Researchers review the uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological properties of the genus Blechnum

Blechnum plants medicinally applied. Credit: WBG

Drifting from the plantation to traditional treatment and ethnopharmacology, many valuable ferns belonging to the genus Blechnum are potential remedies for diverse complaints. Despite their importance, their herbal uses have not been extensively studied.

Researchers from the Wuhan Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have reviewed the medicinal ethno-relevance of some valuable Blechnum plants that feature leathery fronds with circular veining, simple lamella, and sometimes 1-pinnatifid or 1-pinnate stems and leaf blades.

The genus Blechnum, with more than 236 species, belongs to the family Blechnaceae and is widespread in tropical, subtropical and southern temperate regions of the world. Since ancient times, several species of this genus have been used in folk medicines to treat a variety of ailments such as typhoid, urinary tract infections, influenza, wounds, pulmonary complaints, pimples, boils, and worm-related complications.

The relevant literature on Blechnum plants shows that the different parts (fronds, rhizomes, whole plants, rhizomes, and shoots) are formulated in various forms, such as a decoction, as a poultice, infusion, as a paste, as a juice, which are used both externally and internally.

about 91 secondary metabolites It was isolated from different parts of Blechnum plants, among which phenolic compoundsSterols and fatty acids were the main components. Many species of Blechnum have been found to display a wide range of biological activities including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, insecticidal, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing agents. Quercetin-7, 3 and 4′-trimethoxy, ponasterone and phytol metabolites have been associated with various biological activities such as antioxidants, antibacterials and insecticides.

Despite a wide range of traditional medicinal benefits and biological properties, understanding of the scientific mechanisms based on the available data remains limited.

Above all, only 20 of the 236 known species in the genus Blechnum have been evaluated in terms of their phytochemistry and bioactivities, while many others remain unexplored. Most pharmacokinetic analyzes have focused on crude extracts, with no focus on specific metabolites associated with biological activities. Furthermore, in vitro models have been mainly explored in the evaluation of pharmacological properties, with only a few studies using in vivo systems.

In addition, the observed bioactivities were primarily randomized assays without a link between traditional uses and pharmacological activities. Finally, only one report describes the basic mechanism of action of bioactive metabolites with pharmacological effects. These above-mentioned aspects associated with the medicinal uses of Blechnum species require further investigations to ensure their pharmaceutical applications.

Most importantly, this review outlines the scientific basis for some of the medicinal uses of many Blechnum Ocean Their traditional therapeutic claims are supported as treatments for various ailments, which have been validated by the majority of pharmacological properties.

The search was published in pharmaceutical.


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more information:
Emmanuel Nyong’isa Waswa et al, Traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological properties of the genus Blechnum–a narrative review, pharmaceutical (2022). DOI: 10.3390 / ph15070905

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