Zozulynets flea – orchid bug-bearing

Zozulinets flea (Orchis coriophora); bug-bearing orchis


Perennial herbaceous plant of the cycad family (orchids). Tubers are spherical or ovoid, sometimes (very rarely) oblong. The stem is cylindrical or slightly ridged, 15-30 (45) cm high, covered with leaves almost to the inflorescence. The leaves are bluish-green, quite numerous (up to 8-10), linear or linear-lanceolate, sharp, directed upwards; lower ones – up to 8-9 mm wide; the upper ones are folded around the stem. The flowers are irregular, dirty-brownish-purple, with the smell of bugs, collected in a multi-flowered, thick, oblong spike; beak-shaped helmet; lip three-lobed, drooping; spore bent, conical, drooping, twice as short as the ovary. The fruit is a box. Blooms in June-July.

Distribution . A rare plant. It is found on swampy meadows, in wet bushes and hollows in the forest-steppe, scattered in the Carpathians, in Polissia, in Roztochchi-Opilla, and rarely in the steppe. Listed in the Red Book of Ukraine.

Procurement and storage . Harvesting in places of growth is strictly prohibited. For medicinal purposes, the tuberous roots grown on the plantation are used, which are collected immediately after the flowering of the plant. Only young, daughter tubers are harvested, old tubers are thrown away. The collected tubers are washed well, for 4-5 minutes. immersed in boiling water, and then dried in the open air, under a tent or in a dryer at a temperature of 50-55°. The raw material obtained in this way is called “Salep potatoes” (Tubera Salep). 1 kg of dry tubers is obtained from 10 kg of raw tubers. Store in non-moist, well-ventilated rooms. The shelf life is 6 years. Pharmacies do not release sales.

Chemical composition. Tuberous roots contain mucilage (up to 50%), starch (up to 27%), dextrin, pentosans, sucrose, etc.

Pharmacological properties and use. Salep is a good enveloping, anti-inflammatory and general strengthening agent. It prevents the absorption of harmful substances from the gastrointestinal tract. As an enveloping and anti-inflammatory agent, salep is prescribed for acute and chronic diseases of the respiratory tract and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The use of salep is effective for bronchitis, gastroenteritis, colitis and peptic ulcer disease. Salep mucus is drunk in case of poisoning to delay the absorption of the poison. Used in the form of mucus orally and in enemas. Salep is considered an effective remedy for general exhaustion of the body caused by prolonged bleeding, physical and mental fatigue, tuberculosis, and impotence. The powder of the old tubers was considered an abortifacient and contraceptive, as well as a means to regulate menstruation. The infusion of the grass was fondly considered a diuretic, diaphoretic and hypotensive agent. The seeds were used in epilepsy.

Medicinal forms and applications . Mucilage (Mucilago Salepi) – 2 g of salep powder is scalded with 200 ml of boiling water, shaken for 10-15 minutes. and take 1 teaspoon or dessert spoon 2-3 times a day. Prepared slime is stored in the refrigerator.

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