Other Names of Dendrobium:

  • Dendrobium officinale
  • Shi Hu
  • Dendrobium nobile

Useful Parts of the Plant:

Fresh or dried stems. Blossoms and canes are eaten.

Dendrobium is a type of orchid that is generally yellow or pink in color. The plant has a long thin stem that is used for various herbal and medicinal treatments. Dendrobium has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries now. The Chinese believe that the tonic extracted from the Dendrobium plant is 'yin' in nature and can be used to treat ailments ranging from stomach pain, heatstroke, dry mouth and sores in the mouth.

Dendrobium can be had in the form of a tea. You can make this at home by leaving 6 to 12 grams of dendrobium to infuse in hot water before drinking. You can also buy dendrobium extract or powder from health food stores or from most Asian markets.

Dendrobium is considered a safe herb when consumed in the recommended dosages. Too much of dendrobium in any form can cause convulsions and may even affect the heart and lungs. Research is still being conducted on the interactions of dendrobium with other drugs or medications. Always consult with your doctor or health care provider before beginning any herbal therapy or remedy.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses of Dendrobium

In addition to their beauty, dendrobium orchids have been tested and proven to be an effective herbal treatment for a number of health problems. In fact, the Chinese consider dendrobium as one of the fifty fundamental herbs used to treat all kinds of ailments.

  • Among its many uses, the Chinese use dendrobium tonic for longevity. It is believed that dendrobium when mixed with licorice roots and made into a tea transmits healing energy to all parts of the body.
  • Dendrobium helps moisten and nourish the skin and prevents dryness and flaky skin.
  • When air pollution and smoke dry out the lungs and air passages and increase thirst, dendrobium can be consumed for quick relief and to moisten the passageways.
  • Dendrobium is used as an effective tonic for the treatment of tuberculosis, flatulence, night sweats, anorexia, fever, and dyspepsia.
  • Dendrobium tonic improves the functioning of the lungs, kidneys, and stomach. It can reduce stomach pain and cramping and reduce vomiting.
  • It is believed that regular consumption of dendrobium can also treat sexual impotency.
  • Pain in the feet and hands, lumbago, and arthralgia can be treated with dendrobium extract.
  • Dendrobium can boost the immune system and help the body fight infections.
  • Dendrobium has long since been used to replenish lost fluids from the body and reduce severe thirst.
  • Natives of the Eastern Himalayas use dendrobium to heal problems with the eyes.

Other Uses

  • Dendrobium makes ideal houseplants. Along with their pretty colors and decorative qualities, growing dendrobiums at home can eradicate pollutants and toxins from the air and create a clean environment.
  • Dendrobium blossoms and canes are edible. Countries like Thailand and Singapore, deep fry these delicacies and eat them as snacks.
  • In Europe, dendrobium blossoms are used as edible cake decorations and as garnishes.
  • The Aborigines consider dendrobiums as emergency bush food.
  • Pickle is made from dendrobium flowers in Nepal.