Medicinal Orchids of Nepal and Bhutan

  • Eng Soon Teoh


Two-thirds of Nepal’s population rely on traditional medicine to treat illnesses because they are traditional, readily available and free or relatively inexpensive and are viewed as being devoid of major side effects. It is estimated that about a quarter of the orchid species that occur in Nepal are employed medicinally, around 100 species. Nepal has 18 different tribes, so orchid species are sometimes employed differently, but there is a general interest in tonics with 19 genera involved in its various preparations. A table presents the common conditions for which orchids are employed and the orchid genera involved to handle each condition. For a more detailed exposition of the species by species utilization, readers are referred to the well-illustrated and readable handbook by Pant and Raskoti (Medicinal orchids of Nepal. Himalayan Map House (Pte), Kathmandu, 2014).

Bhutan is historically more remote and employs very few orchids in its medicine. Dactylorhiza hatagirea is regarded as aphrodisiac, presumably also Gymnadenia conopsea (wangla). Eight orchid species are sold in the market as vegetable.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eng Soon Teoh
    • 1
  1. 1.SingaporeSingapore

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