Ophrys water-bearing – Ophrys water-bearing

Perennial herbaceous plant of the cycad family (orchids). Tubers are almost spherical or ellipsoidal, 0.8-1.8 cm in diameter. The stem is simple, 20-45 cm tall. The lower leaves (2-5 of them) are elongated, blunt or blunt-pointed, 5-10 cm long and up to 2 cm wide, clustered at the base of the stem; the upper ones (2 of them) are pointed, green, in the form of sheaths that wrap around the stem. The flowers are bisexual, irregular, six-parted, collected in a thin, 3-8-flower spike; the outer leaves of the perianth are obtuse, lilac, with three green veins; medium — elongated inverted ovate; lateral – elongated, unequal; the two upper inner leaves of the perianth are oval-lanceolate, blunt, with one vein, purple, velvety on the inner side. The lip is three-lobed, velvety, black-brown, with a pattern of bluish-purple spots with a yellow border; side blades tongue-shaped, bent, blunt, on top they bear one thin, densely hairy brown, with a green tip, long (5-8 mm) horn; the middle blade is almost rounded, large, at the end with a small blunt-pointed appendage up to 2 mm long, bent upwards. The fruit is a box. Blooms in March – May.

Distribution . Ophris water-bearing is a rare and disappearing plant. It occurs rather rarely in the Mountainous (except for Yayla) and Southern Crimea. Grows in light forests, on rocky slopes. 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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