Samambaia Powder - Samambaia (Polypodium aureum) - Samambaia (Polypodium leucomotos) - Samambaia - (Polypodium decumanum) - Samambaia Powder - Samambaia (Polypodium aureum) - Samambaia (Polypodium leucomotos) - Samambaia - (Polypodium decumanum) Samambaia Powder - Samambaia (Polypodium aureum) - Samambaia (Polypodium leucomotos) - Samambaia - (Polypodium decumanum) Samambaia Powder

Polypodium sp

This product is no longer sold by Raintree Nutrition, Inc. See the main product page for more information why. Try doing a google search or see the rainforest products page to find other companies selling rainforest herbal supplements or rainforest plants if you want to make this rainforest formula yourself.

Samambaia contains flavonoids, alkaloids and lipids. It is a rich source of lipids and fatty acids and its therapeutic activity for psoriasis and other skin conditions is attributed to these groups of chemicals.* Within its lipids are a group of chemicals called sulphoquinovosyldiacylglycerols, (including one named calaguline) which have been documented and patented as part of the plant's "active" chemicals.* Two closely related species of these rainforest ferns (Polypodium decumanum and Polypodium leucotomos) share these same active chemicals. This rainforest fern is sold in Europe as an herbal drug for psoriasis and Alzheimer's named "Anapsos."* For more information samambaia (Polypodium sp), please refer to the Database File for Samambaia in the Tropical Plant Database. To see pictures of samambaia, click here.

Traditional Uses:* for psoriasis and other skin conditions; for Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and memory problems; for coughs, bronchitis, chest colds, and other upper respiratory problems; for autoimmune disorders; as a general tonic (tones, balances, strengthens overall body functions); a cellular-protector, and anti-aging aid
Suggested Use: This plant is best prepared as an infusion (tea): Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Pour boiling water over herb in cup and allow to steep 10 minutes. Strain tea (or allow settled powder to remain in the bottom of cup) and drink warm. It is traditionally taken in 1 cup amounts twice daily. For more complete instructions on preparing herbal infusions, see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.

Contraindications: Reports indicate that samambaia may enhance the effects of the heart drug digitalis (a medication commonly used to increase the force of heart contractions in those diagnosed with certain heart conditions). It is therefore contraindicated in combination with digitalis, and persons with any heart condition should seek the advice of a qualified health practitioner prior to using samambaia.

Drug Interactions: May potentiate the effects of digitalis and/or other digitalis-type prescription heart drugs.





Third-Party Published Research*

All available third-party research on samambaia can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the published research on samambaia is shown below:


Anti-psoriasis Actions:
Navarro-Blasco, F. J., et al. “Modification of the inflammatory activity of psoriatic arthritis in patients treated with extract of Polypodium leucotomos (Anapsos).” Br. J. Rheumatol. 1998; 37(8): 912.
Vasange, M., et al. “A sulphonoglycolipid from the fern Polypodium decumanum and its effect on the platelet activating factor receptor in human neutrophils.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 1997; 49(5): 562–617.
Vasange, M., et al. “Flavonoid constituents of two Polypodium species (Calaguala) and their effect on the elastase release in human neutrophils.” Planta Med. 1997; 63(6): 511–17.
Vasange, M., et al. “The fern Polypodium decumanum, used in the treatment of psoriasis, and its fatty acid constituents as inhibitors of leukotriene B4 formation.” Prostaglandins Leukotrienes Essent. Fatty Acids 1994; 50: 279–284.
Tuominen, M., et al. “Effects of calaguala and an active principle, adenosine, on platelet activating factor.” Planta Med. 1992; 58(4): 306–10.
Jimenez, D., et al. “Anapsos, an antipsoriatic drug, in atopic dermatitis.” Allergol. Immunopathol. 1987; 15(4):185–9.
Jimenez, D., et al. “Anapsos modifies immunological parameters and improves the clinical course in atopic dermatitis.” Dermatologica 1986; 173(3):154–5.
Pineiro Alvarez, B. “2 years personal experience in anapsos treatment of psoriasis in various clinical forms.” Med. Cutan. Ibero. Lat. Am. 1983; 11(1): 65–72.
Vargas, J., et al. “Anapsos, an antipsoriatic drug which increases the proportion of suppressor cells in human peripheral blood.” Ann. Immunol. 1983; 134C(3):393–400.
Del Pino Gamboa, J., et al. “Comparative study between 120 mg. of anapsos and a placebo in 37 psoriasis patients.” Med. Cutan. Ibero. Lat. Am. 1982; 10(3): 203–8.
Capella Perez, M. C., et al. “Double-blind study using ‘anapsos’ 120 mg. in the treatment of psoriasis.” Actas Dermosifiliogr. 1981; 72(9-10): 487-94.
Mercadal Peyri, O., et al. “Preliminary communication on the treatment of psoriasis with anapsos.” Actas Dermosifiliogr. 1981; 72(1–2): 65–8.
Padilla, H. C. “A new agent (hydrophilic fraction of Polypodium leucotomos) for management of psoriasis.” Int. J. Dermatol. 1974; 13(5): 276–82.

Sunscreen, Skin Cellular Repair & Protective Actions:
Aguilera, P., et al. "Benefits of oral Polypodium Leucotomos extract in MM high-risk patients." J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Jul 31.
Rodríguez-Yanes, E., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos decreases UV-induced epidermal cell proliferation and enhances p53 expression and plasma antioxidant capacity in hairless mice." Exp Dermatol. 2012 Aug;21(8):638-40.
Konda, S., et al. "New horizons in treating disorders of hyperpigmentation in skin of color." Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2012 Jun;31(2):133-9.
Breithaupt, A., et al. "Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus: a case report of Polypodium leucotomos as an adjuvant therapy." Cutis. 2012 Apr;89(4):183-4.
Tanew, A., et al. "Oral administration of a hydrophilic extract of Polypodium leucotomos for the prevention of polymorphic light eruption." J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Jan;66(1):58-62.
Gonzales, S., et al. "Fernblock, a nutriceutical with photoprotective properties and potential preventive agent for skin photoaging and photoinduced skin cancers." Int J Mol Sci. 2011; 12(12):8466-75.
Caccialanza, M., et al. "Oral polypodium leucotomos extract photoprotective activity in 57 patients with idiopathic photodermatoses." G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Apr;146(2):85-7.
Reuter, J., et al. "Which plant for which skin disease? Part 2: Dermatophytes, chronic venous insufficiency, photoprotection, actinic keratoses, vitiligo, hair loss, cosmetic indications." J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2010 Nov;8(11):866-73.
Gonzales, S., et al. "Mechanistic insights in the use of a Polypodium leucotomos extract as an oral and topical photoprotective agent." Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2010 Apr;9(4):559-63.
Villa, A., et al. "Decrease of ultraviolet A light-induced "common deletion" in healthy volunteers after oral Polypodium leucotomos extract supplement in a randomized clinical trial." J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Mar;62(3):511-3.
Whitton, M., et al. "Interventions for vitiligo." Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jan 20;(1):CD003263.
Zattra, E., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract decreases UV-induced Cox-2 expression and inflammation, enhances DNA repair, and decreases mutagenesis in hairless mice." Am J Pathol. 2009 Nov;175(5):1952-61.
Phillips, N., et al. "Cancer cell growth and extracellular matrix remodeling mechanism of ascorbate; beneficial modulation by P. leucotomos." Anticancer Res. 2009 Aug;29(8):3233-8.
Phillips, N., et al. "Beneficial regulation of matrixmetalloproteinases and their inhibitors, fibrillar collagens and transforming growth factor-beta by Polypodium leucotomos, directly or in dermal fibroblasts, ultraviolet radiated fibroblasts, and melanoma cells." Arch Dermatol Res. 2009 Aug;301(7):487-95.
Filip, A., et al. "Photochemoprevention of cutaneous neoplasia through natural products." Exp Oncol. 2009 Mar;31(1):9-15.
Bordere, A., et al. "Current and emerging therapy for the management of vitiligo." Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2009 Mar 12;2:15-25.
Mulero, M., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract inhibits glutathione oxidation and prevents Langerhans cell depletion induced by UVB/UVA radiation in a hairless rat model." Exp Dermatol. 2008 Aug;17(8):653-8.
Bauman, L., et al. "Less-known botanical cosmeceuticals." Dermatol Ther. 2007 Sep-Oct;20(5):330-42. Review.
Jan'czyk, A., et al. "A Polypodium leucotomos extract inhibits solar-simulated radiation-induced TNF-alpha and iNOS expression, transcriptional activation and apoptosis." Exp Dermatol. 2007 Oct;16(10):823-9.
Gonzales, S., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract: a nutraceutical with photoprotective properties." Drugs Today (Barc). 2007 Jul;43(7):475-85. Review.
Luger, T. "[An alternative to creams? Sunscreens to swallow]." MMW Fortschr Med. 2007 Jun 28;149(27-28):8.
Middelkamp-Hup, M., et al. "Treatment of vitiligo vulgaris with narrow-band UVB and oral Polypodium leucotomos extract: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study." J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2007 Aug;21(7):942-50.
Caccialanza, M., et al. "Photoprotective activity of oral polypodium leucotomos extract in 25 patients with idiopathic photodermatoses." Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2007 Feb;23(1):46-7.
Reyes, E., et al. "Systemic immunomodulatory effects of Polypodium leucotomos as an adjuvant to PUVA therapy in generalized vitiligo: A pilot study." J. Dermatol. Sci. 2006; 41(3): 213-6.
Capote, R., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract inhibits trans-urocanic acid photoisomerization and photodecomposition." J. Photochem. Photobiol. B. 2006; 82(3): 173-9.
Middelkamp-Hup, M. A., et al. “Oral Polypodium leucotomos extract decreases ultraviolet-induced damage of human skin.” J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2004 Dec; 51(6): 910-8.
Middelkamp-Hup, M. A., et al. “Orally administered Polypodium leucotomos extract decreases psoralen-UVA-induced phototoxicity, pigmentation, and damage of human skin.” J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2004; 50(1): 41-9.
Philips, N., et al. “Predominant effects of Polypodium leucotomos on membrane integrity, lipid peroxidation, and expression of elastin and matrixmetalloproteinase-1 in ultraviolet radiation exposed fibroblasts, and keratinocytes.” J. Dermatol. Sci. 2003 Jun; 32(1): 1-9.
Alonso-Lebrero, J. L., et al. “Photoprotective properties of a hydrophilic extract of the fern Polypodium leucotomos on human skin cells.” J. Photochem. Photobiol. B. 2003 Apr; 70(1): 31-7.
Alcaraz, M. V., et al. “An extract of Polypodium leucotomos appears to minimize certain photoaging changes in a hairless albino mouse animal model. A pilot study.” Photodermatol. Photoimmunol. Photomed. 1999; 15(3–4): 120–26.
Gonzalez, S., et al. “Topical or oral administration with an extract of Polypodium leucotomos prevents acute sunburn and psoralen-induced phototoxic reactions as well as depletion of Langerhans cells in human skin.” Photodermatol. Photoimmunol. Photomed. 1997; 13(1–2): 50–60.
Pathak, M. A., et al. “Polypodium extract as photoprotectant.” U.S. patent no. 5, 614, 197; 1997.
Gonzalez, S., et al. “Inhibition of ultraviolet-induced formation of reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation, erythema and skin photosensitization by Polypodium leucotomos.” Photodermatol. Photoimmunol. Photomed. 1996; 12(2): 45
Mohammad A. “Vitiligo repigmentation with Anapsos (Polypodium leucotomos)." Int. J. Dermatol. 1989; 28(7): 479.

Anti-Alzheimer’s & Brain Cell Protection Actions:
Alvarez, X. A., et al. “Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study with anapsos in senile dementia: effects on cognition, brain bioelectrical activity and cerebral hemodynamics." Methods Find. Exp. Clin. Pharmacol. 2000; 22(7): 585–94.
Cacabelos, R., et al. “A pharmacogenomic approach to Alzheimer’s disease.” Acta Neurol. Scand. Suppl. 2000; 176: 12–19.
Alvarez, X. A., et al. “Anapsos improves learning and memory in rats with Beta-Amyloid (1-28) deposits in the hippocampus” Progress in Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s Diseases, Ed. Fisher, A., Yoshida, M. and Hannin, I., Plenum Press, New York, 1998; pp. 699-703
Nikolov, R. “Alzheimer's disease therapy - an update.” Drug News Perspect. 1998 May; 11(4): 248-55.
Alvarez, X. A., et al. “Anapsos reverses interleukin-1 beta overexpression and behavioral deficits in nbM-lesioned rats.” Methods Find. Exp. Clin. Pharmacol. 1997; 19(5): 299–309.
Fernandez-Novoa, L., et al. “Effects of Anapsos on the activity of the enzyme Cu-Zn-superoxide dismutase in an animal model of neuronal degeneration.” Methods Find. Exp. Clin. Pharmacol. 1997; 19(2): 99–106.
Quintanilla A. E., et al. “Pharmaceutical composition of activity in the treatment of cognitive and/or neuroimmune dysfunctions.” U.S. patent no. 5,601,829; 1997.

Anti-inflammatory Actions:
Ramírez-Bosca, A., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract in atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial." Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2012 Sep;103(7):599-607.
Diaz-Castro, J., et al. "Phlebodium decumanum is a natural supplement that ameliorates the oxidative stress and inflammatory signalling induced by strenuous exercise in adult humans." Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Aug;112(8):3119-28.
Punzon, C., et al. “In vitro anti-inflammatory activity of Phlebodium decumanum. Modulation of tumor necrosis factor and soluble TNF receptors.” Int. Immunopharmacol. 2003; 3(9): 1293-9.
Manna, S. K., et al. ”Calagualine inhibits nuclear transcription factors-kappaB activated by various inflammatory and tumor promoting agents.” Cancer Lett. 2003; 190(2): 171-82.
Navarro-Blasco, F. J., et al. “Modification of the inflammatory activity of psoriatic arthritis in patients treated with extract of Polypodium leucotomos (Anapsos).” Br. J. Rheumatol. 1998; 37(8): 912.

Immune Modulating Actions:
Solivellas, B., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract use to prevent and reduce the risk of infectious diseases in high performance athletes." Infect Drug Resist. 2012; 5:149-53.
Gonzalez, J., et al. "[Effects of the consumption of Phlebodium Decumanum on plasma cortisol and testosterone levels in subjects participating in an exercise program]." Rev Med Chil. 2009 Apr;137(4):497-503.
Siscovick, J., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos inhibits ultraviolet B radiation-induced immunosuppression." Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2008 Jun;24(3):134-41.
Navarro-Zorraquino, M., et al. "Pharmacological immunomodulation of surgical trauma." J Invest Surg. 2007 Sep-Oct;20(5):283-9.
López-Abán, J., et al. "Immunomodulation of the response to excretory/secretory antigens of Fasciola hepatica by Anapsos in Balb/C mice and rat alveolar macrophages." J Parasitol. 2007 Apr;93(2):428-32.
Reyes, E., et al. “Systemic immunomodulatory effects of Polypodium leucotomos as an adjuvant to PUVA therapy in generalized vitiligo: A pilot study.” J. Dermatol. Sci. 2006; 41(3): 213-6.
Nogal-Ruiz, J. J., “Modulation by Polypodium leucotomos extract of cytokine patterns in experimental trichomoniasis model.” Parasite. 2003 Mar; 10(1): 73-8.
Sempere-Ortells, J. M., et al. “Anapsos (Polypodium leucotomos) modulates lymphoid cells and the expression of adhesion molecules.” Pharmacol. Res. 2002; 46(2): 185–90.
Gonzalez, S., et al. “An extract of the fern Polypodium leucotomos (Difur) modulates Th1/Th2 cytokines balance in vitro and appears to exhibit anti-angiogenic activities in vivo: Pathogenic relationships and therapeutic implications.” Anticancer Res. 2000; 20(3a): 1567–75.
Sempere-Ortells , J. M., et al. “Effect of Anapsos (Polypodium leucotomos extract) on in vitro production of cytokines.” Br. J. Clin. Pharmacol. 1997; 43(1): 85–9.
Bernd, A., et al. “In vitro studies on the immunomodulating effects of Polypodium leucotomos extract on human leukocyte fractions.” Arzneimittelforschung. 1995; 45(8): 901–4.
Rayward, J. et al. ”Polypodium leucotomos (PL), an herbal extract, inhibits the proliferative response of T. lymphocytes to polyclonal mitogens.” Second Intl. Cong. on Biol. Response Modifiers, San Diego, U.S.A. 1993.
Tuominen, M., et al., “Enhancing effect of extract Polypodium leucotomos on the prevention of rejection on skin transplants” Phytotherapy Research 1991; 5: 234–37.

Antioxidant Actions:
Diaz-Castro, J., et al. "Phlebodium decumanum is a natural supplement that ameliorates the oxidative stress and inflammatory signalling induced by strenuous exercise in adult humans." Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Aug;112(8):3119-28.
Rodríguez-Yanes, E., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos decreases UV-induced epidermal cell proliferation and enhances p53 expression and plasma antioxidant capacity in hairless mice." Exp Dermatol. 2012 Aug;21(8):638-40.
Berson, D. "Natural antioxidants." J Drugs Dermatol. 2008 Jul;7(7 Suppl):s7-12.
Mulero, M., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract inhibits glutathione oxidation and prevents Langerhans cell depletion induced by UVB/UVA radiation in a hairless rat model." Exp Dermatol. 2008 Aug;17(8):653-8.
Emanuel, P., et al. "A review of DNA repair and possible DNA-repair adjuvants and selected natural anti-oxidants." Dermatol Online J. 2007 Jul 13;13(3):10.
Garcia, F., et al. "Phenolic components and antioxidant activity of Fernblock, an aqueous extract of the aerial parts of the fern Polypodium leucotomos." Methods Find Exp. Clin. Pharmacol. 2006 Apr; 28(3): 157-60.
Gombau, L., et al. “Polypodium leucotomos extract: Antioxidant activity and disposition.” Toxicol. In Vitro. 2006 Jun; 20(4): 464-71.
Gomes, A. J., et al. “The antioxidant action of Polypodium leucotomos extract and Kojic acid: Reactions with reactive oxygen species.” Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 2001; 34(11): 1487–94.



*The statements contained herein have not been evaluated
by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained herein is intended and provided for education, research, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plants and/or formulas described herein are not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease and no medical claims are made.
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Last updated 12-28-2012