Alambrillo is a slow-growing evergreen fern
with a short, ascending, and scaly rhizome with spirally arranged, stipitate
and compound leaves. Stipes are suberect and rather slender, 10 to 20 centimeters long, polished and dark green. Fronds are bipinnate, with a short terminal pinna and numerous erect lateral ones on each side; the segments (pinnae) are 1 to 2.5 centimeters broad, the base being cuneate and the outer edge rounded. Sori are roundish, situated in the roundish sinuses of the crenations.
- In the Philippines, found in Batan Island and Nueva Viscaya, Bontoc, Benguet, and Laguna Provinces in Luzon.
in shady, moist
Usually, flower-pot cultivation for ornamental purposes.
- Phytochemical studies have shown triterpenes, flavonoids, phenylpropanoids
- Study of fresh fronds of A. capillus-veneris yielded six new migrated hopane triterpenoid alcohols, viz. pteron-14-en-7a-ol (1), fern-9(11)-en-3a-ol (2), fern-7- en-3a-ol (3), adian-5(10)-en-3a-ol (4), adian-5-en-3a-ol (5) and fern-9(11)-en-28-ol (6).
- Study isolated two new migrated hopane triterpenoids, viz. 4a-hydroxyfilican-3-one and fern-9(11)-en-12ß-ol, and olean-18-en-3-one and olean-12-en-3-one, first example of oleanane compounds, along with other known triterpenoids.
- Study yielded two triterpenic compounds, Davallene 1 and Adipedatol
2, from the roots of Mexican Adiantum capillus-veneris,
- Alcoholic extract fractions of dried fronds yielded seven compounds: four triterpenoidal compounds identified as isoadiantone (1); isoadiantol-B (2); 3-methoxy4-hydroxyfilicane (3) and 3,4-dihydroxyfilicane (4)
and three flavonoids identified as quercetin (5), quercetin-3-O-glucoside (6) and quercetin-3-O-rutinoside (rutin) (7).
- GC-MS analysis of whole plant yielded 15 bioactive compounds viz.
Dodecanoic acid, ethyl ester (1), Nonadecane (2), Tetradecanoic acid (3), 3,7,11,15-Tetramethyl-2-hexadecen-1-ol (4), Acetic acid (5), 3,7,11,15-tetramethyl-hexadecyl ester(6), 3,7,11,15-Tetramethyl-2-hexadecen-1-ol (6), 3,7,11,15- Tetramethyl-2-hexadecen-1-ol (7), Docosane (8), 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, butyl octyl ester (9), Phthalic acid (10), butyl octyl ester,n-Hexadecanoic acid (11), Hexadecanoic acid, ethyl ester (12), 9- Octadecenoic acid (13), Octadecanoic acid, ethyl ester (14), Di-n-octyl phthalate Tetracontane (15). (29)
- Elemental analysis of leaves by ICP-AES in mg/100gm yielded the following: Cu 01.70, Zn 07.15, Mn 13.55, Fe 17.45, Ca 11.52, Co ND, K 17.95, Na 12.65, Ni 00.20, and Mg 03.90. (30)
- Study of aerial parts for essential oil yielded 88.22% of total oil with 67 components. Main components were carvone (31.58%), carvacrol (13.75%), hexadecanoic acid (5.88%), thymol (4.05%), hexahydrofarnesul acetone (3.16%) and n-nonanal (2.99%). (see study below) (32)
Among identified phytochemicals, carvone was the main component (31.58%). Moreover, percentage of carvacrol (13.75%), Hexadecanoic acid (5.88%), Thymol (4.05%), Hexahydrofarnesyl acetone (3.16%) and n-nonanal (2.99%) were more than other identified constituents. RC50 of this volatile oil was 0.039 mg/mL.
- Emmenagogue, expectorant,
aperitive, diuretic, astringent, febrifuge, emollient.
- Antidandruff, antitussive, demulcent, depurative, emetic, galactagogue, laxative, stimulant and tonic.
Culinary / Edibility
- Leaves used for tea. Dried fronds used for making tea.
- Syrup made from plant makes a cooling summer drink.
- Fronds used as garnish for sweet dishes.
- In the Philippines fronds are used in the treatment of chest diseases.
Decoction of leaves (fronds)
as tea for chest afflictions, colds, coughs, snoring.
- Promotes appetite and digestive aid. Also, gently laxative.
- Fronds used for cough and cold, also chewed for treatment of mouth blister.
- Frond extract mixed with honey used as an eye ointment.
- Decoction of rhizomes as tea for cough, respiratory problems, fevers,
and abdominal colic.
- Externally, for a variety of skin diseases and inflammatory conditions.
- It is used as a postpartum tonic, in doses of two tablespoons every
- Plant decoction used to regulate menstrual cycle disturbances.
- In Iraq and Iran rhizomes are used as expectorant, and used for difficulty in breathing and to relieve spasms in whooping cough.
- Used for kidney stones and bladder gravel.
- In Mexico, used as aperitive, diuretic, and emmenagogue.
- In China, used for the treatment of bronchitis.
- Used as a lotion for falling hair and baldness.
- In Peruvian Amazon, fronds
as infusion or syrup used as diuretic, expectorant and emmenagogue.
- In the Peruvian Andes, shamans and healers use a decoction of rhizome for alopecia, gallstones, and jaundice.
- In the Brazilian Amazon, used as expectorant for bronchitis and coughs. In present day Brazilian herbal medicine, frond and leaf are used for hair loss, coughs, laryngitis, sore throat; to improve appetite and digestion, stimulate renal function, regulate menstruation, and facilitate childbirth.
- In Pakistan, the plant
is used for diabetes.
- In India, fresh or dried leafy fronds are used as antidandruff, antitussive, demulcent, depurative, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, laxative, stimulant and tonic. Tea or syrup used for cough, throat affliction, and bronchitis. Also, as detoxicant in alcoholism and to expel worms. Externally, used as poultice for snake bites and bee stings.
- In Ayurveda, Adiantum spp. used for colds, tumors of the liver and spleen
skin diseases, bronchitis and inflammatory diseases.
Study on the aerial part of Salsala rasmarinus and Adiantum capillus
reported the presence of antimicrobial flavonoids. (1) In a study of Adiantum species, A capillus-veneris was next to
A venustum in degree of activity as antimicrobial agent. ACV had very low MIV value against E coli.
• Antibacterial Activity of Essential
Oils : A lemon yellow colored essential oil was extracted
from the leaves of AC which exhibited maximum inhibitory activity against
S typhi; mild antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas species, Klebsiella
pneumoniae and Streptococcus pyogenes. (2)
• Antidiabetic / Metal Content:
Study focused on the hypoglycemic effects and metal contents of plants.
Iron and chromium were found in all anti-diabetic herbs, including A capillus. Water
soluble lead was high in A. capillus. The water extracts of plants were found to be better hypoglycemics than the acid digested part with its higher metal content. Study concluded that the metal
content did not have any particular relation to the antidiabetic effect
of the herbs.
• Antimicrobial / Phenolic Content:
Study of methanolic extracts of Adiantum spp. showed Adiantum capillus-veneris
activity against E. coli, activity probably due to its high phenolic
The water extracts and extracted phenols from gametophytes and sporophytes of two ferns – A capillus-veneris and Adiantum lunulatum were tested for antifungal activities against Aspergillus niger and Rhizopus stolonifer. Activity was found higher in the gametophytes and ACV was found a better antifungal than AL. (7)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antinociceptive:
Study investigated the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activities of a crude ethanolic extract and various fractions of Adiantum capillus-veneris in a carrageenan-induced hind paw edema model. Results showed significant analgesic activity comparable to ibuprofen. An anti-inflammatory effect appeared to be due to inhibition of NO release and decrease of TNF-a level. (11) Study evaluated a 50% ethanolic extract of whole plant of Adiantum capillus for analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects in animals using Eddy's hot plate method, writhing test, formalin test, and carrageenan induced rat paw edema. Results showed analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, highly significant at 300 mg/kg. (40)
• Antimicrobial / Functional Compounds:
An EtOAc fraction exhibited broad spectrum antimicrobial activities against all tested microorganisms, especially Candida albicans. Phytochemical study showed the fraction to yield the highest total flavones, total phenolic contents, and characterized various compounds. Observed bioactivities were attributed partly to phenolic acids and flavonoids, especially 3-p-coumaroylquinic acid and kaempferol 3-O-glucoside.
• Antioxidant / Phytochemicals:
Study yielded phenolics and terpenoids (2.73%). fats and waxes (0.20%), alkaloids (0.53%). quaternary and N-oxides (26.33%). and fiber (67.23%). Of ten elements, Ca and K were found at major levels. Results showed the leaves to possess free radical scavenging molecules, with potential use as source of natural antioxidants and nutrients. (14) Study showed crude flavonoids to possess potent antioxidant properties, and presents as a potential source of antioxidants for the medical and food fields. (15)
• Phytochemicals / Anti-Inflammatory / Dried Fronds:
Study of alcoholic extract and fractions of dried fronds yielded four triterpenoidal compounds and three flavonoids. Biologic studies of the extract and fractions showed anti-inflammatory activity. A total alcoholic extract showed significant hypoglycemic activity. (see constituents above) (19)
• Activity Against Testosterone Induced Alopecia:
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss in men. Study evaluated the hair growth promoting activity of a preparation of ACV on albino mice using a testosterone-induced alopecia model. Results showed hair growth potential for A. capillus-veneris formulation for androgenic alopecia and other androgen related disorders. (20)
• Anti-Urolithiasic Effect / Calcium Oxalate Stones: Study investigated the anti-urolithiasic effect of a hydroalcoholic extract on calcium oxalate urolithiasis in male Sprague Dawley rats. Results showed significant reduction in number of crystals, with decrease in serum levels of calcium, phosphorus and BUN. (21)
• Antibacterial: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of plant for antibacterial activity showed significant effects on Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Helicobacter pylori strains. (22)
• Goitrogenic and Antithyroidal: Study investigated the potency of the A. capillaris-veneris fern ethanol extract on thyroid dysfunction and hypothyroidism. Results showed decrease in thyroid weight and increase in thyroid peroxidase activity, serum T4 (p<0.01) and serum T3 (p<0.01). Study also showed significantly increase levels of antioxidant enzymes. Results suggest potential use for regulation of hypothyroidism. (23)
• Antioxidant Effect on Human Lymphocyte / Leaves: Free radicals induce damage due to lipid peroxidation in biomembranes and DNA. Antioxidants neutralize the effects of free radicals. Study showed pretreatment with plant leaves extract effectively inhibited lipid peroxidation and significantly enhanced the activities of antioxidant enzymes and glutathione content. The activity may be due to direct action in scavenging free radicals and modulation of the antioxidant defense system. (24)
• Benefit Herbal Mixture for Wound Healing: Study evaluat3ed the effect of an herbal mixture of Aloe vera, Henna, Adiantum capillus-veneris, and Commiphora molmol on wound healing in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed the herbal mixture altered the gene expression signature of induced wounds as evidenced by accelerated healing in a diabetic rat model. (26)
• Antiobesity / Aerial Parts: Study of aerial parts of A. capillus-veneris and its phytoconstituents showed effects equivalent to orlistat. Results showed inhibition of PL (pancreatic lipase) in vitro with ascending order of PL-IC50 values (µg/mL): ferulic acid 0.48±0.06 <ellagic acid 13.53±1.83<chlorogenic acid 38.4±2.8<cappillus-veneris 1600±100. Study showed significant antiobesity effect (p<0.001) with marked triacylglycerol-reducing capacities (p<0.001) in comparison to rats fed with HCD (high cholesterol diet). (27)
• Antidiarrheal and Antispasmodic / Leaves: Study of crude extract of dried leaves of A. capillus-veneris showed antidiarrheal effect against castor oil-induced diarrhea in a mouse model, similar to loperamide. In isolat4d rabbit jejunum, it showed concentration-dependent relaxation of spontaneous and low K+-induced contractions and a weak inhibitory effect on high K. Activity was probably mediated through ATP-dependent K+ channels activation. (28)
• Antioxidant / Elemental Analysis / Leaves: Study showed A. capillus-veneris leaves are rich in free radical scavenging molecules terpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins and reducing sugars. Extract showed good antioxidant activity compared to vitamin C, with low IC50 of 0.3986 mg/gm on DPPH assay and 0.695 mg/gm for ABTS assay. Elemental analysis showed K>Ca>Mg>Fe>Mn>Na>Zn>Cu>Ni. (see constituents above) (30)
• Amelioration of Bisphenol A-Induced Reproductive Toxicity: Study evaluated the ameliorative effects of A. capillus-veneris on testicular toxicity induced by bisphenol A in adult male albino rats. Results showed A. capillus-veneris overcomes the estrogenic effects of BPA on the reproductive system of rats and protects rats' testes against BPA-induced injury/damage via an antioxidative mechanism. (31)
• Antioxidant / Essential Oil of Aerial Parts: Study of aerial parts for essential oil yielded 67 components. DPPH assay showed antioxidant activity which was attributed to the high contents of carvone, carvacrol, and thymol. (see constituents above) (32)
• Antidepressant / Anxiolytic: Study evaluated the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of hydroalcoholic extract of A. capillus-veneris in mice under chronic restraint stress using elevated plus-maze (EPM) and forced swim test (FST), along with measurements of serum and brain levels of total antioxidant capacity (EAC), malondialdehyde (MDA), and serum corticosterone. Results showed antidepressant and anxiolytic effects as evidenced by reduction of oxidative markers. (33) Study showed significant antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects in rat, probably due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The extract reduced MDA levels and increased antioxidant levels of serum and brain in rats. (42)
• Antibacterial / Antifungal:
Study evaluated antimicrobial of extracts of leaves, stems and roots against MDR bacteria and medically important fungi. Water, methanol, and ethanol extracts of leaves, stems, and roots showed significant antibacterial and antifungal activities against most of the MDR bacterial and fungal strains.(34)
• Antioxidant / Phenolic Compounds / Enzyme Inhibition / Alzheimer's, Diabetes, and Skin Disorders:
Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of various extracts using phosphomolybdenum assay, DPPH, FRAP, and CUPRAC. Enzyme inhibition activities were determined against acetylcholinesterase, tyrosinase, a-glucosidase and a-amylase. Major phenolic compounds were benzoic acid, epicatechin, syringic acid and catechin. Methanol and EA extracts exhibited stronger antioxidant abilities compared to water extract. A. capillus-veneris extracts showed high enzyme inhibition activities except for butyrylcholinesterase. Results suggest a natural source of antioxidants and enzyme inhibitors. (35)
• Effect on Testosterone Induced Hair Loss: Androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss in men. Study evaluated the hair growth-promoting activity of a preparation of A. capillus-veneris on albino mice with testosterone-induced alopecia. Results showed good activity based on visual observation and quantitative data viz. follicular density and anagen/telogen ration. (36)
• Wound Healing Effect of Herbal Mixture: Study evaluated a herbal mixture of Aloe vera, Henna, Adiantum capillus-veneris, and Myrrha on wound healing in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Dried leaves and resins were powdered an mixed in equal parts with Vaseline as preservative. cDNA synthesis monitored changes in Tgfb1, Mmp3, Mmp9, Il6 and Tnf α expression using real-time PCR. Results showed the herbal treatment altered the gene expression signature at induced wounds in the rat model consistent with accelerated healing. Study suggests the herbal formulation may be effective for wound treatment in diabetic patients. (37)
• Effect in Chemically Induced Urolithiasis: Study evaluated the antiurolithiatic effect of hydroalcoholic extract of A. cappilus veneris in male Sprague Dawley rats with calcium oxalate urolithiasis. Results of urine microscopy showed significant reduction (p<0.001 and p<0.01) in number of crystals in test groups A and B, respectively. Histopathology of kidney showed almost normal kidney architecture in treated groups. (38)
• Wound Healing Effect / Mouse Dermal Fibroblast Cells: Study evaluated extracts of Adiantum capillus-veneris, Commiphora molmol, Aloe vera and henna and their mixture on treatment of normal mouse skin fibroblasts. Changes in gene expression of Tgf1 and Vegf-A genes were monitored by PCR. Results showed improved expression of Tgfß-1 gene. All used extracts upregulated the expression of Vegf-A gene and promoted migration of mouse fibroblast cells in vitro. Results suggest the extracts may be effective in wound healing. (39) (also see:37)
• Modulation of Alveolar Apoptosis / Exercise-Induced Hypoxia Conditon Healing Effect / Mouse Dermal Fibroblast Cells: Study evaluated the effect of supplementation of A. capillus-veneris extract on Bax/B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) ratio apoptotic index and remodeling of pulmonary alveolar epithelial cells in lung tissue of healthy Wistar rats during stressful hypoxic conditions. Results showed after three weeks of hypoxia following six weeks of high-intensity interval training in Wistar rats, the Bax/Bcl2 ratio and number of type 1 pneumocytes was significantly reduced. Results strongly suggest that apoptosis state induced in the lung parenchyma was modulated by consumption of the extract. (41)