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Orchis mascula

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Botanical Name : Orchis mascula
Sanskrit Name:
English Name :
Salep Orchid        
Family : Orchidaceae Subfamily                                          
Part used:
 Whole Plant              

Description of Orchis mascula:

The early Purple Orchis, common in English woods, is in flower from mid-April to mid-June.Bulb growing to 0.6m.A single flower-stem rises from the tuberous root, bearing flowers that as a rule are of a rich purple colour, mottled with lighter and darker shades, though often found of every tint from purple to pure white. Each flower has a long spur which turns upwards. The leaves are lance-shaped and do not rise far from the ground, giving a rosette-like effect, and are irregularly blotched with dark purple markings, which help to render the plant conspicuous. In woods and meadowland, the plant often attains a height of a foot or more, while on exposed and breezy downs it is seldom more than 6 inches high.


cooked root is a source of 'salep', a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell. It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day.

 Medicinal Uses: Salep  is very nutritive, astringent, expectorant and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed.

The authenticity of the above information are not verified and established by us. You are requested to get it verified. The above given information are collected from various sources may be used for academic purpose.


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