Orchids in Ancient Greece

Beautiful and delicate Orchids are seen everywhere in the history of the world. You can find them in traditional Chinese medicine, Darwin’s explorations, and in Ancient Greece. The Greek’s believed that Orchids could influence fertilization, depending on the size of flowers you ate. This theory came from classic mythology, which they based most of their beliefs.

The story was about a child named Orchis, the son of a nymph and a satyr. He was torn apart by wild beasts after attempting to rape a priestess. The story says that he metamorphosed into an Orchid after his death. This became the basis of how Ancient Greeks looked at fertility and sexual reproduction.

Ancient Greeks were the first to pen the name Orchid, which is translated to the Ancient Greek word for testicle. They picked this name because they believed that the psuedobulb that Orchids produce look like a testicle. From the story of Orchis and the name testicle, sprung many beliefs about how Orchids could influence sexual reproduction.

They believed that a male could east large orchid pedals to influence the conception of a boy over a girl. This was a very popular belief that was considered a proven fact in the Ancient Greek Culture. On the other spectrum, they believed that females could eat small Orchid petals to encourage the direct opposite. This theory could never be completely ignored because in most cases the woman would eat small petals at the same time as the male ate large, making It impossible to eliminate.

Other than sexual reproduction, the Ancient Greeks used Orchids to produce many other commodities. The most common product being Vanilla flavoring, produced originally from Vanilla Orchids. Other products that contained Orchids were food, medicine, aphrodisiacs, and perfumes. Over history, Orchids have been used to produce a wide range of products, covering just about anything that you can think of.