Three orchid species are studied for their therapeutic potential against tuberculosis, asthma, and malaria

Three medicinal orchids – foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa), duan sui zhu jing lan (Tropidia curculigoides), and Nepal satyrium (Satyrium nepalense) – from Arunachal Pradesh underwent testing for anti-mycobacterial and leishmanicidal activity. The Nepal satyrium was considered the best source of herbal medicines, having demonstrated therapeutic effects against asthma, malaria, and tuberculosis.

The study, a joint effort among researchers from three Indian universities, was published in the scientific journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Dried samples of each orchid were divided into three parts. The resulting material produced 30 different extracts and fractions.
  • The H37Rv and MDR strains of tuberculosis mycobacteria were used to test the antimycobacterial activity of each extract and fraction. Promastigotes and amastigotes of kala-azar parasites served to test leishmanicidal effectiveness. Finally, two gram-positive and three gram-negative bacteria were used to measure antibacterial activity.
  • The n-hexane in the flower of Nepal satyrium demonstrated the highest antimycobacterial activity. The fraction attained a MIC score of 15.7 micrograms per milliliter (?g/mL).
  • Diethyl ether taken from the foxtail orchid’s roots showed the best leishmanicidal activity. The fraction scored IC50 values of 56.04 ?g/mL against promastigotes and 18.4 ?g/mL versus intracellular amastigotes.
  • N-hexane from the Nepal satyrium and diethyl ether from foxtail orchid have the best anti-bacterial activity. Both fractions scored MIC values of ?100 ?g/mL.

In addition to benefiting patients who suffer from asthma, the cold stage of malaria, and tuberculosis, the researchers believe that herbal medicines derived from these local orchids will provide economic benefits for the residents of Arunachal Pradesh.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

You can learn more about natural treatment methods at

Journal Reference:

Bhatnagar M, Sarkar N, Gandharv N, Apang O, Singh S, Ghosal S. EVALUATION OF ANTIMYCOBACTERIAL, LEISHMANICIDAL AND ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF THREE MEDICINAL ORCHIDS OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH, INDIA. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1884-z.

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