Polypodium leucotomos extract and anapsos


Extracts of fern species (family Polypodiaceae) have been used traditionally for numerous indications, most commonly in South America and Europe.
The South American species Polypodium leucotomos L. is commonly known as "calaguala." Extracts of this species, called "anapsos," have been marketed and used as a treatment for multiple indications. Although laboratory and animal studies have reported anti-inflammatory, cytokine-suppressing, and leukotriene inhibitory properties, the small number of available human trials have not demonstrated efficacy for any specific indication.

Related Terms

Calagula, calagualine, ferns, Polypodiaceae (family), Polypodium cambricum, Polypodium decumanum, Polypodium vulgare, samambaia.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) (Grade: C)
Laboratory and animal studies report that
Dementia (memory loss, disorientation), Alzheimer's disease (Grade: C)
Limited scientific information is available about the effectiveness of polypodium in the treatment of dementia.
Psoriasis (Grade: C)
Extracts of
Skin damage caused by the sun (Grade: C)
Early study shows that polypodium may help to prevent sunburn, skin aging, and skin cancers resulting from uncontrolled overexposure of human skin to solar UV radiation (UVA and UVB). Further research is needed to confirm these results.
Vitiligo (loss of pigment in the skin) (Grade: C)
A combination of polypodium and narrow-band UVB (NB-UVB) light therapy may help treat vitiligo, especially on the head and neck. Additional research is needed in this area.