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Open Access Research article

Potential dermal wound healing agent in Blechnum orientale Linn

How Yee Lai1, Yau Yan Lim2* and Kah Hwi Kim3

Author Affiliations

1 School of Biosciences, Taylor's University Lakeside Campus, No. 1, Jalan Taylor's, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

2 School of Science, Monash University Sunway Campus, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

3 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:62  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-62

Published: 12 August 2011



Blechnum orientale Linn. (Blechnaceae) is used ethnomedicinally to treat wounds, boils, blisters or abscesses and sores, stomach pain and urinary bladder complaints. The aim of the study was to validate the ethnotherapeutic claim and to evaluate the effects of B. orientale water extract on wound healing activity.


Water extract of B. orientale was used. Excision wound healing activity was examined on Sprague-Dawley rats, dressed with 1% and 2% of the water extract. Control groups were dressed with the base cream (vehicle group, negative control) and 10% povidone-iodine (positive control) respectively. Healing was assessed based on contraction of wound size, mean epithelisation time, hydroxyproline content and histopathological examinations. Statistical analyses were performed using one way ANOVA followed by Tukey HSD test.


Wound healing study revealed significant reduction in wound size and mean epithelisation time, and higher collagen synthesis in the 2% extract-treated group compared to the vehicle group. These findings were supported by histolopathological examinations of healed wound sections which showed greater tissue regeneration, more fibroblasts and angiogenesis in the 2% extract-treated group.


The ethnotherapeutic use of this fern is validated. The water extract of B. orientale is a potential candidate for the treatment of dermal wounds. Synergistic effects of both strong antioxidant and antibacterial activities in the extract are deduced to have accelerated the wound repair at the proliferative phase of the healing process.