Commiphora wightii (Arnott) Bhandari—A Natural Source of Guggulsterone: Facing a High Risk of Extinction in Its Natural Habitat


The plants are the primary producers and an indispensible source of food and nutrition, medicine and fuel/biofuel. Unsustainable overharvesting and indiscriminate felling of plants due to ever increasing needs of population pressure are causes of great concern. The IUCN includes, the species facing a high risk of extinction in the wild as threatened, and “endangered” is one of the sub-categories under “threatened” category. Commiphora wightii (Arnott) Bhandari is an arid region plant, highly valued for its medicinally important guggul gum-resin as a source of guggulsterone. It is listed in IUCN’s Red Data List of threatened plants and now it is becoming endangered. Its population is fast depleting in its natural habitat, primarily due to over-exploitation, unsustainable and destructive methods of gum-extraction coupled with natural dry-arid habitat, slow growth and poor regeneration of the plant. Several other reasons have also been indicated for its declining population. Therefore, it demands severe measures for its conservation before we completely lose this important medicinal plant. A lot of research and study is underway but has vast scope for improvement, requiring efforts to supplement with such information that would aid transgenic development and breeding programmes for production and cultivation of improved varieties. The article presents the importance of this plant and its conservation in a nut-shell.

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N. Jain and R. Nadgauda, "Commiphora wightii (Arnott) Bhandari—A Natural Source of Guggulsterone: Facing a High Risk of Extinction in Its Natural Habitat," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 6A, 2013, pp. 57-68. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.46A009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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