A comprehensive scientific overview of Blepharispermum subsessile DC. (Asteraceae), a conservation concern medicinal plant with promising pharmaceutical potential
Blepharispermum subsessile DC., belonging to family Asteraceae, is known for its uses in the treatment of arthritis and related joint pain in folkloric medicine in different states of India. Additionally, ethnomedicinal uses of this plant include treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea, various ophthalmic problems, common cold, rhinitis, skin diseases, scabies, wound and gynaecological disorders. Most importantly, traditional use of B. subsessile to treat arthritis has been recently supported by scientific pharmacological studies including a clinical trial. However, overexploitation, unregulated trade and habitat destruction has put the B. subsessile under severe threat in their natural habitats of India in general and Odisha state of India in particular. To conserve the gene pool of this plant species along with other medicinal plants in their wild habitat (in situ) a medicinal plant conservation area (MPCA) has already been established in Odisha. Recently, attempt has also been made for development of tissue culture - mediated plant regeneration protocols aiming at its conservation by rehabilitation and ex situ means. In the present review, comprehensive and updated information on the distribution, botany, ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry and biological activities of B. subsessile has been summarized and focus has been given to the attempts made for conservation of this traditional medicinal plant species through conventional means as well as biotechnological intervention. Future research required for B. subsessile conservation and pharmaceutical utilization in fullest but in best sustainable manner has also been discussed.
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