Orchids medicinal value. Extracted juice from the pseudobulbs

Orchids are not only important for their attractive horticultural and commercial value but also
important for medicinal properties. Orchids are nature’s most extravagant group of flowering
plants distributed throughout the world from tropics to high alpine 1. Bangladesh is rich in
orchids, with 159 species and 2 varieties under 63 genera 2 and later on the number of species
updated into 178 3. These species are distributed mainly in the hilly areas of greater Sylhet,
Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Track and Mymensingh district 4. Fifty-three orchid species
belonging to 34 genera have exhibited various medicinal properties 5. In Bangladesh about 26
species of the orchids also been used by the tribal people of Bangladesh to treat different
diseases 6. Orchid species contain different types of alkaloid e.g. dendrobine (derived from
Dendrobium nobile) which provokes violent uterine contraction, progressively paralyzes
peristalsis, low blood pressure and as analgesic and vanillin (Vanilla sp) is reputed to have
aphrododisiac, carminative, tonic, antispasmodic and stimulant properties 7. The first written
records on the medicinal uses of plants appeared in about 2600 BC from the Sumerians and
Akkaidians 8. Pharmacological studies conducted on orchids indicate the immense potential
of these plants in treatment of conditions such as neurodegenerative disorders, anticonvulsive,
anticancer, antidiabetic etc. 9
. Bulbophyllum lilacinum Ridl. is a member of the family
Orchidaceae having flowers of wonderful beauty and also medicinal value. Extracted juice
from the pseudobulbs of Bulbophyllum species are used for restoration of adolescence and also
as tonic 10
.
Recently there has been observed an increase interest in the therapeutic potential of medicinal
plants as in reducing of free radical induced tissue injury 11,12. An antioxidant is a molecule
capable of showing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules such as free radicals or
reactive oxygen species (ROS). Antioxidants thus play an important role to protect the human
body against damage by reactive oxygen species 13
.
Bangladesh, though is a small country has a valuable heritage of herbal remedies. Its rural and
tribal people living in remote areas still depends on the indigenous system of medicine. Both
Ayurvedic, Unani and homeopathic systems are exist in the country. Use of medicinal plants
are getting importance day by day. There are substantial numbers of medicinal plants in
Bangladesh 14, 15 documented more than 500 plants. Most of them have more of less
antimicrobial properties. In our country these medicinal plants were extensively used in both
raw and semi processed forms as medicines in various pharmaceutical dosage forms while
some of these medicinal plants are procured from indigenous sources through imports from
other countries although many of these imported plants grow naturally or under cultivation in
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Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry
this country. Further, many medicinal plants suitable for
commercial development as therapeutic agents are readily
available in this country and many of them are highly
efficacious and are internationally recognized as official drugs
16. Some medicinal plant are used in the preparation of
Kabiragi, Hakimi, Unani, Ayurvedic, Homeopathic and
Allopathic system of medicine 17. Disease like cancer, AIDS
(Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome) etc. are still
unimpeded. No specific active properties of medicine have
been yet discovered against to treat these diseases. It is
alarming that twelve hundred plant species is being extinct in
every year and this figure is gradually increasing. There might
be many valuable components, which would help us to
combat against the above mentioning fatal diseases.
Therefore, we should keep our restless effort to find out the
valuable components before extinction for the incoming
generation so that they can lead their lives peacefully and
happily. So aim of the present investigation is to discover
important photochemical components from rare orchids of
Bangladesh.