Ancient plant silphion known for curing many diseases probably still around: Expert

Source: The post is based on the article “Ancient plant silphion known for curing many diseases probably still around: Expert” published in Down To Earth on 29th September 2022.

What is the News?

According to a recent study, a Mediterranean medicinal plant named Silphion which mysteriously vanished 2,000 years ago may still be around. 

What is Silphion?

Silphion is a yellow-flowered plant that was thought to have gone extinct some 2,000 years ago.

Habitat: These plants may need cold and moist conditions for seed germination. This is because the plants related to Silphion, such as Ferula drudeana and Ferula asafoetida, also need similar environmental conditions for seeds to germinate

Ancient usage of the plant: The resin of the Silphion was extensively used as a spice, perfume, aphrodisiac, contraceptive and medicine.

– It also occupied an important place in the export economy of ancient Cyrene, an old Greek and later Roman colony near north-eastern Libya.

Causes of extinction of Silphion: Overharvesting, Human-induced environmental changes and Widespread deforestation and desertification.

What has been found now about Silphion?

A study has claimed that the Silphion plant may still be around and not have gone extinct.

This is because recently researchers from Istanbul University found a plant species at three locations in Turkey, that resembled the ancient plant Silphion.

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