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Abstract

AN OVERVIEW - THERAPEUTIC ORCHIDS, TRADITIONAL USES AND RECENT ADVANCES

Shayamsunder Prajapati, Dr. Sarita Karole*, Dr. Anup K. Chakraborty, Dr. Kavita R. loksh, Mr. Udit N. Soni

ABSTRACT

Orchids are biggest and most various group among angiosperms. Orchids have been used as a source of medicine for millennia to treat different diseases and ailments including tuberculosis, paralysis, stomach disorders, chest pain, arthritis, syphilis, jaundice, cholera, acidity, eczema, tumour, piles, boils, inflammations, menstrual disorder, spermatorrhea, leucoderma, diahorrhea, muscular pain, blood dysentery, hepatitis, dyspepsia,bone fractures, rheumatism, asthma, malaria, earache, sexually transmitted diseases, wounds and sores. Besides, many orchidaceous preparations are used as emetic, purgative, aphrodisiac, vermifuge, bronchodilator, sex stimulator, contraceptive, cooling agent and remedies in scorpion sting and snake bite. Some of the preparations are supposed to have miraculous curative properties but rare scientific demonstration available which is a primary requirement for clinical implementations. Incredible diversity, high alkaloids and glycosides content, research on orchids is full of potential. Meanwhile, some novel compounds and drugs, both in phytochemical and pharmacological point of view have been reported from orchids. Linking of the indigenous knowledge to the modern research activities will help to discover new drugs much more effective than contemporary synthetic medicines. Phytochemically some orchids have been reported to contain alkaloids, triterpenoids, flavonoids and stilbenoids. Ashtavarga (group of eight medicinal plants) is energetic part of Ayurvedic formulations like Chyvanprasha and four plants viz, Riddhi, Vriddhi, Jivaka and Rishbhaka have been discussed as possible members of family Orchidaceae. Newly there has been tremendous advancement in medicinal plants research; nevertheless orchids have not been exploited fully for their pharmaceutical application.

Keywords: Orchids, Orchidaceae, Medicinal Plants, Ayurveda.


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