Family • Cibotiaceae / Cyatheceae - Cibotium barometz (Linn.) J. Sm. - SCYTHIAN LAMB - Jin mao gou ji

Scientific names

Aspidium barometz Willd.
Cibotium assamicum Hook.
Cibotium barometz (Linn.) J. Sm.
Dicksonia barometz Link.
Nephrodium barometz Sweet.
Polypodium barometz L.
Jin mao gou jue (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Jinmao gou ji
JAPANESE: Taka warabi, Hitsuji shida
MALAYSIA: Pengawar djambi

Common names

Borabor (Ilk.)
Borabor ta paku (Ilk.)
Sabong ti borabor (Ilk.)
Salagisog (Bik.)
Tinampa (Ig.)
Salagisog (Bik.)
Golden chicken fern (Engl.)
Golden hair dog fern (Engl.)
Chain fern (Engl.)
Scythian lamb (Engl.)
Wooly fern (Engl.)

– During the middle ages, referred to as the mythical “Vegetable Lamb of Tartary” because of the resemblance of the wooly rhizomes to a lamb. The “lamb” is exposed by removing the leaves from the wooly rhizome, which when inverted fancifully resembles a wooly lamb for by the base of the cut stalks.



– Borabor is a large fern growing to a meter or more in height, covered with dense yellow hairs at the base. Fronds are a meter or two long, ovate, hardly tripinnate and glabrous beneath. Lower pinnae are ovate-lanceolate, 30 to 60 centimeters long. Pinnules are linear-lanceolate. Sori are 2 to 12, rarely one, on each side of the segment. The indusium is brownish.

– Found in the mountains, from Luzon to Mindanao.
– Native to parts of China and the western part of the Malay peninsula.
– Extends from Assam across Malaysia.

Parts utilized
Hairy filaments, rhizomes.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings


(1) Inhibitors of Osteoclast Formation from Rhizomes of Cibotium barometz / Nguyen Xuan Cuong et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2009, 72 (9), pp 1673-1677 / DOI: 10.1021/np9004097

(2) TREATMENT OF AVASCULAR NECROSIS OF THE FEMORAL HEAD WITH CHINESE HERBS / Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon

(3) Plant Compounds Could Be Used in Osteoporosis Treatment / 14 OCT 2009 / Elements4Health

(4) Effects of Several Herbal Medicines on Alkaline Phosphatase Activity in Human Fetal Osteoblasts / Lee MK, Choi HI, You HK, Shin HS / J Korean Acad Periodontol. 2003 Mar;33(1):49-60. Korean.

(5) Anti-osteoporosis activity of Cibotium barometz extract on ovariectomy-induced bone loss in rats / Zhao X, Wu ZX, Zhang Y, Yan YB, He Q, Cao PC, Lei W. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Oct 11;137(3):1083-8. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

(6) Vegetable Lamb of Tartary / Wikipedia

(7) Chinese Herbal Medicine for Osteoporosis: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials /
Zhi-qian Wang, Jin-long Li, Yue-li Sun, Min Yao, Jie Gao, Zhu Yang, Qi Shi, Xue-jun Cui, and Yong-jun Wang / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2013 (2013) /

(8) Studies on the Chemical Constituents of Cibotium Barometz / CHENG Qi-hou, YANG Zhong-lin, Hu Yong-mei / CNKI: Progress In Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2003-05

(9) Experimental Study on Effect of Cibotium Barometz on Adjuvant Arthritis with Deficiency in the Kidney (DKAA) / WangZhenHai / PhD Thesis, 2005

• Rhizomes yield 30% starch. The yellow fuzz yields tannin and pigments.
• Rhizomes yield fatty acid (oleic, palmitic, and octadecanoic acid), flavonoids (kaempferol, onychin).
• Study yielded nine compounds viz. palmitic acid(â… ), β-sitosterol (â…¡), 1-mono-palmitin (â…¢), daucosterol (â…£), caffeic acid(â…¤), protocatechuic acid(â…¥), protocatechuic aldehyde (â…¦), n-butyl-β-D-fructopyranoside(â…§) and D-glucose(â…¨).


• In Chinese medicine, Rhizoma cibotti is a main ingredient with other Chinese herbs to pickle wine for use as a tonic drink.
• In the Philippines rhizomes are used as topical for wounds and ulcers.
• Rhizome hairs used as hemostatic poultice for wounds.
• Used for osteodynia, leucorrhea, dysuria, polyuria.
•In Chinese medicine, used to tonify yang; used as antirheumatic, for strengthening the bones and muscles, and to replenish the liver, kidneys and the male generative organs. Recommended as an “old man’s remedy.” Roots also used for the treatment of lumbar pain, numbness, hemiplegia, leucorrhea, spermatorrhea, tumors, and bleeding in women.
• Also used for frequent enuresis.
• In China and Malaysia rhizomes are used as styptic for coagulating the blood to arrest capillary hemorrhages.
• In Malaya long hairs from the rhizomes used as styptic to coagulate blood to stop capillary hemorrhages.
• In Vietnam rhizomes are used to treat rheumatism, lumbago, neuralgia, sciatica, enuresis and body aches in pregnant women.
• In Europe hairy filaments from stipes used as hemostatic in wounds.

• One of 30 components in a Chinese herb pill used in regimen of therapy- herb therapy, foot massage, leg traction and exercise – for femoral head necrosis.

borabor3Study Findings

• Sesquiterpenes / Permeability Studies:Study yielded three unusual sesquiterpenes from the rhizomes. Compound 1 was assigned good human intestinal absorption and permeability.
• Osteoclast Inhibition/ Constituents / Anti-Osteoporosis: Study of methanol extract yielded 8 compounds including two new furan derivatives ( cibotiumbarosides A and B) and a new glycoglycerolipid (cibotiglycerol). Compounds 2 to 5 showed inhibition of osteoclast formation with no effect on BMM cell viability. Results suggest a potential for developing new treatments for osteoporosis.
• Antioxidative / Antibacterial: Study of leaf extracts of five medicinal ferns that included C barometz showed it to exhibit antioxidative potential. All the ferns showed antibacterial activity.
• Alkaline Phosphatase / Osteoblast Effect: Study examined the ability of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of human fetal osteoblast (hFOB1) with natural medicine supplementation. Results indicate M radix, Cibotium barometz, A cortex, C herba have inducing ability on ALP synthesis on osteoblast.
• Antiosteoporosis Effect: Study evaluated the effects of CB extract on ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis in female Sprague-Dawley rats. Results showed the treatment can enhance bone strength and prevent the deterioration of trabecular microarchitecture, and presents a potential alternative for prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
• Inhibition of SARS-CoV Replication: In a study of more than 200 extracts to evaluate anti-SARS-CoV activities, six herbal extracts, including Cibotium barometz, were found to be potent inhibitors of SARS-CoV. Results suggest a potential for the extracts as candidates for the development of anti-SARS therapeutics.
• Rhizomes / Antioxidant Effect: Rhizoma cibotii exhibited effective in vitro antioxidant activity, which may results from radical-scavenging and reducing power, attributed to the total phenolics, especially caffeic acid, one of the bioactive components.
• Chinese Herbal Medicine for Osteoporosis: In China, herb extract used to treat osteoporosis, preventing total BMD decrease in the femur induced by OVX, accompanied by a significant decrease in skeletal remodeling, as evidenced by decreased levels of bone turnover markers i.e., osteocalcin, alkaline phosphatase, deoxypyridinoline and urinary Ca and P excretions.

Extracts in the cybermarket.