ASTONISHING ORCHIDS- An Insight about Wild Orchids


Ms. Celine Anthony

Orchids are the most diverse group among the angiosperms and are cultivated for their attractive flowers. There is no doubt that the Chinese were the first to cultivate and describe orchids, and they were almost certainly the first to describe orchids for medicinal use. Reinikka in 1995 reports a Chinese legend that Shên-nung described Bletillastriataand a Dendrobiumspecies in his MateriaMedica of the 28th century BC. Orchids are widely used in traditional Chinese medicines. In India, chemical analyses have been conducted on some medicinally important orchids like Eulophiacampestris, Orchislatifolia, Vandaroxburghii. Dendrobiummacraeiis another important orchid used in Ayurvedic medicine as it is reported to be the source of Jivanti. Cypripedium par¬viflorais widely used as an aphrodisiac and nervine tonic in Western herbal medicines. Many medicinal orchids are reported to contain alkaloids andorchids have antimicrobial activities.Recently, studies have focused on the isolation of anthocyanins, stilbenoids and triterpenoids from orchids.Orchinol,hircinol,cypripedin,jibantine,nidemin and loroglossin are some phytochemicals extracted from orchids.

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