The early purple orchid is among the most numerous family of the Vegetal Kingdom, with more than 20,000 species spread worldwide. Their beautiful flowers and their botanical peculiarities make them a very desirable species. Their two underground tubers gave birth, from ancient times on, to the idea of testicles. The name orchid is derived from the Latin word orquis (testicle).
Early Purple Orchid Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name – Orchis mascula L.
- Other Names – Orchid
- French – Orchis mâle.
- Spanish – Satirión manchado.
- Environment – Thick forests and mountainous meadows all over Europe. This plant is native to Asia Minor.
- Description – Vivacious plant of the Orchidaceae family, which grows from 15 to 30 cm high. Its elongated leaves have reddish-brown stains. Its root is a tuber with two unequal bulbs.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally – The tubers.
In Arab countries, a kind of flour is extracted from the early purple orchid tubers and those of other orchid species. This flour is called salep. The genesis of this word is the Arabic expression yasa ataleb (fox testicles).
Salep contains 50 percent of mucilage, 25 percent of starch, 5 percent of proteins, and 1 percent of sugar. It is highly effective as an intestinal emollient, antidiarrheic, and refreshing. It is recommended for gastroenteritis, colitis, and dyspepsia. Salep is good food for children’s diarrhea.
In Eastern countries, this salep is given to recovering people and those suffering from asthenia (weakened and tired people). Its alleged aphrodisiac virtues have not been proven, having their only basis on the theory of signs, which gives each plant a series of virtues that are allegedly manifested in the plant’s external appearance.
How to use Early Purple Orchid
- Salep is prepared in the form of herbal teas, puree, or soup. It comes from Eastern countries since orchids are a protected species in almost all Western Countries.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 512. Print.