Botanical Name: Diplazium esculentum
Species: D. esculentum
Synonyms: Athyrium esculentum
Common Name: Vegetable fern, It is known as pakô (“wing”) in the Philippines, pucuk paku and paku tanjung in Malaysia, sayur paku in Indonesia, dhekia in Assam “Dhenki Shaak in Bengali “, paloi saag . Sylheti, ningro in Nepali,dingkia in Boro and linguda in northern India, referring to the curled fronds. In Thailand it is known as phak khut . They may have mild amounts of fern toxins but no major toxic effects are recorded.
Habitat: Diplazium esculentum is native to E. Asia – southern China, Indian subcontinent, through southeast Asia to Indonesia and Philippines. It grows on the river banks, open places in wet ground, at elevations below 900 metres in Sri Lanka.
This plant is a large perennial fern with ascending rhizome of about 50 cm high and covered with short rufous scales of about 1 mm long. The plant is bipinnate with long brownish petioles, and the petiole base is black and covered with short scales. The frond can reach 1.5 m in length, and the pinnae is about 8 cm long and 2 cm wide.
Diplazium esculentum is a plant of the humid tropics.
Grows best when there is an abundance of organic matter in the soil.
Through Spores – they germinate readily and develop quickly. Division of plantlets that are produced at the roots.
Edible Uses: The very young leaves are eaten as lalab (a vegetable salad served with sambal) with rice. The young fronds are boiled and used as a vegetable. The young fronds are stir-fried and used in salads.
Medicinal Uses: The plant is used in traditional medicine. A decoction of the leaves is used as a tonic for women after they have given birth. Decoction of this plant is used in the treatment of cough and sometimes as a tonic (Shankar and Khare, 1985; Kaushik et al., 2012; Sudha et al., 1999).
Other Uses: Dried rhizomes are used as an insecticide. The extract also had alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity.
Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable.
Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.