Health Benefits of Polypody

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Polypody Quick Facts
Name: Polypody
Scientific Name: Polypodium vulgare
Polybody is a fern which belongs to Polypodiaceae family and is found throughout the year. It is inherent to Europe and found in eastern Asia, Africa predominantly in northern areas. It is common in France upto an altitude of 2000 meters. It is also found in Scandinavia mostly in southern part of the area and some species are found in America and eastern Asia. The fern family is common throughout the United States in shady woods and on mountains. This perennial has a creeping, irregular brown root which has a peculiar and rather unpleasant odour and somewhat sickening taste. The lush green and decorative fronds are from 6–12 in. high, smooth and deeply pinnatified. The fruit on the lower surface of the frond is in large golden dots or capsules. Should be gathered from June to September.

Plant description

Polybody is a small and rhizomatous fern having narrow leaves about 8-40 cm long and 3-6 cm wide borne on smooth and scaleless petioles i.e. 3-15 cm. Leaves are evergreen, oblong and pinnatifid with acuminate tips. The fronds with triangular leaflets measures 10-50 cm and divide all the way back to central stem in 10 to 18 pairs of segments or leaflets. Leaflets are generally whole or slightly denticulated and wider at their base where they often touch each other.

Facts About Polypody

Name Polypody
Scientific Name Polypodium vulgare
Common/English Name Rock Polypod, Common Polypody, Brake Root, Fern Root, Polypody, Golden Maidenhair Fern, Adders Fern, Wall Fern, Common Polypod Fern
Name in Other Languages Danish: Almindelig engelsø;
German: Gemeiner Tüpfelfarn, Gewöhnlicher Tüpfelfarn;
English: Adder’s fern, Common polypody, Golden-maidenhair, Polypody, Wall fern;
Dutch: Gewone eikvaren;
Swedish: Pohjankallioimarre;
Arabic: Azrasul kalb, Kasirul arjil, Saquibal Hajer, Tashmeez, Barzia;
Hindi: Bisfaija,  Khankali, Kala bichwa;
Persian: Bispaik;
Latin: Bazbodia
Plant Growth Habit Perennial, small fern
Plant Size 30 cm high
Rhizome Flattened, yellowish-brown
Leaf Evergreen, oblong, 8–40 cm (3.1–15.7 in) long and 3–6 cm (1.2–2.4 in) wide
Medicinal parts Root and tops

Health Benefits of Polypody

  1. Respiratory health

Polypody has expectorant properties, it is useful or treating various respiratory ailments. It is drunk in form of tea to treat catarrh, coughs, congestion and bronchitis.

  1. Digestive health

It promotes digestive health and provides gastrointestinal complaints. It stimulates bile production and used for treating conditions and boost appetite. It acts as gentle and laxative and safe and natural treatment for constipation.

  1. Fever

It lowers fevers due to antipyretic properties.

  1. Rheumatism and pain relief

Polypody has analgesic properties which helps to provide relief from pain and used as an aid for rheumatism and arthritis. The study conducted on rats was provided given extracts of the herb that provides relief from pain through improved reaction times.

  1. Skin health

Apply polypody topically for treating minor wounds, grazes, cuts, scrapes and bites. The antibacterial properties found in the plant helps to prevent infection from taking hold and also lower inflammation and irritation and also speeds up healing of wounds. Topically apply it for dealing with common inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.


The starchy root stocks were boiled and eaten by the Indians, and they knew of their effect as a worm medicine. Our pioneers soaked them in water and wood ashes for 24 hr. and cooked the young leaves like pot herbs.

The many species of ferns were also used in decoction as a cure for rickets in children. The strong decoction is purgative. A specific in expelling tape worms, by influencing their muscle release. The presence of warms causes serious anaemia, undermining various organs of the body. The syrup as a decoction has been found very valuable in pulmonary and hepatic diseases.

The ancients used the roots and the whole plant in decoctions and diet drinks for the spleen and other disorders. The Japanese use it in soup. Combined with liverwort it is said to have restored patients severely affected with disease of the lungs. Do not use extensively.


1–4 drams of the powdered plant, 4 fl. oz. of the syrup decoction, three or four times a day.

Traditional uses

  • It stimulates secretion of bile and acts as a gentle laxative.
  • It is used in European herbal medicine for treating hepatitis and jaundice and used as an aid for indigestion and loss of appetite.
  • Root tea is used for treating pleurisy, sore throats, hives and stomach aches.
  • It is used for lung ailments and liver problems.

Side effects

  • It should not be used externally as it can cause skin rashes.
  • Excessive use of Polypody results to various side effects such as vomiting, nausea and stomach pain.
  • Sensitive people might experience minor rash with its application.

Other facts

Rhizome has bittersweet flavor and used to make confectionery like nougat.






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