Phlebodium aureum

    Last Updated: November 22, 2023

    Polypodium Leucotomos (Calaguala) is the commonly referred to name of a herb that appears to possess moderately potent protective effects against sun-induced skin damage; may also be an immune booster.

    Phlebodium aureum is most often used for .


    Polypodium Leucotomos is a herb commonly referred to as either 'Fernblock' or 'Heliocare' and is marketed as being a skin health supplement for sensitive skin. Most of the studies on Polypodium Leucotomos do note that it appears to have a variety of protective effects against UV(B) induced skin cell radiation, which confers protective effects agains the sun despite absorbing the radiation (something like sunscreen would prevent radiation from being absorbed, and confer protection by omitting the radiation)

    The benefits, mechanistically, are part anti-oxidant and part anti-inflammatory but may be highly related to an induction of p53; a protein that is sometimes known as anti-tumor, but also appears to suppress inflammation while protecting the genome (DNA) from damage.

    What makes Polypodium novel is that is works after oral ingestion, and that DNA protection has been found in rats following oral ingestion.

    Human interventions note that it seems to beneficially influence most skin conditions, with fairly reliable suppression of erythema (reddening of the skin in response to UV radiation) and can help with persons who are hypersensitive to sunlight and suffer from "polymorphic light eruptions", a delayed onset itchiness and reddening (not necessarily a sunburn).

    It has been investigated for its abilities to help vitiligo (with not-too-potent results) and for upper respiratory tract infections, with at least one study suggesting promise.

    It definitely shows promise and is novel, but is not a highly supported herb when looking at interventions.

    What are other names for Phlebodium aureum

    Note that Phlebodium aureum is also known as:
    • Golden Polybody
    • Cabbage palm fern
    • Golden serpent fern
    • Calaguala
    • Anapsos
    • Polypodium aureum
    • Polypodium Leucotomos
    Phlebodium aureum should not be confused with:

    Dosage information

    Polypodium leucotomos supplementation has shown benefit in humans with oral supplementation of 7.5mg/kg for skin health (dose based on weight due to correlating with the amount of skin somebody has); this results in a dosage of:

    • 500mg for a 150lb person
    • 700mg for a 200lb person
    • 850mg for a 250lb person

    Or alternatively, a topical skin cream containing 0.1% polypodium leucotomos appears effective.

    For supplementation of leucotomos for other purposes (or if you do not with to calculate the optimal dose) then the dosage range of 360-720mg appears to be used clinically for skin conditions with the lower dose being beneficial for neurology.

    Examine Database: Phlebodium aureum

    Examine Database References

    1. Polymorphic Light Eruptions - Caccialanza M, Recalcati S, Piccinno ROral polypodium leucotomos extract photoprotective activity in 57 patients with idiopathic photodermatosesG Ital Dermatol Venereol.(2011 Apr)
    2. Cerebral Blood Flow - Alvarez XA, Pichel V, Pérez P, Laredo M, Corzo D, Zas R, Fernández-Novoa L, Sempere JM, Díaz J, Cacabelos RDouble-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study with anapsos in senile dementia: effects on cognition, brain bioelectrical activity and cerebral hemodynamicsMethods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol.(2000 Sep)
    3. Vitiligo Symptoms - Middelkamp-Hup MA, Bos JD, Rius-Diaz F, Gonzalez S, Westerhof WTreatment of vitiligo vulgaris with narrow-band UVB and oral Polypodium leucotomos extract: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled studyJ Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol.(2007 Aug)
    4. Polymorphic Light Eruptions - Caccialanza M, Percivalle S, Piccinno R, Brambilla RPhotoprotective activity of oral polypodium leucotomos extract in 25 patients with idiopathic photodermatosesPhotodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed.(2007 Feb)
    5. UV Skin Damage - Middelkamp-Hup MA, Pathak MA, Parrado C, Goukassian D, Rius-Díaz F, Mihm MC, Fitzpatrick TB, González SOral Polypodium leucotomos extract decreases ultraviolet-induced damage of human skinJ Am Acad Dermatol.(2004 Dec)
    6. Upper Respiratory Tract Infection Risk - Marí Solivellas B, Cabanes Martín TPolypodium leucotomos Extract use to prevent and reduce the risk of infectious diseases in high performance athletesInfection and Drug Resistance.()
    7. Psoriasis Symptoms - Padilla HC, Laínez H, Pacheco JAA new agent (hydrophilic fraction of polypodium leucotomos) for management of psoriasisInt J Dermatol.(1974 Sep-Oct)
    8. Polymorphic Light Eruptions - Adrian Tanew, Sonja Radakovic, Salvador Gonzalez, Marina Venturini, Piergiacomo Calzavara-PintonOral administration of a hydrophilic extract of Polypodium leucotomos for the prevention of polymorphic light eruptionJ Am Acad Dermatol.(2012 Jan)