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Anacamptis pyramidalis

Botanical Name : Anacamptis pyramidalis
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily:Orchidoideae
Genus: Anacamptis
Species: A. pyramidalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Pyramidal orchid or Pyramidal Orchid

Habitat : Anacamptis pyramidalis is native to southwestern Eurasia, from western Europe through the Mediterranean region eastwards to Iran. In Germany, it is rare and was declared Orchid of the Year in 1990 to heighten awareness of this plant. This orchid is somewhat common on the Isle of Wight in the South of England, and was designated the county plant in 2008. It grows in grassland, on chalk or limestone and on calcareous dunes, mainly in the southern part of Britain.

Description:
Anacamptis pyramidalis is a perennial hardy orchid plant reaches on average 10–25 centimetres (3.9–9.8 in) of height, with a maximum of 60 centimetres (24 in). The stem is erect and unbranched. The basal leaves are linear-lanceolate with parallel venation, up to 25 centimetres (9.8 in) long, the cauline ones are shorter and barely visible on the stem. The arrangement of hermaphroditic flowers in a compact pyramidal shape is very distinctive and gives the orchid its common name. The colour of the flower varies from pink to purple, or rarely white, and the scent is described as “foxy”. The flowers have six tepals, being three small sepals and three petals. Two small petals are on the sides, while the third and lower (labellum) is large and bilobate. At the back of the flower there is a tubular spur of about 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) long, while the labellum bears two lateral small flaps. The flowering period extends from April through July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Lepidoptera….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Requires a deep rich soil. Prefers a hot well-drained bank, growing well in a sunny dry border or on a scree. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. Plants can be grown in lawns in calcareous soils, they should not be cut down until the leaves are dying down in the summer. During the day the flowers have a pronounced aroma of vanilla in order to attract pollinating butterflies. In the evening, when damp with dew, the smell is more goat-like and this acts as a repellent to moths.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses: Drink.

Tuber – cooked. It is a source of ‘salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell. It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day.
Medicinal Uses :
Demulcent; Nutritive.
salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder  of Anacamptis pyramidalis   is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacamptis_pyramidalis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anacamptis+pyramidalis

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Pyramid Meditation

In today’s world of stress and tension, there are many South Mumbaiites who turn to meditation to help them keep their cool.
But, Shreyans and Pinky Daga of Breach Candy believe that pyramid meditation that is practising meditation under a specially-built pyramid greatly enhances its benefits.

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28-year-old Shreyans says, “It’s a scientific fact that the geometric structure of the pyramid collects and radiates energy. So, when one meditates under a pyramid, the energy power of the practitioner increases. Not just that, things kept under a pyramid similarly get energised and their freshness remains for a long time.”

Shreyans and Pinky Daga claim to be the only teachers of this technique in downtown. They have been teaching pyramid meditation from their residence since the last five years. Shreyans is also the founder-president of the Mumbai Pyramid Spiritual Society.

It has recently started the construction of a pyramid in a village near Thane. Pinky delves into the history of pyramid meditation.

“In Greek, pyramid means ‘in the middle of fire’ (pyro= fire, amid= in the middle). Of all the four elements, fire represents universal energy and power. About 10,000 years ago, the Egyptians built the Great Pyramids at Gizeh as store houses of universal energy. The power of the pyramid was obtained through a blending of the radiated cosmic energy with that of the gravitational force of the earth,” she explains.

The Dagas add, “Many believe that the Great Pyramids at Gizeh, one of the seven wonders of the world, was originally built to balance the energies of the earth. It’s located at the exact centre of the earth’s land mass. Scholars have also confirmed that the pyramid was built as an instrument of initiation into altered and higher states of consciousness.”

Today, that same ancient wisdom and science is creating modern-day store houses of energy. “Many people have built pyramids which fit the size of their homes and offices, for meditation purposes. Pyramid meditation has revealed manifold benefits. It’s been proven that it preserves fruits, milk and other perishables. An apple kept under a pyramid will not rot even after 10 days. Used razors and knives get sharpened. Many people have reported using the same blade for over a year when stored under a small pyramid. Pyramid meditation is also supposed to have healing properties. By practising this technique, wounds, boils, and bruises heal quicker; it ensures weight loss, and increases resistance to diseases. It has been known to cure asthma, toothaches, migraine, common cold, high blood pressure, arthritis, epilepsy and insomnia. Drinking pyramid energised water cures conjunctivitis, helps digestion, and gives the skin a healthy glow.

“By meditating under a pyramid, our whole being is revitalised; the mental, intellectual capacities are increased, and the energy centres gets activated easily,” says Pinky.

Pyramid meditation and usage of pyramid power is becoming increasingly common in many places. The Pyramid Spiritual Society has built close to 14 pyramids nationwide, with the largest 1,000-person capacity pyramid being built in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh.

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Source:The  Times Of India.Dec.4.’09