Polypodium Leucotomos

Last Updated: September 28 2022

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.

Polypodium Leucotomos 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 else is Polypodium Leucotomos known as?
Note that Polypodium Leucotomos is also known as:
  • Phlebodium aureum
  • Golden Polybody
  • Cabbage palm fern
  • Golden serpent fern
  • Calaguala
  • Anapsos
Polypodium Leucotomos 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.

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2.^Sempere-Ortells JM, Campos A, Velasco I, Marco F, Ramirez-Bosca A, Diaz J, Pardo JAnapsos (Polypodium leucotomos) modulates lymphoid cells and the expression of adhesion moleculesPharmacol Res.(2002 Aug)
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