The common name "lady's slipper" refers to the distinctive shape of these beautiful orchids, members of the genus Cypripedium that are native to North America and Europe, as well as the Paphiopedilum species native to Southeast Asia. Other "slipper" orchid species are native to South America. Typically, the yellow lady's slipper Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens (now called Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens ) is used medicinally in Europe and North America. Cypripedium montanum , the rare mountain lady's slipper native to North America, is also wildcrafted (collected in the wild).
Cypripedium Epipactis helleborine
Traditionally, lady's slipper root was classified as a "nervine," indicating its purported healing and calming effect on the nerves. This term, however, is no longer used in medicine today.
What Is Lady's Slipper Orchid Used for Today?
Despite a complete absence of scientific evidence that it is effective, lady's slipper is sometimes used today either alone or as a component of formulas intended to produce treat anxiety or insomnia .
The safety of any medicinal application of these orchid species has not been established. Contact with the small hairs on some species can cause skin irritation.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/25/2012 -