Huoshan Shihu Orchid


Huoshan Shihu orchid, commonly named "Mihu", is produced in Huoshan County of Anhui Province. It is a herb of the Dendrobium family, "a small yellow and curved ball-like root, which the natives take as tea." They are mostly found in the cracks between rocks on the precipitous cliffs or under towering old trees in Huoshan County, Anhui Province. With its sweet taste and glutinous quality, the Shihu produced here is regarded the best and commended by medicinal practitioners throughout the history.

The term Huoshan Shihu was first found in Supplement to Compendium of Materia Medica by Zhao Xuemin of the Qing dynasty, dating back about 200 years ago. In the early Qing dynasty, it was named Huoshan Shihu because it was produced in Huoshan which was under jurisdiction of Lu'an Prefecture of Yingzhou, so as to distinguish it from those produced in other areas. The Taoist Canon, a collection of Taoist literature from the Tang dynasty, ranked shihu in the first place of the nine "celestial herbs" with great health benefits, the others being Tianshan mountain snow lotus; gingseng weighing 150 grams; 100-year-old multiflower knotweed; 60-year-old Poria cocos; lingzhi, i.e. ganoderma from remote mountains; pearl from the bottom of the sea; and winter worm summer herb, or Chinese caterpillar fungus. Through the protecting and developing efforts, the rare species of Huoshan Shihu has been protected and its brand name is promoted. In addition, it has driven the development of many herbal resources, such as Gastrodia, Poria cocos, Eucommia, fostering virtuous collaboration among medicinal industries. The promotion of Huoshan Shihu thus achieves a positive social impact. (Courtesy of the IP Protection Department of CNIPA)