Salep, a nutritious preparation obtained from two species of the Orchis.
Different methods have been proposed and adopted, with a view to procure this nourishing substance; but the most simple is that of Mr. Moult, already described vol. iii. p. 316. We shall, therefore, only observe, that Salep might thus be prepared and sold at the low price of eight or ten pence per pound; and, as it is supposed to contain the largest portion of vegetable nutriment in the smallest compass, its powder has been recommended to form part of the provisions of every ship. Farther, salep possesses the valuable property of concealing the saline taste of sea-water, and retarding the acetous fermentation of milk. Hence Dr. PeRcival is of opinion, that it may be advantageously used in milk-porridge, especially in large towns, where that fluid is generally acescent, in consequence of the cows being fed with sour grains, and similar acid food.
Beside the particular cases (stated under the article ORchis), inwl)ich this preparation is very useful, on account of its mucilaginous and restorative properties ; salep is likewise of essential service in the sca~ scurvy, as it obtunds the acrimony of the fluids, while it easily assimilates into a mild and salubrious chyle. Lastly, if administered in iderable portions, it is, accord-ding to Go Dr. PErcival, an " admir-able demulcent" in symptomatic fevers, which are occasioned by the absorption of pus or matter from ulcers in the lungs, from wounds, Or after amputations ; as it is eminently adapted to resist the dissolution of the crasis, or due mixture of the blood in the body, and which generally takes place in such cases.