Acrostichum aureum L.

Last updated: 2 September 2015

Scientific Name

Acrostichum aureum L.


Acrostichum guineense Gaudich, Acrostichum inaequale Willd, Chrysodium aureum (L.) Mett, Chrysodium inaequale (Willd.), Fée Chrysodium vulgare Fée [1].

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Piai raya, piai lasa, larat, pebisi [2][3],paku bulu emas, paku laut, peye, piai, umbi piai [2], umbi peye [3]
English Mangrove fern, golden leather fern, swamp fern [2]
China Jin jue, lu jue [2]
India Minni [2], paku laut [3]
Indonesia Paku tiai (Sundanese); kalakeok, kerakas, wihakas (Javanese)[2][4]
Thailand Prong –thale [3]
Philippines Lagolo (Tagalog)[2]; lagolo, pako – laut, paku laut [3]
Vietnam Ráng, Ráng Đại [2]
Japan Mimi-mochi-shida [3]
Sri Lanka Ráng, Ráng Đại [2]
Jamaica Alligator rush, crab thatch, golden fern, gold fern [2].

Geographical Distributions

This species has a very wide distribution. It is found in the Caribbean, in South and Southeastern Asia, in Australasia, and in both East and West Africa. [5]

Botanical Description

Acrostichum aureum is a member of the Pteridaceae family. The crown is erect and very large. [6]

The fronds are pinnate, rigid, coriaceous, glabrous, 0.9–1.8m long, 30cm wide, with a rigid naked strip 30–60cm long. The pinnae oblong-lanceolate, the lower shortly stalked and barren, 15–35cm long and 2.5–5.0cm wide; the upper fertile, almost sessile, one 10–15cm long, 1.5–2.5 cm broad, with a recurved margin all rounded and obtuse, or mucronat at the apex, rounded or shortly cuneate at the base and with the margin entire. The mid-rib conspicuous; veinlets often obtuse, anastomosing freely into small irregular areolae, but without any main veins, or any free veinlets. The fertile pinnae wholly occupied with sori except the mid-rib. [6]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

Ethanol extract of A. aureum has been reported to contain reducing sugars, alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, tannins, steroids, flavonoids, gums and terpenoids. Phytoconstituents 2-butanone, pterosterone; (2S,3R,5R,9R,10R,13R,14S,17S)-1,2,3,4,5,10,11,12,13,15,16,17- dodecahydro-2,3,14-trihydroxy-17-(2R,3R,5S)-2,3,5-trihydroxy-6-methylheptan-2-yl)-10,13-dimethyl-9H-cyclopenta[a] phenanthren-6(14H)-one, kaempferol; 2,3-dihydro-3,5,7-trihydroxy-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)chromen-4-one and quercetin; 3,5,7-trihydroxy-2-(3,4- dihydroxyphenyl)-4H-chromen-4-one, can also be found in ethanolic extract of A. aureum. [7][8][9]

Methanol extract on the leaf parts of A. aureum contains patriscabratine, (2-acetamido-3-phenylpropyl) 2- benzamido-3-phenylpropanoate, (2R,3S)-sulfated pterosin C and tetracosane. [7][9]

Plant Part Used

Rhizomes, leaves [9]

Traditional Use

A. aureum or Piai raya has been known for its medicinal value among Malays in Malaysia. The powdered or granted rhizomes of A. aureum were used to treat wounds, non-healing ulcers and boils. [9]

In India, the frond is applied over venomous snakebites as an antidote. There had been reports that the fertile fronds and roots are also used traditionally for syphilitic ulcers. [9]

While, in Fiji they were used to treat sore throat, chest pains, elephantiasis, purgative and febrifuge. In Bangladesh, the leaves of A. aureum were used to cure cloudy urine in women. [9]

Preclinical Data


Analgesic activity

Acetic acid induced writhing test in mice was used for determining the analgesic activity. For this test experimental animals (mice) were selected randomly, and split into four groups as control, positive control, and test group I and II. Control group was treated with 1% Tween-80 at the dose of 10 mL/kg body weight in distilled water, and diclofenac sodium at the dose of 25 mg/kg body weight was given to positive control group. Test group I and II were treated at the doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg body weight respectively with the test sample. Then writhing inducer acetic acid solution (0.6%) was injected using intra-peritoneal route to each mice. The sample demonstrated test group I and II each exhibit 28.86% (p<0.001) and 46.77% (p<0.01) compared to the control group with 69.15% (P<0.001). [7]

Anti-inflammatory activity

Ethanol extract of A. aureum were applied on carrageenan-induced inflammation rat models to study anti-inflammatory activity. Results indicated highly significant maximum inhibition in carrageenan induced oedema test with 65.90% reduction in the paw volume (p<0.01) comparable to that produced by the standard drug Indomethacin (66.66%) after 24 hour. [10]

Antioxidant activity

A study conducted by victimizing different parameters like 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, superoxide scavenging impact, reducing power and in-vitro lipid peroxidation to focus on invitro inhibitor activity, shows that, ethanol extract of A. aureum is significantly effective in scavenging DPPH (EC50 = 41.95 µg/mL). [10]

Cytotoxic activity

There have been reports that A. aureum shows cytotoxic activity against tested cell lines. In one study where, normal mouse fibroblast cells and three human cancer cell lines gastric adenocarcinoma cells, colorectal adenocarcinoma cells and breast ductal carcinoma cells were used. The methanolic extracts of A. aureum showed low toxicity (IC50 > 2.5 mg/mL) against mouse fibroblasts but selective cytotoxicity (IC50 0.2-2.3 mg/mL) against different cancer cell lines. [11]

Antibacterial activity

Growth inhibition of bacteria was tested in a disc diffusion method where, the ethanolic extract of A. aureum showed maximum activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, gram-negative bacteria. While the acetone and methanolic extracts of A. aureum showed moderate level of inhibition towards Escherichia coli. [12]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation


No documentation

Side effects

No documentation

Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

No documentation

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

A. aureum spores are potentially allergenic as there have been reported that spores from A. aureum could cause skin and nasal provocation. An intracutaneous test had been performed on 226 allergic rhinitis patients by using the extract from the spores of A. aureum and 61.5% of these patients reacted positively. While skin test and nasal provocation tests were performed in a group of 20 non allergic ENT patients, about 20% gave weakly positive skin test reactions and 15% gave mild reactions to the nasal provocation test. [13]


No documentation


No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Acrostichum aureum L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2016 Oct 20]. Available from:
  2. Philippine Alternative Medicine: Lagolo. Acrostichum aureum Linn. [homepage on the internet]. no date [updated 2015 Dec; cited 2016 Oct 20]. Available from:
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume I A-B. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 72.
  4. Burkill IH. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 1. London: Published on behalf of the governments of the Straits settlements and Federated Malay states by the Crown agents for the colonies, 1935; p. 41.
  5. Ellison J, Koedam NE, Wang Y, et al. Acrostichum aureum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [homepage on the internet] International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. c2010 [cited 2015 Sep 28]. Available from:
  6. Sim TR. The ferns of South Africa containing descriptions and figures of the ferns and fern allies of South Africa. Cambridge: University Press, 1915; p. 292.
  7. Khan SA, Hossain MA, Panthi S, Asadujjaman M, Hossin A. Assessment of antioxidant and analgesic activity of Acrostichum aureum Linn. Family-Pteridaceae). Pharmacologyonline. 2013;1:166-71.
  8. Hossain H, Jahan IA, Nimmi I, Hossain MA, Kawsar MH. Anti-Inflammatory activity of the ethanolic extract of Acrostichum aureum (Linn.) root. Bangladesh Pharm J. 2011;14(2):107-109.
  9. Raja S, Ravindranadh K. A complete profile on Acrostichum aureum – Traditional uses, pharmacological activities and phytoconstituents. World J of Pharm Re. 2014; 3(10):624-630.
  10. Uddin SJ, Bettadapura J, Guillon P, Darren Grice I, Mahalingam S, Tiralongo E. In-vitro antiviral activity of a novel phthalic acid ester derivative isolated from the Bangladeshi mangrove fern Acrostichum aureum. J Antivir Antiretrovir. 2013;5:139-144.
  11. Uddin SJ, Grice ID, Tiralongo E. Cytotoxic effects of Bangladeshi medicinal plant extracts. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2011;2011:578092.
  12. Thomas T. Antibacterial and phytochemical evaluation of gradient extracts of Acrostichum aureum L. In: Dennis Thomas T, Thomas T, editors. Bioprospecting of plant genetic resources. Apex Infotech Publishing Company, 2013; p. 128-133.
  13. Bunnag C, Dhorranintra B, Limsuvan S, Jareoncharsri P. Ferns and their allergic importance: skin and nasal provocation tests to fen spore extract in allergic and non-allergic patients. Annals of Allergy. 1989;62(6): 554-558.