Salep is produced from tubers of orchids that grow naturally in various regions of Turkey. It constitutes the raw material of a traditional Turkish beverage and is used for giving hardness and elasticity to Kahramanmaras-type of ice cream. Salep also is used as a raw material for some drugs. Botanists have reported that continuous and uncontrolled harvesting causes some orchid species to decrease to a critical level. For this reason, exportation of salep was prohibited by the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.