SALEP (Arab, sahleb, Gr. Spx)> a drug extensively used in oriental countries as a nervine restorative and fattener, and also much prescribed in paralytic affections. It probably owed its original popularity to the belief in the " doctrine of signatures."
It is not used in European medicine. It consists of the tuberous roots of various species of Orchis and Ettlophia, which are decorticated, washed, heated until horny in appearance, and then dried. Its most important constituent is a mucilaginous substance which it yields with cold water to the extent of 48%.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)