Samambaia (Polypodium leucotomos)

samambaia fern herb

Samambaia Overview:

Samambaia is a fern from the Amazon rainforest that is specific for skin and nervous system conditions. Traditional uses includes upper respiratory tract infection, and a wide variety of skin conditions.

Some of the newer research on samambaia has discovered its usefulness towards neurodegenerative conditions like Dementia and Alzheimer's.

+ Indications

  • Psoriasis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Colds/Flus
  • Other skin conditions
  • Cancer
  • Eczema
  • Dermatosis
  • Anti-aging formulas
  • Coughs
  • Tendonitis
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Alzheimer's and dementia
  • Vitiligo
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Crohns
  • Iritable bowel syndrome
  • Lowered immune systems

+ Contraindications

  • Avoid combination with cardiac glycosides

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Alterative
  • Analgesic
  • Anti-neoplastic
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-psoriasis
  • Antirheumatic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-ulcer
  • UV Protectant
  • Immunomodulator
  • Neuroprotective

Main Uses:

Samambaia is mainly used for upper respiratory tract infections, skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and vitiligo. It's also useful for neurological degenreative disorders like Alzheimer's, and as a natural UV protectant (both internally and externally).

It has recently shown some evidence as a source of nootropic substances.


Part Used

Polypodium decumanum

Polypodium leucotomos

Polypodium aureum

Family Name



South America, Amazon rainforest

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Constituents of Interest

  • Sulphoquinovosyldiacylglcerols
  • Adenosine
  • Calagualine
  • Ecdysterone

Common Names

  • Calaguala
  • Anapsos
  • Huayuashishupa
  • Cotochupa
  • Mirane
  • Temakaje
  • Cabbage palm Fern

Botanical Info:

Samambaia is a member of the polypodiaceae family of ferns, which accounts for 75% of all fern species on earth. In the Polypodium genus there are about 75 species, many of which are used as medicine by traditional medical systems within the regions they grow.


Level Of Research:


Clinical Applications Of Samambaia:

Samambaia is very useful for vitiligo, psoriasis, eczema, and neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer's or Dementia.

Samambaia is also popular as an adjunctive treatment for cancer therapy through numerous well researched mechanisms.



Samambaia may increase the effectiveness of some heart medications. use cautiously and under the supervision of a your doctor if taking any heart medications.


Recent Blog Posts:


See the full samambaia monograph.