Role of oral Polypodium leucotomos extract in dermatologic diseases: a review of the literature

J Drugs Dermatol. 2014 Feb;13(2):148-53.


Polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE), derived from the tropical fern of Polypodiaceae family, has properties ranging from immunomodulatory and antioxidative to photoprotective. It is these multiple mechanisms of action, in combination with a favorable side effect profile, which makes PLE a promising adjunctive treatment for several dermatologic disorders. Studies are summarized on the use and potential applications of PLE in the treatment or management of photodermatoses, vitiligo, melasma, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and more recently, in minimizing infections in high-performance athletes. More data, however, with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm these benefits.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Dermatologic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Dermatologic Agents / pharmacology
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Polypodium / chemistry*
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / physiopathology


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Plant Extracts