasis (Corrales Padilla et al. 1974). The crude drug is also known as Anapsos™ or as Kalawalla™.



Adiantum raddianum C.Presl
(syns Adiantum cuneatum Langsd. & Fisch., Adiantum decorum T.Moore)
Delta Maidenhair Fern, Maid Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]


  • Choudhry SZ, Bhatia N, Ceilley R, Hougeir F, Lieberman R, Hamzavi I, Lim HW (2014) Role of oral Polypodium leucotomos extract in dermatologic diseases: a review of the literature. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology 13(2): 148-153 [url] [pmid]
  • Corrales Padilla H, Laínez N H, Pacheco JA (1974) A new agent (hydrophilic fraction of Polypodium leucotomos) for management of psoriasis. International Journal of Dermatology 13(5): 276-282 [doi] [url] [url-2] [pmid]
  • Nwosu MO (2002) Ethnobotanical studies on some pteridophytes of Southern Nigeria. Economic Botany 56(3): 255-259 [doi] [url] [url-2]
  • Stuart M (1979) Reference section. In: Stuart M (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism, pp. 141-283. London: Orbis Publishing [WorldCat]
  • Wren RC (1975) Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. (Re-edited and enlarged by Wren RW). Bradford, Devon: Health Science Press [WorldCat] [doi] [url] [url-2]
  • [ + 1 further reference not yet included in database]

Richard J. Schmidt

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