Curculigo orchioides also known as golden eye-grass, Kali Musli or Syah (black) Musli is a small herb with a tuberous root-stock up to 10 cm long. The plant is native to India, and holds a special position as a potent adaptogen and aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic system of medicine . In in traditional Chinese medicine dried rhizomes are used as tonic for treatment of decline in physical strength .
Why is it Added to Testosterone Boosters?
Like any other ingredient in testosterone enhancing products, rhizomes of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn are acclaimed as aphrodisiac (increased sexual desire). As mentioned in our previous articles this increased sexual desire doesn’t necessarily translate into increased production/levels of testosterone. In a preliminary pharmacological study by Chauhan et al.  evaluated the effect of ethanolic extract of rhizomes on effect on sexual behavior in rats. Administration of 100 mg/kg of extract caused a significantly improved mating performance, penile erection, and enhanced attractability towards female. Anabolic and spermatogenic effect was evidenced by weight gains of reproductive organs. In a follow-up investigation Chauhan et al.  wanted to explain the effect of extract on spermatogenesis and sexual behavior. Hypertrophy of Leydigs cells, in animal group that received 100 mg/kg of extract, suggests increased steroid synthesis. Abundance of spermatozoa also indicates spermatogenesis which is regulated by hormone. Researchers noted that observed effects is likely caused by steroidal compounds in rhizomes (glycoside, saponins and sterols) which increase the steroidogenesis and elevate androgen levels. More recent study by Thakur et al.  confirmed the traditional use of Curculigo Orchioides as medicine for curing diabetes-induced sexual dysfunction and compromised sexual potency.
Clinical trials are lacking.
Curculigo orchioides Gaertn is also reported to posses antidiabetic effect [5,6,8]. Animals administered 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight of extract produced significant (p < 0.001) hypoglycemic (antidiabeti) activity . Treatment with aqueous extract of Curculigo orchioides was also helpful in ameliorating the damage caused by sustained hyperglycemia (diabetes-induced sexual dysfunction) . Evident beneficial effects in experimentaly-induced hyperglycemic animals were attributed to antioxidant and anabolic activities of the extract .
Mechanism of action is not know, however it is suggested that the extract acts by potentiation the pancreatic secretion or increasing glucose uptake . Curculigo Orchioides is rich source of phytochemicals like flavonoids and polyphenols  which are known to stimulate the secretion of
insulin in beta-cells of pancreas .
Other Curculigo Orchioides Benefits
Rhizome has been demonstrated to have antioxidant properties in vitro and in vivo . Curculigo orchioides is also considered a potential antiosteoporosis herbal plant . It has a definite protective effect on bone loss by inhibiting bone resorption and increasing serum phosphorus and calcium levels . However, more studies are needed to clarify its real potential.
Safety and Toxicology of Curculigo Orchioides
Safety and toxicity of Curculigo orchioides extract are not well researched. A study evaluating toxicity in rats reported “The no observed adverse effect level” (NOAEL) of C. orchioides was estimated to be greater than 800 mg/kg/day .
(Other common names: Golden eye-grass, Xian mao, Weevil-wort, Black musli, Kali musli, Kali Musali, Syah Musli, Talamuli, Musali, Nilapanai)
Chauhan, Nagendra Singh, et al. “Curculigo orchioides: the black gold with numerous health benefits.” Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine 8.7 (2010): 613-623.
- Jiangsu New Medical College. Dictionary of traditional Chinese medicine[M]. Shanghai: Shanghai Scientific and Technical Publishers, 1977. 1363. Chinese.
Chauhan, N. S., Ch V. Rao, and V. K. Dixit. “Effect of Curculigo orchioides rhizomes on sexual behaviour of male rats.” Fitoterapia 78.7 (2007): 530-534.
Chauhan, N. S., and V. K. Dixit. “Spermatogenic activity of rhizomes of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn in male rats.” International Journal of Applied Research in Natural Products 1.2 (2008): 26-31.
Madhavan, V., et al. “Antidiabetic activity of Curculigo orchioides. Root tuber.” Pharmaceutical Biology 45.1 (2007): 18-21.
Chauhan, N. S., and V. K. Dixit. “PHCOG MAG.: Research Article Antihyperglycemic activity of the ethanolic extract of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn.” Phcog Mag 3.12 (2007): 237.
Cao, D. P., et al. ” Curculigo orchioides, a traditional Chinese medicinal plant, prevents bone loss in ovariectomized rats.” Maturitas 59.4 (2008): 373-380.
Thakur, M., et al. “Effect of Curculigo orchioides on hyperglycemia-induced oligospermia and sexual dysfunction in male rats.” International journal of impotence research 24.1 (2012): 31-37.
Ramchandani, Dipica, et al. “Protective effect of curculigo orchioides extract on cyclophosphamide-induced neurotoxicity in murine model.” Toxicology international 21.3 (2014): 232.
Hii, C. S. T., and S. L. Howell. “Effects of flavonoids on insulin secretion and 45Ca2+ handling in rat islets of Langerhans.” Journal of Endocrinology 107.1 (1985): 1-8.
Anandakirouchenane, Elumalai, Irisappan Sarath Chandiran, and Balamuthu Kadalmani. “An investigation on preliminary phytochemical and safety profiles of methanolic root extract of Curculigo orchioides.” Journal of Pharmacy Research 7.8 (2013): 692-696.