We have been researching on Fragrant Orchids and our quest lead us to various Orchid genomes that were not only Fragrant but also Medicinal.
Since we do not have a huge research facility, we will refrain from calling them Medicinal and will depend on research done on "medicinal Orchids" by previous scientist. Our products are Aroma-Therapeutic and we hope they bring you calm and peace. We add our research on our sister business-
Ancient Chinese medicine philosophy, known as the “qi” was discovered by the Yellow Emperor, father of Chinese medicine. It explores the body’s capacity to heal itself.
Today's medicines have many forms of complementary and alternative medical practices to help relieve pain. These alternative medicines have turned to the medicinal benefits of orchids discovered ages ago.
Many orchids have been found to have medicinal properties, whether used in drugs, taken due to tonic potential, or used to cure chapped skin and bleeding sores.
For example, Salep, a drug made from orchids Orchis Mascula and Orchis Militaris, was once extremely popular in Turkey. It was and is used in the Turkish ice cream bastani. Salep flour was also used in desserts and beverages mainly in the Ottoman empire, and in Syria and Palestine, it is a traditional winter beverage.
Another instance is dendrobium, an orchid that is taken because of its tonic potential. Dried Dendrobium is believed to possess medicinal properties that can help treat cancer, strengthen the immune system, and improve eyesight.
Additionally, orchids have also been used in food. One such example is the vanilla orchid, who’s bean is used for flavoring in the much loved classic vanilla ice cream. Another example is the genus Dendrobia, which is commonly used as a food ingredient or garnish.
So, in conclusion, though orchids are known mostly as decorative items to beautify our homes, they have many more uses than we may think.
List of 77 most popular Therapeutic Orchids of Asia:
|Acriopsis Reinw. ex Bl.|
|Bletilla Rchb. f.|
|Diploprora Hook. f.|
|Dipodium R. Br|
|Eulophia R. Br|
|Gastrochilus D. Don.|
|Gastrodia R. Br|
|Goodyera R. Br|
|Hemipiliopsis Y.B. Luo & S.C. Chen|
|Holcoglossum Schltr. 1|
|Ludisia A. Rich.|
|Malaxis Sol. ex Sw.|
|Microtis R. Br|
|Neottianthe (Rchb. f.) Schltr.|
|Nervilia Comm. ex Gaudich.|
|Ornithochilus (Lindl.) Wall ex Benth.|
|Platanthera L.C. Rich.|
|Pleione D. Don|
|Pomatocalpa Breda, Kuhl & Hasselt.|
|Ponerorchis Rchb. f.|
|Sedirea Garay and H. R. Sweet|
|Thunia Rchb. f|
|Vanda R. Br|
|Vanilla Plum. ex Mill.|
Medicinal Orchids of Asia and Native Orchids of Singapore
Orchids were used in most Ancient Cultures, particularly in Asia. Here is how-
CHINA (Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM) - Approximately 1200 species of orchids, belonging to 174 genera occur in China. Chinese were first to use orchids for medicines. Shên-nung described Bletilla striata and a Dendrobium species in his Materia Medica of the 2800 BC. In AD 1233, Chao Shih-Kng wrote Chin Chan Lan P'u, where he describes 20 species and how to grow them.
ARABIA - The earliest medical use of plant is in a 4000-year-old Sumerian clay tablet, but no one knows if this included any orchids. However, few centuries later, a popular traditional Orchid drink SELAP was being used all over Arabia & Ottoman Empire. This is made by grinding tubers of orchis militaris, orchis mascula, and other kinds of orchids. Even today, Selap is popular in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran. It is said to be effective in curing sore throat, digestive problems, diarrhea, and gum disease.
INDIA - 2000BC's medicinal system included īvantī, Jīvaka, Ṛṣabhaka, Rāsnā, Mānakanda, Pañcagula. These are used in Ayurveda and are said to be orchids. There are over 50 species of orchids in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
Ashtavarga is a rejuvenator, a tonic made by eight medicinal plants. The Sanskrit names for these eight plants are Meda, Mahameda, Kakoli, Ksheer Kaoli, Riddhi, Vriddhi, Rishbhaka, and Jeevak (Jivaka). Of these 2 are orchid- Riddhi and Vriddhi. These two are species of Habenaria, possibly H. edgeworthii Hook f. ex Collett (¼ Platanthera edgeworthii), and H. intermedia D. Don (¼ H. arietina).
Cymbidium aloifolium among the 84 angiospermic plant species that they used as medicine.
NEPAL & TIBET - In Nepal, two orchids, Cypripedium himalaicum (Amchi khu juk pa) and Dactylorhiza hatagirea (Amchi wangpo lagpa) are employed by Amchi physicians practising Tibetan medicine. In the region, Nepal ranked highest in usage of Orchids. They made use of 17 genera of orchids (Brachycorythis, Calanthe, Coelogyne Cymbid- ium, Cypripedium, Dactylorhiza, Dendrobium, Gymadenia, Habenaria, Luisia, Malaxis, Plantathera, Pleione, Rhynchostylis, Satyrium, Thunia and Vanda) and left out only Epipactis and Pholidota which were used by other tribes.
INDONESIA & MALAYSIA - Malays did not distinguish between species and they often substituted one species of Dendrobium for another, all covered by the common name anggrek. In treating earache, juice squeezed from a heated pseudobulb was used, and the orchid chosen would usually be Bulbophyllum vaginatum or Dendrobium crumenatum.
GREECE- Testicles are pronounced as "orchis" in Greek. Theophrastus (372–286 BC) named the orchids from that word, as the underground tubers of many European terrestrial orchids resemble a pair of testicles. He also mentioned that Orchids have medicinal properties.
AFRICA - Southern Africa is home to approximately 494 orchid species, of which 49 are used in African traditional medicine. They are used to treat cough, diarrhea, madness, fertility, pain, nausea, and intestinal worms etc.
AMERICA - Unfortunately, Native American culture and documents have been lost to time. The closest usage we found was by the Aztecs who primarily used Vanilla. Today its medicinal uses are confined to relieving nausea and improving food intake in patients receiving chemotherapy. Word ‘vanilla’ is derived from the ‘vainilla’ which is derived from Latin word ‘vagina’ or pod or sheath.
JAPAN (Kanpo)- In 1728, Jo-an Matsuoka described species of Cymbidium, Neofinetia, Aerides, Dendrobium and Bletilla. There seems to be class differentiation to growing Orchids. The Samurai are know to grow Neofinetia falcata, the merchants grew Cymbidium, and possibly the peasants grew Bletilla. We aren't sure how many of these orchids were actually used as medicines.
KOREA (Korean Traditional Medicine- TKM) - The oldest TKM book in existence today is King Sejong’s 85-volume Hyang Yak Jip Sung Bang compiled in 1433. Tianma (Gastrodia elata) is a traditional herb in Korea for the treatment of neurological disorders such as scotodinia, paralysis and epilepsy.
AUSTRALIA - Australian aborigines and early settlers regularly used orchids. Orchids was also part of their regular diet - Gastrodia sesamoides (roasted), Dendrobium speciosum, Caladenia species and Diuris maculata (sweet-tasting). They used Cymbidium canaliculatum (dysentery), Cymbidium madidum (Oral contraceptive and dysentery), Dendrobium teretifolium (Rub leaves to relieve pain) ; Dendrobium discolor (anti-inflammation and cure for ringworm)
Many researchers have documented other medicinal plants. If you are looking for that, this is not the right place. Here we are documenting only medicinal Orchids.
Read more here-