Family • Polypodiaceae - Nephrolepis cordifolia (Linn.) Presl. - SWORD FERN - Wu gong cao
|Polypodium cordifolium L.|
|Nephrolepsis tuberosas Presl.|
|Aspidium tuberosum Bory|
|Nephrolepsis auriculata Trime|
|Nephrolepis cordifolia (Linn.) Presl.|
|Shen jue (Chin.)|
|Fishbone fern (Engl.)|
|Sword fern (Engl.)|
|Wu gong cao (Chin.)|
Other vernacular names
|CHINA: Bi zi cao, Shi huang pi.|
Bayabang is a terrestrial or epiphytic fern. Rhizomes are densely clothed with brownish scales, with fleshy, egg-shaped tubers. Stipes are tufted and glossy, often clothed with slender soft, brown paleae, 2.5 to 25 centimeters long, not jointed to rootstock. (Note: a jointed rootstock, in contrast, breaks off very easily from its point of attachment, leaving a more or less rounded, even-edged depression.) Fronds are simply pinnate, smooth, linear lanceolate, 20 to 60 centimeters long, 2.5 to 5 centimeters wide. Pinnae are numerous, often imbricated at the widened bases, 4 to 8 millimeters wide, the apex more or less bluntish, the base heart-shaped, jointed to rachis, base rounded on the lower side and auricled on the upper side, toothed to subentire. Sori are large, round, submedial, nearer the edge than the midrib. Indusium is usually reniform, broad, opening towards the apices of the pinnae.
(Note: Resembles the common Boston Fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata L.), an ornamental used extensively in flower wreath-making, but the N. cordifolia frond is narrower.)
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1) NUTRIENT ANALYSIS OF NEPHROLEPIS CORDIFOLIA (L.) C. PRESL / D P Gauchan, Dina Manandhar et al / KATHMANDU UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, VOL. I, No. V, SEPTEMBER 2008, pp 68-72.
(2) Extraction and Purification Antibacterial Polysaccharide from Nephrolepis Cordifolia / Chan Xiao-qing, Su Yu-cai et al / DOI?CNKI:SUN:ZSXZ.0.2006-04-024
(3) In Vitro Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties of Aqueous and Non-Aqueous Frond Extracts of Psilotum nudum, Nephrolepis biserrata and Nephrolepis cordifolia / Dolly Rani, P. B. Khare, and P. K. Dantu / Indian J Pharm Sci. 2010 Nov-Dec; 72(6): 818–822. / doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.84606
(4) Traditional medicinal plant wealth of Pachalur and Periyur hamlets Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu / J Karunyal and B Andrews / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 9(2), April 2010, pp 264-270
(5) ETHNO GYNECOLOGICAL USE OF PTERIDOPHYTES IN PACHMARHI BIOSPHERE RESERVE, MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA / SHWETA SINGH* & RITA SINGH/ Life sciences Leaflets 9: 63-71, 2012
(6) STUDY OF ACTIVITY OF SOME ETHNOMEDICINAL FERNS OF DARJEELING / Samir Kumar Pal / International Journal of Pharmacology Research, Vol 4, Issue 1, 2014, pp 23-26.
(7) Medicinal Pteridophytes of Madhya Pradesh / Balendra Pratap Singh and Ravi Upadhyay / Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 2014; 2(4): 65-68
(8) Studies on the chemical constituents from the Chinese traditional medicine Nephrolepis cordifolia / Wang Hengshan, Wang Guangrong, Tan Mingxiong, Pan Yingming / Guangxi Zhiwu, 2004, 24(2):155-157.
(9) Aspects of Traditional Medicine in Nepal / MOHAN BIKRAM GEWALI / Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama
(10) ETHNO GYNECOLOGICAL USE OF PTERIDOPHYTES IN PACHMARHI BIOSPHERE RESERVE, MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA / SHWETA SINGH* & RITA SINGH / Life sciences Leaflets 9: 63-71, 2012
– A common terrestrial fern used locally in gardens as a hedge plant.
– Found at all altitudes in Batanes Islands in the Provinces of Bontoc, Benguet, Ifugao, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Pampanga, Rizal, and Laguna in Luzon; and in Cotobato, Lanao, and Zamboanga Provinces in Mindanao.
– Also grows wild in forests and wastelands, from sea-level to above 7000 feet altitudes.
– Pantropic and tropical.
· Tubers, rhizomes, fronds.
· Collect the fleshy underground tubers, remove the epidermal scales, wash, boil, and sun-dry.
– Tubers were found to contain high amounts of moisture, fat, carbohydrate, and calcium; protein was maximum in the rhizome part.
– Study isolated five compounds and identified as daucosteorl, palmitic monoglycerol ester, ß-sitosterol, astrafgalin and quercitrim.
– Study of essential oil yielded main components of hexadecanoic acid ethyl ester,hexadecanoic acid butyl ester,n-butyl laurate,linoleic acid ethyl ester,(R) Ethyl oleate,9,12-octadecadienoic acid ethyl ester,butyl oleate,dodencanoil acid ethyl ester,cedrol,1H-3a,7-methanoazulene,2,3,4,7,8,8a-hexahyd.
Faintly sweet, mildly tart.
Cooling, stomachic, febrifuge, antitussive, tonic.
Considered antibacterial, antitussive, styptic, antifungal.
– In Nepal, fresh and roasted tubers are consumed by locals. Tubers are eaten to quench thirst.
– In India, young leaves are cooked as vegetable.
• Decoction of fresh fronds for fever due to cold, chronic coughing, enteritis-diarrhea, infantile convulsions.
• In India, herb is used for cough and skin diseases.
• In Tamil Nadu the bulb or tuber extract is taken for stomach upsets and urinary problems.
• Rhizome used as antibacterial; for coughs, rheumatism, chest congestion, anorexia.
• Pinnae used for coughs, wounds and treatment of jaundice.
• In Nepal , juice of root tubers taken for fever, indigestion, headache, cough, cold and hematuria. Whole plant used for kidney, liver and skin disorders.
• In India local tribal women use extract of rhizome once during the menstrual period to cause permanent sterility.
• In Madhya Pradesh, plants used on wounds to stop bleeding. Also used for cough and intestinal disorders, stomach ulcers and acidity.
– In Nepal, tuber juice used for gastric troubles.
– In Nepal, Extract of rhizome used once during menstrual period to cause permanent sterility in women.
• Diuretic / Rhizome: Study showed Nephrolepis cordifolia rhizome juice to be active in the renal system of rats. Results indicated it to be an effective hypernatremic, hyperchloremic hyperkalemic diuretic.
• Nutrient Analysis: Study showed tubers contain high amount of moisture, fat, carbohydrate and calcium, while protein are maximum in the rhizome part of the plant.
• Antibacterial Polysaccharide: Study extract polysaccharide which was shown to have various activities against gram positive phytopathogenic microorganisms and animal pathogenic bacteria.
• Antimicrobial: In a study of pteridophytes for antibacterial and antifungal activities, the water extract of N. cordifolia showed antimicrobial properties. In another study, an ethanol extract showed marginally activity against P. mirabilis, E. aerogenes, E. coli and Klebsiella pneumonia. Study of plant parts (rhizome, rachis and frond) extracts of ethnomedicinal ferns of Darjeeling viz. Nephrolepis cordifolia, Pteris vitata, and Adiantum capilus-veneris showed good antimicrobial activity. In Nephrolepis cordifolia highest activity for both gram positive and gram negative bacteria is found in the frond extract.
Common garden hedge plant.