Therapeutic orchids of Asia by Singapore Memories : Conchidium
Perfumery industry have a long history. Over the years, processes of making perfume have been refined over and over again. Perfumers all around the world have spent months or even year dedicating themselves to create the most desirable scents that is well-liked in the market. The hard work that a perfumer go through often were overlooked, similar to the other function of orchids, many uses them as a decoration or fragrance ingredient but not many knows that orchid actually have therapeutic usage.
Therefore, today I will still continue to explore the different therapeutic orchids that can be found.
Conchidium muscicola (Lindl.) Rausch.
Sanskrit Name: Jivanti
The Sanskrit considered this plant to be powerful tonics possessing rejuvenating and life- prolonging properties. Whereas in India and Nepal, they used it as herb to treat heart and lungs diseases, fever, rabies and also nervous system disorder.
Corymborkis veratrifolia (Reinw.) Blume
Chinese name: Guanhua Lan
Malaysian name: Kayu Hok in aboriginal Semang
In India, the leaves were being collected and make into fresh juice where the juice is used as an emetic – which helps promote vomit. In addition, it can also be use to treat cuts on the feet.
Cremastra appendiculata (D. Don) Makino
Chinese name: Mabian Lan, Dujuan Lan, Shancigu, Maocigu, Sandangu.
Japanese: Sai-hai ran, Sanjiko
Korean: Sanjago, Yaknancho
The stem of the plant is being used to treat fever, frostbite, snake bites, reduce swelling and even poisoning. Pseudobulb are collected, washed, cut into smaller slices and sun-dried before using it to make into paste. These pastes will be spread over external swelling. In addition, the Ainu in Japan chew on the pseudobulb to relieve a toothache.
Crepidium acuminatum (D. Don.) Szlach.
Indian names: Jeevak, Jivak, Jivakam, Jivakam
Ayurvedic names: Jivak, Rishvak, Rishbhaka, Bandhura, Dhira, Durdhara, Gopati, Indraksa.
In Ayurvedic classification, this plant taste sweet, and have cooling effect thus usually use for fever. It also uses as aphrodisiac, it promotes sperm formation thus its used-on men whose wives are unable to conceive. Furthermore, the pseudobulbs are used to treat bleeding disorders, fever, tuberculosis and a sensation of heat, emaciation, rheumatism and insect bites.
Lastly, it is also being considered as a tonic and is often being used as an ingredient in the Ayervedic tonic “Chyavanprash”, a popular herbal preparation for promoting health and preventing illness.
Cymbidium aloifolium (L.) Sw.
Chinese name: Wenban Lan, Yingyediao Lan, Chuihuadiao Lan, Diao Lan
Chinese medicinal name: Yingyediao Lan
Thai name: Ka Re Ka Ron
Vietnamese Name: Kim bien
Laotian names: Lung khao, Huan so pet, Kin loum, Khi mot top
Indian name: Supurn
Myanmar name: Thit tet lin nay
Nepalese name: Harjor in Tharu
India à The whole plant is being pounded together with ginger and small amount of water to make into juice, which is used to induce vomit, cure chronic illness, weakness of eyes and paralysis.
Indochina à decoction of the plant is used to treat womens’ irregular menstruation or to be use as a medicinal bath for sick children.
Thailand à uses the leaves to treat ear infection and the roots to cure kidney disorders.
Myanmar à pseudobulbs are used to treat earache, stomach ache and dysentery, whereas leaves are used for fractures.
Nepal à used in the form of a paste to treat dislocated bones.
Chinese à use the whole plant and its seeds to improve the condition of the lungs, stop coughs, establish regular menstruation, and to treat haematemesis, discharge and bleeding from injuries.
Cymbidium bicolor Lindl.
Sri Lankan name: Visa Dhooli, Beyudhuru
The leaves are used for treating fractures in southern China.
Cymbidium crassifolium Herb.
Chinese name: Rouye Lan
Similarly, to the above, the leaves of this plant is used for treating fractures in China.
Cymbidium devonianum Paxton
Chinese name: Fu Lan
Nepali name: Thir gava
Vietnamese name: Gam ngu sac
In Nepal, plant is decocted until the liquid volume is reduced to half, salt is added in and this end product is being consumed in small quantity 3 times a day to relieve coughs and cold.
Cymbidium elegans Lindl. var. elegans
Chinese name: Suocao Lan
Salep is being made from this plant and used as demulcent or emetic in India. Furthermore, juice was extracted from the leaves and are used to stop bleeding, especially from deep wounds.
Cymbidium ensifolium (L.) Sw.
Chinese names: Guo Lan, Jian Lan, Dajing Lan, Jinbaolisuxin Lan, Suxin Lan, Guanlanhua, Lancao, Shanlanhua.
Medicinal names: Jian lan hua Qiu Lan, Ba Yue Lan, Guan Lan
Thai name: Chu lan
This orchid can be made into tea and to be consumes to reinforce fluids in the body, nourish blood, reduce phlegm and stop coughing. The flowers brighten up the eyes when consumed for a long period. It is also being use as a home remedy to treat stomach ache by mixing the decoction of roots and rhizome with rice wine.
The orchid can also be used for the induction of labour.
Photo credit: F. Suranjan, Wikipedia, IOSPE PHOTOS, Google, OrchidCambodia, Bhaktar B. Raskoti, OrchidRoots,