HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Aspleniaceae
Pakpak-lauin
Asplenium nidus Linn.

BIRD'S NEST FERN
Niao chao jue

Scientific names Common names
Asplenium nidus Linn. Pakpak-lauin (Tag.)
Neottopteris nidus (L.) J. Sm. Pasdak (Tag)
Neottopteris rigida Fee Dapo (Tag., other dialiects)
Thamnopteris nidus C. Presl Bird's-nest fern (Engl.)
Chao jue (Chin.) Tai wan shan su hua (Chin.)
Note: There are some dissimilarities in Quisumbing's 1978 publication of Medicinal Plants of the Philippines and the Plants of the Philippines 1964 publication by the University of the Philippines. The former refers to Asplenium nidus as pakpak-lauin and the latter as pasdak; both refer to it as Bird's nest fern. The Plants of the Philippines publication has a Pakpak lawin entree with the scientific designation of Drynaria quercifolia.
Pakpak-lauin is a local name for three different herbal plants, two of the genus Asplenium and one of genus Drynaria: Pakpak-lauin: Asplenium nidus; Pakpak-lauin na babae: Asplenium macrophyllum; and Pakpak lawin: Drynaria quercifloia.

Other vernacular names
HAWAII: Akaha, Ekaha, Ekaha kuahiwi.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: I'gou.
TAIWAN: Shan su.
VIETNAM: To dieu, Cay to chim, Rang o phung.


Botany
Pakpak-lauin is a huge herbaceous epiphyte at minor or moderate altitudes. Entangled rhizome is a mass of roots below. Leaves are erect and flaring from the crown aggregated in a dense tuft above. Leaves are broad and numerous, radiating from the center of the plant giving the appearance of a bird's nest; spiral, leathery, smooth, lance-shaped with entire margins, sharply pointed tips and broad bases. They often attain a large size, 40 to 120 centimeters long, 6 to 20 centimeters wide. Sori are numerous, elongate running along the line of the veinlets, reaching from the midrib about halfway to the margins. Spores are bilateral, monolete with a perispore.

Distribution
- Common throughout the Philippines at low and medium altitudes.
- Cultivated as a hanging or landscaping plant.
-Grown extensively in other countries, usually as a ornament.
- Native of tropical countries; now grown extensively in America and Europe as an ornament.

Properties
- Considered spasmolytic, estrogenic, depurative, sedative.

Parts utilized
Leaves

Uses
Edibility
- Reported to be occasionally eaten by aboriginal tribe in Malaysia.
- In Taiwan, sprouts eaten as vegetable.
Folkloric
• The plant has been reported to be depurative (purifying) and sedative.
• Plant has been used for halitosis.
• The Malay used a decoction of leaves to ease labor pains; also, lotion from pounded leaves in water used as poultice to the head to relieve fever. (12)
• In French Polynesia, used for stings and bites, contraception, chest pains and lice.
• In Hawaii, shoots used for general weakness, ulcers, and sores. Also, plant is part of an asthma regimen, mixed and pounded together with flowers of ki, mixed with poi made from kalo or uala (Ipomoea batatas).
• Shoots used for general debility, sores, ulcers.
• In Taiwan, used to treat fever; infusion used to alleviate labor pains, asthma, debility, halitosis, and sores. (8)
• In North Eastern India, rootstock used against fever and elephantiasis. Also, used as emollient, in coughs and diseases of the chest. Leaf is smoked to treat colds. (9)
• In Kumaun Himalaya, Uttrakhand, India, used in splenic enlargement, urine calculus, jaundice, and malaria. (11)
Others
Veterinary: In Papua New Guinea, leaves used as contraceptive in pigs. (12)



Studies
Estrogenic Activity:
Maternity and medicinal plants in Vanuatu II. Pharmacological screening of five selected species: Five plant species, including A nidus, were studied for possible estrogenic activity. (1)
Antibacterial Activity: In a study of five medicinal ferns, including Asplenium nidus, all showed antibacterial activity which may justify its use in traditional medicine. (2)
Patent Application for Prostatic Disease: Patent application has been made for the use of extract of Asplenium nidus for prostatic diseases. (10)
Antiviral / Cytotoxicity Testing: Study evaluated six plant extracts of three local Malaysian medicinal plants—Asplenium nidus, Eleusine indica, and Phaleria macrocarpa— for cytotoxicity and antiviral activities. Cytotoxicity screening in Vero cell line by MTT assay showed safety of the extracts even at high concentrations. Antiviral properties by plaque reduction assay showed EC concentration between 3.2 to 47 mg/mL suggesting the usefulness of the extracts as potential antiviral agents. (13)

Availability
Wild-crafted.
Cultivated.


Last Update January 2013

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Datei:Asplenium nidus Blanco2.395.png / Plate from book / Flora de Filipinas / Francisco Manuel Blanco (OSA) / Public Domain / Modifications by Carol Spears / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Maternity and medicinal plants in Vanuatu II. Pharmacological screening of five selected species / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 52, Issue 3, 5 July 1996, Pages 139-143 / G. Bourdya, C. Françoisb, C. Andaryc and M. Boucard
(2)
Antioxidative, Tyrosinase Inhibiting and Antibacterial Activities of Leaf Extracts from Medicinal Ferns / How Yee Lai et al / Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry • Vol. 73 (2009) , No. 6 pp.1362-1366
(3)
Bird's Nest Fern / Lee-Khoo and Guan Fong / Singapore Infopedia

(4)
Plants in Hawaiian medicine / Beatrice H. Krauss
(5)
Medical Ethnobotany, Phytochemistry, and Bioactivity of the Ferns of Moorea, French Polynesia
/ Nicole Baltrushes / May 2006 / Moorea Digital Flora Project
(6)
Asplenium nidus / Hawai'i Birdnest Fern / EOL Encyclopedia of Life
(7)
Neottopteris nidus / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
(8)
Taiwanese Native Medicinal Plants—Phytopharmacology and Therapeutic Values / Thomas S.C. Li, Ph.D. / Publ. 2006, CRC Press
(9)
Medicinal ferns of North Eastern India with special reference to Arunachal Pradesh / Benniamin A / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge Vol. 10 (3), July 2011, pp. 516-522
(10)
Patent application title: EXTRACT OF ASPLENIUM NIDUS L. / Kun-Hsuan Huang, Tza-Zen Chang, Pei-Wen Hsiao, Chia-Jui Tsai. / PatentDocs
(11)
Ethnomedicinal uses of Pteridophytes of Kumaun Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India / Kanchan Upreti, Jeewan S. Jalal, Lalit M. Tewari*, G. C. Joshi, Y.P.S.Pangtey and Geeta Tewari / Journal of American Science 2009;5(4):167-170
(12)
THE ROLE OF MEDICAL ETHNOBOTANY IN ETHNOMEDICINE: A NEW GUINEA EXAMPLE / BORUT TELllAN / J, Elhnobio/, 8(2):149-169 Winter 1988
(13)
Cytotoxicity and Antiviral Activities of Asplenium nidus, Phaleria macrocarpa and Eleusine indica / Mariya Mohd Tahir, Nazlina Ibrahim and Wan Ahmad Yaacob / The 2014 UKM FST Postgraduate Colloquim

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.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT