The use of medicinal plants is booming with new diagnostic methods. Traditional medicine is evolving, and more and more pharmaceutical companies are using these plants. This is the case of Polypodium leucotomos, a fern of tropical origin whose origin is American.
The first reviews predict that this fern can favor treatments against skin inflammation and help protect us from sunburn.
Although research is limited, existing trials have positively assessed the effects of Polypodium leucotomos. In this article, we want to review how this plant is currently used and the possible benefits and contraindications.
What is the Polypodium Leucotomos?
Polypodium leucotomos is a tropical fern grown in the warm and more humid areas of South and Central America. It is currently called in two ways, both as
Polypodium leucotomos how Phlebodium aureum, the latter name being more accepted by the scientific community.
This plant has been used for hundreds of years for its medicinal properties, since American civilizations were very active with the use of these plants. They used the roots of the fern to apply the juice on the skin and benefit from its properties.
The content and its components of Polypodium leucotomos and has been found the presence of different interesting antioxidants, currently used to reduce the presence of oxidative elements such as free radicals.
Current uses and medicinal benefits of Polypodium Leucotomos
All the research collected on the benefits of this plant is based on its application on the skin. Let’s dig deeper into this statement.
May protect against sunburn
The SUN’s UV rays can cause damage and burns to the skin due to oxidative stress. The applications of Polypodium leucotomos they can be interesting for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Medical studies have analyzed that fern can protect against skin damage caused by the sun’s rays, as well as prevent inflammatory reactions from sun exposure. [See study]
A study conducted with 105 children and adolescents with eczema for half a year, found a positive response with the application of between 240-480 mg of Polypodium leucotomos daily, with less use of oral antihistamines compared to those who did not take the extract of the plant. [See study]
Another clinical trial in adults saw a positive response with taking 7.5 mg/kg body weight one day before sun exposure versus the placebo group. [See study]
Although current trials are highly favourable to the use of this plant in the face of sun exposure, more long-term trials are needed. Those who suffer from eczema, itching and red skin, can use Polypodium leucotomos along with usual steroid creams.
May have antioxidant activity
The presence of antioxidants it is probably related to the treatment and prevention of dermal problems. The activity of antioxidants is in combating the presence of free radicals, unstable molecules that cause cell damage by oxidative stress.
These free radicals appear with exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol, industrial and fried foods, sun exposure and a long etcetera.
Scientific studies have shown that the antioxidants present in Polypodium leucotomos they have specific protective action on the cells of the epidermis. Therefore, they reduce the presence of free radicals accused by exposure to UV rays. [See additional information]
Among the different antioxidant compounds found in the plant are the following:
- Caffeic acid
- Vanillic acid
- Chlorogenic acid
- p- coumaric acid
- Ferulic acid
Supplements to take by mouth from Polypodium leucotomos 5 days before and 2 days after UV activity increased the presence of antioxidants in the bloodstream by up to 30%.
This same clinical trial found an increase in the activity of the p53 gene up to 63%, and is linked to the prevention of skin cancer. [See study]
Recommended doses and possible side effects
Based on the compatibility tests carried out in different tests on Polypodium leucotomos, it is considered safe and with very few and mild side effects.
A maximum amount of up to 480 mg per day is considered a safe amount. However, it takes a little more research to give it as safe.
Summary of its effects
Polypodium leucotomos is a tropical fern with high presence in antioxidants (caffeic acid, vanillic acid, chlorogenic acid, coumaric acid and ferulic acid), available in skin creams and oral tablets.
Consuming the extracts of this plant appears to be safe and there is scientific support in preventing oxidative damage from the Sun and inflammatory reactions.