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Family Selaginellaceae
Pakong-tulog
Selaginella tamariscina (Beauv.) Spring.
RESURRECTION FERN
Chuan Pai

Scientific Names Common Names
Lycopodioides tamariscina (P, Beauv.) H. S. Kung Kaim-kum (Ilk.) 
Lycopodium caulescens Wall. ex Hook. & Grev, Kayumkom (Tag,)
Lycopodium involvens Sw. Keoun Back (Korea) 
Lycopodium tamariscinum (P.Beauv.) Desv. ex Poir. Pakaunkung (Ilk.)  
Selaginella caulescens (Wall. ex Hook. & Grev.) Spring Pakong-sipres (Tag.) 
Selaginella involvens (Sw.) Spring Pakong-tulog (Tag.)  
Selaginella tamariscina (Beauv.) Spring. Little club moss (Engl.)
Selaginella veitchii W.R.McNab Resurrection fern (Engl.) 
Stachygynandrum tamariscinum P.Beauv. Spike moss (Engl.)
Pako and its variations 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 ensiformis (6) Pakong-roman - Ceratopteris thalictroides. (7) Pakong-tulog, pakong-cipres, Selaginella tamariscina (8) Pakong buwaya - Cyathea contaminans.
Selaginella tamariscina (P.Beauv.) Spring is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Wan nian qing, Juan bai, Chuan Pai.
JAPANESE: Iwa hiba, Iwa matsu.
KOREAN: Keoun back.


Botany

Pakong-tulog is an evergreen, perennial fern with densely tufted stems, 4 to 15 centimeters long, branched nearly to the base. Leaves of the lower plane are crowded, ovate, with a distinct cusp, bright green, rigid, serrulate on both margins. Leaves of the upper plane are nearly as long, ovate lanceolate, cuspidate. Sporophylls are keeled.

Distribution
• In the Philippines, reported in Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Bontoc, Zambales, Pampanga, Rizal, Batangas, and Laguna, Quezon.
• Also occurs in China, Japan, Korea, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Celebes.
• The whole plant may be collected throughout the year. Wash thoroughly, cut off the roots and sun-dry. This may also be processed into charcoal form by heating it with small glow until it turns black, sprinkle with some clean water and re-dry under the sun. Rhizome or the trunk-like portion of the main axis used for propagation. Preferably transplant collected living plants.

Constituents
Study yielded flavonoids as main compounds, including amentoflavone, hinokiflavone, sotetsuflavone and apogenin.
Study isolated four compounds from the n-BuOH fraction of water extracts: 1-hydroxy-2-[2-hydroxy-3-methoxy-5-(1-hydroxyethyl)-phenyl]-3-(4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxy)-propane-1-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside (tamariscinoside B (I) adenosine (2), guanosine (3) and arbutin (4). (8)
Study isolated five compounds elucidated as: carnaubic acid, Selaginellin, 5,7,4',5'',7'',4'''-hexahydroxy-3',8''-Biflavone, β-D-fructofuranose-(2-1)-α-D-Glucopyr-anoside, α-D-mannopyranose-(1-1)-α-D-Mannopyranoside.

Study isolated a new selaginellin named selaginellin O (1), along with three other known selaginellins (2-4). (see study below) (16)

Properties
• When dry, the fronds, particularly the young one, contract or roll up like the claws of a bird or like a miniature Cypress tree. Yellowish-brown, when moistened they spread out again and become green.
• The plant never dies, hence the name Resurrection Fern, and considered life-prolonging.
• Considered astringent and hemostatic.

Uses
Nutrition
- Edible: leaves; young shoots (cooked).
Folkloric
- Decoction use for the treatment of traumatic bleeding, hemoptysis, gastrointestinal bleeding, metrorrhagia, hematuria, persistent post-partum lochia, rectal prolapse and leucorrhea.
- Used to stop external bleed of any cause: powder or dress the wound with granulated drug materials.
- Selaginella plus Thuja: For hematochezia due to a boil in the anal region (patient cannot sit) or for an extra-menstrual bleeding uterus. Selaginella preparation plus Thuja leaf preparation: Grind into powder, add warm water. Drink the resulting infusion.
- In China, used for tracheitis and tumors; also, for amenorrhea and bowel hemorrhage. Also used for fever, detoxification and mobilization of blood circulation.

Studies
Biflavonoids: Methanol extract significantly inhibited UV irradiation induced activity of MMP-1 in primary fibroblasts from human skin. Of the five biflavonoids isolated, sumaflavone and amentoflavone showed significant MMP-1 inhibitory activity. (1)
Anti-mutagenic / Tumoricidal: Called Keon in Korea, S tamariscina is a traditional medicinal plant for therapy of advanced cancer patients in the Orient. It is thought to modify gene expression and cytokine production. It also lowers blood sugar and lipid peroxide levels. The biflavones isolated from related Selaginella species exert both tumoricidal effects against human tumor cell lines and anti-mutagenic activity. There is ongoing study for its chemopreventive effects in stomach cancers.
Isocryptomerin / Anti-fungal:
Study isolated isocryptomerin, a biflavoinoid, which exerted antifungal activity in an energy-independent manner without hemolytic effects. The antifungal activity may be through a membrane-disruption mechanism. (2)
Amentoflavone / Anti-fungal:
Study isolated amentoflavone from the ethyl acetate extract of the whole plant. It exhibited potent antifungal activity against several pathogenic fungal strains presenting a great potential to be a lead compound for the development of antifungal agents. (9)
Antimetastatic:
Study demonstrated that Selaginella tamariscina extract could be a candidate antimetastatic agent against lung cancer. (3)
Cell apoptosis: Cell apoptosis is important in cellular homeostasis and anticarcinogenesis. Study suggests oxidative stress may be involved in the cytotoxicity of ST and that ST-induced apoptosis of HL-60 cells is primarily mediated by the caspase activation pathway. (4)
Vasorelaxation: Study yielded an active biflavonoid, amentoflavone and results suggest it relaxes smooth muscle via endothelium-dependent nitric oxide-cGMP signaling, with possible involvement of K and Ca channels. (5)
Anti-gastric cancer: Study results suggest that Selaginella tamariscina could be a candidate chemopreventive agent against gastric cancer. (6)
Amentoflavone / Anti-Cancer: Amentafkavine and the extracts from S. tamariscina were screened against five cancer cells. Assays in vitro showed inhibition of the proliferation of HL-60 (human leukemia cells), MCF-7 (human breast cancer cells), HeLa (human cervical carcinoma cells), human hepatoma carcinoma cells, and PANC-1 (human pancreatic cancer cells).
Candidiasis: S-Phase Accumulation of Candida albicans by Anticandidal Effect of Amentoflavone Isolated from Selaginella tamariscina: Study suggests amentoflavone has a potential for treatment of candidiasis.
(7)
Chemical Constituents / Liganoside: Study isolated a new liganoside, tamariscinoside C, together with D-mannitol, tyrosine and shikimic acid.
Anti-Allergic: Study of the ethanol extract of ST showed it could inhibit mouse systemic anaphylactic shock and dose-dependently block passive cutaneous anaphylaxis and skin reactions caused by exogenous histamine and serotonin. Results suggest EST inhibits mast cell-dependent, immediate allergic reactions and suggests ST and one of its active flavonoids present a potential remedy for allergy-related diseases. (10)
Antibacterial / Isocryptomerin: Study of the novel antibacterial isocryptomerin isolated from S. tamariscina against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains including MRSA showed the isocryptomerin had considerable synergistic activity in combination with cefotaxime. (12)
Hyoglycemic: Study in rats showed both EtOH and H2O extracts were able to ameliorate the fasting blood glucose and improved OGTT. Total cholesterol, LDL and fatty acids were also lowered. Compared with the water extract, the EtOH extract effects were more marked. (13)
Anti-Fatigue: Study in mice of a polysaccharide from S. tamariscina showed an anti-fatigue effect with prolonged swimming time of loaded mice, decrease in BUN and blood lactic acid after swimming. (14)
Selaginellins / Cytotoxic / Antioxidant: Study yielded a new selaginellin named selaginellin O, along with three other known selaginellins, 2-4. Selaginellins 1, 2, and 3 exhibited cytotoxic activity against cultured HeLa cells (human cervical carcinoma cells) as well as antioxidant activity. (16)
Bone Disease Benefits / Anti-Osteoclastogenesis and Anti-Osteoclastic Activities: Study evaluated the inhibitory effect of S. tamariscina on osteoclast differentiation. Results showed a water extract to have beneficial effects on bone disease by inhibiting osteoclastogenesis and osteoclastic activity. (17)
Hypolipidemic / Hepatoprotective / Amentoflavone: Amentoflavone isolated from S. tamariscina showed strong lipid lowering effect and favorable hepatoprotective effect in vivo. (19)
Anti-Metastatic / Inhibition of MMP-9 in Human Nasopharyngeal Ca HONE-1 Cells: Study evaluated the anti-metastatic properties of ST extract in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma HONE-1 cells in vitro. The ST extract inhibited MMP-9 expression and HONE-1 cell metastasis. The inhibitory effects may involve the Src/FAK/ERK 1/2 pathway. Results suggest a potential of being an anti-metastatic agent against nasopharyngeal carcinoma (21)
Attenuation of Metastasis / Oral Cancer: Study investigated the mechanism by which S. tamariscina inhibits the invasiveness of human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) HSC-3 cells. Results showed ST attenuated HSC-3 cell migration and invasion in a dose-dependent manner, at least, partially, through down-regulation of matrix metalloproteinases. Study suggests a potential as adjuvant therapeutic agent in the prevention of oral cancer. (22)
Antidiabetic / Antioxidant / Antihyperlipidemic / Flavonoids: Study investigated the antidiabetic, antihyperlipidemic, and antioxidant activity of total flavonoids of ST in a mouse model of diabetes. Results showed an excellent effect in high blood glucose reduction, however, with no effect on normal blood glucose level. The antidiabetic effect may be explained by its antioxidant activity and antihyperlipidemic effect which could have elevated the insulin sensitivity of the liver. (24)
Estrogenic Activity: Study evaluated the estrogenic activity of ten kinds of Selaginella tamariscina from ten different places of origin. Results showed S. tamariscina exerts estrogenic effect by activating gene transcription mediated by ERα. (25)
Insulin-Mimetic Selaginellins: Study of methanol extract isolated three new selaginellins (2,4, and 5) together with two known selaginellin derivatives (1 and 3). All isolates showed strong glucose uptake stimulatory effects in 3T3-L1 adipocyte cells. They also showed inhibitory effects on PTP1B enzyme activity. Results suggest potential for these selaginellin derivatives as lead compounds for development of agents for T2DM. (26)
Toxicity / Anticancer: Study evaluated the toxicity and antitumor effect of ethanol extract of S. tamarascina in a mice model. In a single-dose acute toxicity text, an oral administration of 10,000 mgkg did not cause any lethality. The STE could not prevent tumor formation but provided strong inhibition of tumor growth. (27)
Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B inhibitory Activity / Selaginellin / Antidiabetic: Study isolated six selaginelline derivatives (1-6), comprising four new compounds (selariscinas A-D). The compounds exhibited inhibitory effect on PTP1B enzyme activity with IC50 ranging from 5.5 ± 0.1 to 21.6 ± 1.5 µM. Compound 2 showed greatest potency with IC50 of 5.5±0.1 µM. Results suggest a potential of the lead molecules for the development of antidiabetic agents. (28)
Phytoremediation / Formaldehyde: In a study of 86 species of plants representing five general classes (ferns, woody and herbaceous foliage plants, Korean native plants and herbs), Selaginella tamarascina was one of nine plants that showed the highest formaldehyde removal efficiency. Phytoremediation potential was assessed by exposing the plants to gaseous formaldehde in airtight chambers. (29)

Availability
- Wild-crafted. 
- Extracts in the cybermarket.

Last Update August 2016

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: File:004 Selaginella tamariscina iwahiba.jpg / 1925 . Michio Murakoshi / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Selaginella tamariscina (Photo) / Permission granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber. Source: www.biolib.de / GNU Free Documentation License / click on image to go to source page / alterVISTA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Biflavonoids isolated from Selaginella tamariscina regulate the expression of matrix metalloproteinase in human skin fibroblasts / Chan-Woo Lee, Hyun-Jung Choi et al /
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Vol 16, Issue 2, 15 January 2008, Pages 732-738 / doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2007.10.036
(2)
Isocryptomerin, a novel membrane-active antifungal compound from Selaginella tamariscina / Lee Juneyoung et al / Biochemical and biophysical research communications • 2009, vol. 379, no3, pp. 676-680 /
(3)
Antimetastatic activities of Selaginella tamariscina (Beauv.) on lung cancer cells in vitro and in vivo / Shun Fa Yang et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 110, Issue 3, 4 April 2007, Pages 483-489 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.10.010
(4)
Selaginella tamariscina Induces Apoptosis via a Caspase-3-Mediated Mechanism in Human Promyelocytic Leukemia Cells / Seong-Hun Ahn et al / Journal of Medicinal Food • Summer 2006, 9(2): 138-144. doi:10.1089/jmf.2006.9.138.
(5)
Vasorelaxation by amentoflavone isolated from Selaginella tamariscina / Dae Gill Kang et al / lanta Med 2004; 70: 718-722 / DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-82720
(6)
Effects of Selaginella tamariscina on in vitro tumor cell growth, p53 expression, G1 arrest and in vivo gastric cell proliferation / I Lee / Cancer Letters, Volume 144, Issue 1, Pages 93-99
(7)
S-Phase Accumulation of Candida albicans by Anticandidal Effect of Amentoflavone Isolated from Selaginella tamariscina

(8)
Study on the chemical constituents of Selaginella tamariscina (Beauv.) Spring / Zheng X K et al / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2004 Apr;39(4):266-8.

(9)
Antifungal effect of amentoflavone derived fromSelaginella tamariscina / Hyun Jun Jung et al / Archives of Pharmacal Research • Volume 29, Number 9 / September, 2006 / DOI 10.1007/BF02974074

(10)
Inhibitory Effects of Selaginella tamariscina on Immediate Allergic Reactions / Yue Dai / The American Journal of Chinese Medicine • Volume: 33, Issue: 6(2005) pp. 957-966 / DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X05003442
(11)
Amentoflavone and the extracts from Selaginella tamariscina and their anticancer activity
/ Yiing Jing, Guogang Zhang et al / School of Traditional Chinese Materia Medica, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang 110016, China
(12)
Antibacterial and Synergistic Activity of Isocryptomerin Isolated from Selaginella tamariscina / Lee, Juneyoung, Yunjung Choi et al / J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. (2009), 19(2), 204–207 / doi: 10.4014/jmb.0810.566
(13)
Antihyperglycemic activity of Selaginella tamariscina (Beauv.) Spring / Xiao-ke Zheng, Yu-Jie Li et al /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 133, Issue 2, 27 January 2011, Pages 531-537 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.10.028
(14)
Study on Anti-fatigue Biological Effect of Polysaccharide fromSelaginella Tamariscina / Liu Juan, Wang Chun-ying et al / DOI CNKI:SUN:JMDB.0.2009-04-053
(15)
The isolation and identification of a new lignanoside from Selaginella tamariscina (Beauv.) Spring. / Zheng XK, Shi SP et al / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2004 Sep;39(9):719-21.
(16)
Bioactive selaginellins from Selaginella tamariscina (Beauv.) Spring / Chao Yang, Yutian Shao, Kang Li and Wujiong Xia / Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 2012, 8, 1884–1889. doi:10.3762/bjoc.8.217
(17)
Selaginella tamariscina water extract inhibits receptor activator for the nuclear factor-κB ligand-induced osteoclast differentiation by blocking mitogen-activated protein kinase and NF-κB signaling / Ki-Shuk Shim, Ju-Seop Kang, Min-Ho Lee, Jin Yeul Ma / Pharmacognosy Magazine, 2012, Vol 8, No 31, pp 184-191
(18)
Studies on the Chemical Constituents and of Selaginella Tamariscina / China Papers
(19)
Lowering blood lipid and hepatoprotective activity of amentoflavone from Selaginella tamariscina in vivo
/ Shu-Mei Yue and Wen-Yi Kang* / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 5(14), pp. 3007-3014, 18 July, 2011
(20)
Selaginella tamariscina / Synonyms / The Plant List
(21)
Selaginella tamariscina extract suppresses TPA-induced invasion and metastasis through inhibition of MMP-9 in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma HONE-1 cells / Chung-Han Hsin, Buor-Chang Wu, Chun-Yi Chuang, Shun-Fa Yang, Yi-Hsien Hsieh, Hsin-Yu Ho, Huang-Pin Lin, Mu-Kuan Chen and Chiao-Wen / BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013; 13: 234. / doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-13-234
(22)
Selaginella tamariscina Attenuates Metastasis via Akt Pathways in Oral Cancer Cells / Jia-Sin Yang , Chiao-Wen Lin , Chung-Han Hsin, Ming-Ju Hsieh, Yu-Chao Chang / PLoS ONE 8(6): e68035. / doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068035
(23)
Natural products from resurrection plants: Potential for medical applications
/ Tsanko S. Gechev, Jacques Hille, Herman J. Woerdenbag, Maria Benina, Nikolay Mehterov, Valentina Toneva, Alisdair R. Fernie, Bernd Mueller-Roeber / Biotechnology Advances, Vol 32, Issue 6, 1 Nov 2014, Pp 1091–1101
(24)
Antihyperlipidaemic and antioxidant effect of the total flavonoids in Selaginella tamariscina (Beauv.) Spring in diabetic mice / Xiao-ke Zheng, Wei-wei Wang, Li Zhang, Cheng-fu Su, Yong-yong Wu, Ying-ying Ke, Qing-wei Hou, Zhao-yan Liu, Ai-she Gao, Wei-sheng Feng / Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Vol 65, Issue 5, May 2013, pp 757-766 / DOI: 10.1111/jphp.12035
(25)
Experimental study on estrogenic activity of ten kinds of Selaginella tamariscina from ten different place of origin / ZHENG Xiao-ke; JIANG Yun; PEI Su-juan; WANG Xiao-lan; ZHANG Na; KE Ying-ying; ZHAI Ying-ying; FENG Wei-sheng / China Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy, 2015-01
(26)
Insulin-Mimetic Selaginellins from Selaginella tamariscina with Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) Inhibitory Activity / Phi-Hung Nguyen, Bing-Tian Zhao, Md Yousof Ali, Jae-Sue Choi, Dong-Young Rhyu, Byung-Sun Min, and Mi-Hee Woo* / J. Nat. Prod., 2015, 78 (1), pp 34–42 / DOI: 10.1021/np5005856
(27)
Toxicity and anticancer effects of an extract from Selaginella tamariscina on a mice model / Le Minh Ha*, Do Thi Thao, Hoang Thanh Huong, Chau Van Minh & Nguyen Tien Dat* / Natural Product Research: Formerly Natural Product Letters, Volume 26, Issue 12, 2012 / DOI:10.1080/14786419.2011.560847
(28)
Six selaginellin derivatives with protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B inhibitory activity from Selaginella tamariscina / BT Zhao, DH Nguyen, JS Choi, MH Woo / Planta Med 2015; 81 - PX45
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1556489
(29)
Study of phytoremediation benefits of 86 indoor plants published; Japanese royal fern tops list for formaldehyde removal effectiveness / Science Daily: June 24, 2011

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