Today we are going to take a look at a plant that has flown under the radar for far to long. Its called polypodium vulgare and it has been used for thousands of years for a multitude of things. Other common names include common polypody, rock polypody, and rock cap fern. Some uses include treating depression, impotence, basic infection, parasitic worms, coughs, and as an appetite suppressant. Lets take a look at the inner workings of this little fern.
Anatomy, location, and habitat:
This fern belongs to the polypodiaceae family of plants. They grow anywhere from 10-50 centimeters long
and can be a range of colors from orange to yellow and can even turn gray as they age.
It is commonly found in France and Scandinavia. It is also found sparsely throughout the Mediterranean region. It has also been introduced in New Zealand but is considered to be pest, or invasive species.
It prefers shaded locations and can be found on tree stumps, rocky vegetation, cracks in rocks, and sand. It loves sandy soil with little or no lime. It is also found growing out of the cracks of old stone homes and barns.
Uses in cooking:
Not many people know that this plant is actually very sweet. In fact, its extremely sweet. The reason for this is because it contains osladin which can be up to 500 times sweeter than sugar! This makes it great as a sugar substitute. When cooked it provides a very aromatic smell. It is frequently used in nougat because of these sweet and aromatic properties.
Polypodium Vulgare has been frequently used in herbal medicine for centuries. It is frequently used as a diuretic and laxative. It is also used as an expectorant (helps loosen phlegm in throat/chest). It has also been used to treat jaundice and hepatitis.
An herbal tea made from the roots can be used to treat hives, sore throats, and stomach aches. It has been shown to reduce inflammation and is used to treat liver and spleen disorders.
Skin rashes are also treated using polypodium vulgare. A salve is made using using beeswax and olive oil. The salve is directly applied to the rash.
One of the biggest and often misunderstood uses of polypodium vulgare is to cure impotence or low libido. This plant has been shown to successfully treat impotence and libido issues. The reason for this is because this fern contains phytoecdysteroids. More specifically 20-hydroxyecdysone. These ecdysteroids are used by the plant to fight of plant eating insects. Rescent research shows that these chemicals can aid in increasing muscle mass and increasing sex drive. But how?
Polypodium vulgare and testosterone:
A common misconception regarding polypodium vulgare is that it increases testosterone. Science suggests that this isn't the case. It can actually work out better this way because it works along side testosterone. 20-hydroxyecdysone does this by increasing the activity of polyribosomes. Polyribosomes are compartments inside cells where actual protein synthesis takes place. This stimulated protein synthesis helps increase muscle mass, sexual processes, and overall wellness. This helps testosterone be used in other areas of the body and increases its overall affect. This is the main reason Bold Buck Nutrition™ uses polypodium vulgare in its Prime Rut™ testosterone booster.
20-hydroxyecdysone has been compared to the anabolic steroid methandrostenolone. In one animal study muscle mass actually increased 115%! Here is a link to an amazing pdf that shows references to several studies regarding 20-hydroxyecdysone. Not only did it show amazing results in animals, it also references a few human studies as well.
Science is still uncovering many great benefits to herbs and herbal supplements. Polypodium vulgare is no exception. Sometimes we have to look at nature to give us the boost we need. We don't always have to jump straight into prescription drugs. Do your own research and discuss it with your doctor. This way you can make an informed decision. Knowledge is a powerful thing. Use it to your advantage.
Until next time
Bold Buck Nutrition