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Family Pteridaceae
Onychium siliculosum
(Desv.) C. Chr.
Jin fen jue

Scientific names  Common names 
Allosorus auratus (Kaulf.) C.Presl. Buhok-virgin (Tag.)
Cryptogramme aurata (Kaulf.) Prantl Pako (Bik., Ilk., Pamp.,Bis., Tag.) 
Onychium auratum Kaulf. Dila-dila (Tag.)
Onychium aureum Kümmerle Pakong-anuang (Tag.)
Onychium chrysocarpus (Hook. & Grev.) C. Chr. Pako (Tag.)
Onychium siliculosum (Desv.) C.Chr.  
Onychium tenue Christ  
Onychium viviparum Kümmerle  
Phorolobus siliculosum (Desv.) Desv.  
Pteris aurata (Kaulf.) Mett.  
Pteris chrysocarpa Hook. & Grev.  
Pteris chrysosperma Hook. & Grev.  
Pteris siliculosa Desv.  
Pako is a local name shared by many medicinal plants: (1) Pako - Athyrium esculentum (2) Pakong-alagdan - Blechnum orientale (3) Pakong-anuanag, pako, buhok-virgin, dila-dila - Onychium siliculosum (4) Pakong-gubat, pakong kalabao, Pityrogramma calomelanos (5) Pakong-parang - Pteris mutilata (6) Pakong-roman - Ceratopteris thalictroides. (7) Pakong-tulog, pakong-cipres, Selaginella tamariscina (8) Pakong buwaya - Cyathea contaminans.
Dila-dila is local name shared by many different species of plants: (1) Onychium siliculosum: Buhok-virgin (Tag.); dila-dila (Tag) (2) Nopalea cochinellifera: Dila-dila (Ilk.); dilang baka (Tag.) (3) Elephantus scaber: Dila-dila (Tag.), kabkabron (Ilk.); prickly leaved elephant's food (Engl.) (4) Pseudoelephantopus spicatus: Dila-dila (Tag.); dilang-aso (Tag.) Kabkaron (Ilk.)
Other phonetic variations and use of "dila" for other local plant names further add to the confusion: Dila-dilag (Spilanthes acmella); Dilang aso (P. spicatus); Dilang-baka (N. Cochinellifera); Dilang-boaia, dilang-halo (Aloe vera); Dilang-butiki (Dentella repens); Dilang-butiki (Hedyotis philippensis); Dilang-usa (Trichodesma zeylanicum); and Diladila (Cordyline roxyburghiana).
Onychium siliculosum (Desv.) C. Chr. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Jin fen jue.
LAOTIAN: Ko kout pha.

Pakong-anuang has rhizomes that are short, stout, and covered with lanceolate, brown, and spreading scales. Stipes are naked, erect, pale, and occasionally brownish, 10 to 30 centimeters long. The fronds are 15 to 40 centimeters long, finely 3- to 4-pinnately divided. Pinnules are small, narrow, and numerous; sterile ones usually spatulate, less than 5 millimeters long, often toothed at the apex; the fertile ones are podlike, linear, entire, acuminate, 5 to 20 centimeters long and 1 to 2 millimeters wide. The indusium and sori are of a rich golden-yellow color.

- Along banks of streams.
- In northern and central Luzon, and from Leyte to Mindanao.
- Also found from India to China, and southward to Malaya.

- Phytochemical screening yielded two new compounds: onitinoside and onysilin along with known compounds, pinostrobin, onitin, onitisin, campesterol, sitosterol, and n-alkanes. (1)
- Flavanone 9-methoxyliriodenine (4) and (2S)-5-hydroxy-6,7-dimethoxy avanone has been reported from Onychium siliculosum. (WuTS,Kuoh CS,Ho ST,Yang MS,Lee KK. Flavanone and other constituents from Onychium siliculosum. Phytoche- mistry 1981; 20:527-9.) (8)

Parts utilized
Rhizomes and young leaves.

• Juice of crushed leaves are used for thinning or falling hair.
• Decoction of fronds used for dysentery.
• In
Nepal, juice of rhizomes used for fever. (7)
• In Bangladesh, root decoction taken thrice daily used to treat dysentery . For earaches, leaf juice is applied as eardrops.
• In India, fronds use for the treatment of dysentery and hair fall. (9)

Phytochemicals / Flavanone: Study yielded two new compounds: onitinoside and onysilin along with known compounds, pinostrobin, onitin,onitisin, campesterol, sitosterol, and n-alkanes. (1)
Onitin / Antispasmodic / Smooth Muscle Relaxant:
Onitin was found to be an active principle of the plant Onychium siliculosum. A rat and guinea pig study showed onitin is a non-specific smooth muscle relaxant similar to papaverine, but of a lesser extent. (2) Study investigated the pharmacologic properties of three phenolic pterosins - onitin, onitinoside and onitisin - isolated from O. siliculosum. The predominant effect was inhibition of contraction of isolated guinea-pig ileum. Of the three, onitin was the most potent, inhibiting both D and M receptors of 5-HT. (3)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated April 2018 / April 2016

\ IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Pteridaceae: Onychium siliculosum det. J.F. Barcelona 28-Dec-07 / Lower (abaxial) surface of the lamina showing sori. Copyright © 2013 by J.F. Barcelona & P.B. Pelser (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL68792]/ Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source pagev/ Phytoimages.siu.edu
IMAGE SOURCE: Onychium auratum / 1884 / Darjeeling Ferns / mounted by Mrs. P. Jaffrey, Darjeeling. 45X35 cm./ Donated to the National Museum, Dublin, by Miss Knox; 1915 / National Botanic Gardens

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Flavanone and other constituents from Onychium siliculosum / Tian-Shung Wu, Cheng-Sheng Kuoh et al /

Phytochemistry, Vol 20, Issue 3, 13 March 1981, Pages 527-529 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)84186-2
Studies on the Taiwan Folk Medicine VI. Studies on Onitin / Yang Meei-Shieu / Planta medica ISSN 1439-0221, 1986, vol. 52, no1, pp. 25-27
Studies on the Taiwan Folk Medicine; III. A Smooth Muscle Relaxant from Onychium siliculosum, Onitin / S T Ho, M S Yang, T S Wu, C H Wang / Planta medicam Volume: 51, 1985 Apr
Medicinal plants used by Chakma tribe in Hill Tracts districts of Bangladesh / M Atiqur Rahman, S B Uddin and C C Wilcock / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 6(3), July 2007, pp 508-517
Onychium siliculosum (Desv.) C. Chr. / Chinese name / Catalogue of Life, China

Onychium siliculosum / Synonyms / The Plant List
Ethnobotanical Note on Folklore Remedies of Baglung District, Nepal
/ Narayan P Manandhar / National Herbarium and Plant Laboratories, Kathmandu
Bioactive Flavonoids and Alkaloids from Anomianthus dulcis (Dunal) J. Sinclonychiair Stem Bark / L. Ubonopas, P. Wongsinkongman, W. Chuakul, K. Suwanborirux, K.H. Lee, and N. Soonthornchareonnon* / Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2014; 41 (3), 13-22
Associated microflora of medicinal ferns: biotechnological potentials and possible applications / Shubhi Srivastava and A. K. Paul* / International Journal of Bioassays 5.3 (2016): 4927-4943

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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