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Family Schizaeceae / Lygodiaceae

Nitong-puti
Lygodium flexuosum Swartz.

MAIDENHAIR CREEPER

Scientific names  Common names 
Hydroglossum flexuosum (L.) Willd. Katak (Ibn.) 
Ophioglossum flexuosum L. Nitong-puti (Tag.)
Lygodium flexuosum (L.) Sw. Nito-a-dadakkel (Ilk.)
Ramondia flexuosa (L.) Mirb. Nitu (Ibn.)
  Kakulung (Ibn.)
  Kakulung (Ibn.)
  Sasitang (Ilk.)
  Nito nga purao (Ilk.)
  Climbing fern (Engl.)
  Maidenhair creeper (Engl.)
* Lygodium pinnatifidum is considered a synonym by some compilations. The Missouri Botanical Garden treats it as a separate species.
Nito's varieties of common names is confusingly shared among four species of plants belonging to the Family Schizaeceae / Gemus Lygodium: (1) Nito, Lygodium circinnatum, nitong puti, nitoan (2) Nitong puti, Lygodium flexuosum, nito nga purao (3) Nitong-pula, Lygodium japonicum, nito, nito-a-purao (4) Nito-nitoan, Lygodium scandens, nitong parang, nito.
Lygodium flexuosum (L.) Sw. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Miau-maka-la, Kuttijurkha, Huttigurpo.
CHINESE: Qu zhou hai jin sha..
GERMAN: Bogen-kletterfarn
INDIA: Bhutraj.
MALAYSIA: Ribu-ribu besar, ribu-ribu gajah, akar sidin

Botany
Lygodium flexuosum is a climbing or scrambling fern. The dwarfed branches are up to 3 millimeters long. Pinnae are pinnate, 15 to 25 centimeters long, and sometimes bipinnate in the lower part. Pinnules are stalked, finely serrate, otherwise entire lanceolate or more commonly lobed on both sides at the base, 4 to 10 centimeters long; the fertile pinnae are shorter than the sterile one. Spikes are 2 to 10 millimeters long. Spores are verruculose.

Distribution
- Common and widely distributed, especially in open places in the Philippines.
- Also found throughout the tropics of the Old World.

Constituents
- Plant yields antheridiogens, O-P-coumaryldryocrassol, tectoquinone, kaempferol, kaemferol-3-beta-D-glucosdie, beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol as main constituents. Main constituent is lygodinolide, used mainly for wound healing.
- Roots yield flavonoids, quercetin, and pentahydroxyflavone-3-O-rutinoside.
- Rich source of alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, and coumarin.
- Study yielded saponins (27.6%), bitter principles, sterols, and triterpene alcohols.

Properties
- Considered antioxidant, anti-implantation, anti-ovulatory.
- Studies have shown hepatoprotective, antiproliferative, antiangiogenic, antioxidant, antifertility, antibacterial, wound healing, antihistaminic, mast cell stabilizing properties.

Parts utilized
Whole plant, roots, leaves.

Uses
Edibility
- Young fronds eaten as vegetable.
- In Nepal, during times of scarcity, Chitwan people use it as vegetable sustenance.
Folkloric
- Roots and leaves used externally for ringworm and other skin ailments.
- Elsewhere, plant is used in treatment of blenorrhagia.
- In Indian traditional medicine, used for jaundice and liver disorders. Also used for dysmenorrhea, wound healing, and eczema.
- Kadar tribes of the Western Ghats of India use a leaf paste to cure jaundice.
- The Maharashtra tribe in India smoke bidi made of roots for rheumatism and arthritis; also, fresh roots boiled with mustard oil used for massage. Bidi also smoked for bleeding gums, bad breath, sprains, scabies, rheumatism, as antifertility and abortifacient, for jaundice and wound healing.
- In India, whole plant used for bloody dysentery.
- In Malaysia, used externally for ringworm.
- In Vietnam, applied to wounds after mashing; also used as diuretic.
- In Nepal, plant ash used for herpes.

- In Bangladesh, paste of roots mixed with Asparagus racemosus, taken orally to treat physical weakness. (16)
Others
Animals: Plant fed to domestic animals to treat foot and mouth diseases.
Basketry / Ties: Wiry rachises are used for plaiting and weaving to make hats, baskets, boxes, and bags. Also used to tie rice sheaths in the fields.

Studies
Hepatoprotective Effect: Rats treated with extracts of Lygodium flexuosum after establishment of carbon tetrachloride induced liver injury showed significant protection of the liver as evidenced by AST, ALT, LDH and MDA levels. Phytochemical study yielded saponins, triterpenes, sterols and bitter principles which could explain the possible hepatoprotective action. (1) Results suggest L. flexuosum exerts effective protection in carbon tetrachloride induced hepatic fibrosis in rats. (6)
Chemopreventive Effect / Antiproliferative/ Apoptotic: Study showed L flexuosum extract has antiproliferative and apoptotic activity in cancer cells and has inhibitory role in TNF-alpha induced NF-kappaB activation in PLC/PRF/5 cells confirming its potential as a chemopreventive agent. (2)
Antiangiogenic / Hepatoprotective: Study of antiangiogenic effect of L. flexuosum in NDEA-intoxicated Wistar rats in preventive and curative models showed the LFE reversed the hepatoxicity induced by N-nitrosodiethylamine in both experimental models. (4)
Phenolic Content / Antioxidant: In vitro antioxidant activity of different extracts of LF were evaluated in different models. Highest phenolic content was found in the methanolic extract (6.24%) with the highest antioxidant activity. (5)
Antifertility Activity: Alcoholic extract showed an antifertility effect in rats, mice, and rabbits.
Antibacterial: Rhizome extract showed more antibacterial activity compared to the petiole and leaf. The rhizome extracts were more effective against gram-positive bacteria like M. luteus and S. aureus compared to gram negative bacteria. (13)
Toxicity Testing: Various extracts in in vivo testing were found to be devoid of any toxicity in acute (5 g/kg) and subacute toxicity (1 g/kg for 30 days) evaluation in Wistar rats. (11)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant: Study of ethanolic extract in a carrageenan-induced paw edema model showed significant (p<0.001) anti-inflammatory activity. Both ethanolic and aqueous extracts showed promising antioxidant and radical scavenging activities at various concentrations. (12)
Wound Healing / Leaves: Study evaluated the protective effect of L. flexuosum against excision, incision, and dead space wound models in Wistar albino rats. Results showed accelerated wound healing. Topical application of L. flexuosum increased the percentage of wound contraction and decreased epithelization time in the excision wound model, increased the breaking strength of wounds in incision wound model, and increased hydroxyproline and the weight of dry and wet granuloma of wounds in dead space model. (17) S
Anti-Histaminic / Mast Cell Stabilizing: Study evaluated ethanolic and aqueous extracts of L. flexuosum for anti-histaminic and mast cell stabilizing activity in rats sensitized by injection of horse serum and triple antigen. Both extracts showed protective activity in invitro passive mast cell degranulation and systemic anaphylaxis in mice. (18)

Availability
Wild-crafted. 

Last Update October 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Lygodium flexuosum /Lowe Antique Prints of Ferns 1856 / Panteek

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Protective effect of Lygodium flexuosum (L.) Sw. extract against carbon tetrachloride-induced acute liver injury in rats / P J Wills, V V Asha / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • 01/01/2007; 108(3):320-6 / DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2006.05.032
(2)
Chemopreventive action of Lygodium flexuosum extract in human hepatoma PLC/PRF/5 and Hep 3B cells / Willis P J / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2009, 122 (2): p. 294-303 /

(3)
TRADITIONAL USES OF PLANTS OF COMMONLAND HABITATS IN WESTERN CHITWAN, NEPAL / D R Dangol / J. Inst. Agric. Anim. Sci. 29:71-78 (2008)
(4)
Antiangiogenic effect of Lygodium flexuosum against N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced hepatotoxicity in rats

/ PJ Wills, V Suresh et al / Chemico-Biological Interactions, Vol 164, Issues 1-2, 1 December 2006, Pages 25-38 / doi:10.1016/j.cbi.2006.08.021
(5)
CORRELATION OF ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY WITH PHENOLIC CONTENT AND ISOLATION OF
ANTIOXIDANT COMPOUND FROM LYGODIUM FLEXUOSUM (L.) SW. EXTRACTS
/ Nehete Jeetendra, Bhatia Manish / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 3, Issue 2, 2011
(6)
Preventive and curative effect of Lygodium flexuosum (L.) Sw. on carbon tetrachloride induced hepatic fibrosis in rats / PJ Willis and VV Asha / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 107, Issue 1, 11 August 2006, Pages 7-11 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.01.031
(7)
Studies on plants used in traditional medicine by Bhilla tribe of Maharashtra / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 9 (3), July 2010, pp 591-598.
(8)
Lygodium flexuosum (L.) Sw. / Chinese name / Catalogue of Life, China
(9)
Lygodium flexuosum / DNA of Siingapore
(10)
A review on therapeutic potential of Lygodium flexuosum Linn / Esha Yadav, Munesh Mani, Phool Chandra, Neetu Sachan, and A. K. Ghosh / Pharmacogn Rev. 2012 Jul-Dec; 6(12): 107–114. / doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.99944
(11)
Acute and subacute toxicity studies of Lygodium flexuosum extracts in rats
/ Pallara J Wills, Velikkakathu V Asha / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2012)S200-S202
(12)
A PRELIMINARY STUDY ON ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY & ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTY OF LYGODIUM FLEXUOSUM, A CLIMBING FERN / BISWADEEP DAS*, YOGESH P. TALEKAR, KISHORI. G. APTE AND RAJENDRA CHAUHAN / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 4, No 4, 2012
(13)
In vitro antibacterial activity of Lygodium flexuosum
/ VS Anishmon, Toji Thomas / Nigerian Journal of Natural Products and Medicine, Vol 9 (2005)
(14)
Lygodium flexuosum / Weed Science Society of America
(15)
Lygodium flexuosum / Synonyms / The Plant List
(16)
MEDICINAL PLANTS OF A SANTAL TRIBAL HEALER IN DINAJPUR DISTRICT, BANGLADESH
/ Mohammed Rahmatullah et al / WORLD JOURNAL OF PHARMACY AND PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES, Vol 3, Issue 10. 1597- 1606
(17)
Protective effect of Lygodium flexuosum (family: Lygodiaceae) against excision, incision, and dead space wounds models in experimental rats / Phool Chandra, Esha Yadav, Munesh Mani, Ashoke Kumar Ghosh, and Neetu Sachan / Toxicology and Industrial Health, 31.3 (Mar 2015): 274-280.
(18)
ANTI-HISTAMINIC AND MAST CELL STABILIZING ACTIVITY OF A FERN-LYGODIUM FLEXUOSUM / Biswadeep Das* and Rajendra Chauhan / Int. J. LifeSc. Bt & Pharm. Res. 2013

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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