Therapeutic orchids of Asia by Singapore Memories : Bletilla
What are you proud of Singapore of? Our multicultural society? Marina Bay Sands? Merlion? Sentosa? What comes to your mind?
There’re probably plenty of answers we can think of off the bat. But we’re here to share with you one – which plenty of Singaporeans would most likely never thought of or are completely unaware of.
Singapore is home to a diversity of orchids. Orchids have long been identified with Singapore which cements the idea of choosing an orchid to represent our national flower. We see spectacular displays of orchids at Changi Airport, Singapore Botanic Gardens or Gardens by The Bay, but do we realise how deep the association between orchids and Singapore are?
Do you know that, Singapore used to be home to more than 220 species of native orchids. However, most of it have disappeared or are facing extinction due to development of our city.
If you are love orchids but dislike having yourself drenched with sweats by going to gardens, fear not, you can visit Jetaime Perfumery Workshop to experiences these scents. We have about 60-70 varieties currently and are continuously expanding our collection. And the fun part! You will get to mix these beautiful orchid scents into your customised personality perfume. That will be a wonderful memory for you to bring home with. Not only is the perfume uniquely you, it is also uniquely Singapore.
Due to orchids’ gracious looks and wonderful scents, most people are oblivious to the fact that orchids have medicinal purposes and can be used to treat illnesses. One of the floral genus that contain species with medicinal uses will be Bletilla Rchb. f. There is only 7 species under this genus, and they grow across Asia such as Japan, China or Vietnam.
Bletilla foliosa (King & Pantl.) Tang & F.T. Wang
Chinese name: Xiaobaiji
Bletilla ochracea Schltr.
Chinese name: Huanghua Baiji
Bletilla striata Rchb. f.
Chinese name: Baiji, Gangen, Baigen, Baijiertou, Shantianji.
Taiwan: Peh Kiu
Japanese: Shiran (purple orchid, a name also applied to B. formosana)
Korean name: Jaran
Vietnamese names: Bach cap; Hua lan tia
Even though these 3 species look different, all of them have similar medicinal uses listed below.
Traditional Chinese Medical:
- Consumption of tubers of the plants benefits the lungs, livers and stomach meridian.
- Use as a haemostatic (process which causes bleeding to stop, meaning to keep blood within a damaged blood vessel) to reduces swelling and promotes regeneration of muscle and other tissues.
- Treat sores and pustules, and dry and chapping skin.
Vietnam: plant is made into an emollient for the treatment of burns.
Photo Credits: OrchidLite, Wikipedia.