Family • Hypoxidaceae / Amaryllidaceae - Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. - GOLDEN EYE GRASS - Xian Mao

Scientific names

Curculigo orchioides Gaertn.
Curculigo brevifolia
Curculigo firma
Curculgo malabarica
Hypoxis dulcis
Gethyllis acaulis Blanco

Common names

Sulsulitik (Bon.)
Taloangi (Bag.)
Tataluangi (Buk.)
Black musale (Engl.)
Common curculigo (Engl.)
Golden eye grass (Engl.)
Xian Mao (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: TAalmuli, Talusa.
CHINESE: Shan dang shen, Po lu men shen, Du mao, Xian mao shen, Di ziang, Ya guo zi, Hai nan shen.
HINDI: Kali musli, Krishna musli, Musali kand.
INDIA: Kali musali.
MALAYALAM: Nelappana.
SANSKRIT: Talmuli, Musikaparni, Talpatrika.

Taloangi is a small stemless herb with stout and elongated rootstock and with copious, spreading fibers. Leaves are sessile or petiolate, linear or narrowly lanceolate, 15 to 20 centimeters long, 1 to 2.5 centimeters wide and with pointed tip. Scape is very short, clavate. Flowers are distichous, bright yellow, with the lowest in the raceme perfect and the upper, male. Perianth produced above the ovary consists of filiform, hairy, very slender strips which are 10 to 25 centimeters long and which alone, with the perianth segments, appear above ground. Segments are 12 to 18 millimeters long, oblong-ovate, acute, and dorsally hairy. Stamens are small, with short filaments. Fruits are oblong, about 10 millimeters in diameter. Seeds are oblong and black with the testa deeply grooved in wavy lines.


– In open grasslands, chiefly in Cogonales (Imperata) areas at low and medium altitudes.
– Found in Bontoc, Pangasinan, Rizal and Sorsogon provinces in Luzon, and in Mindoro, Palawan, Biliran, Panay and Mindanao.
– Occurs in India to Java.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Kali Musli (Curculigo orchioides Gaetrn.) / Pankaj Oudhia

(2) Curculigo orchioides, a traditional Chinese medicinal plant, prevents bone loss in ovariectomized rats / Maturitas, Volume 59, Issue 4, Pages 373-380

(3) Evaluation of antiasthmatic activity of Curculigo orchioides gaertn. rhizomes / Pranali Pandit et al / Indian J Pharm Sci. 2008 Jul–Aug; 70(4): 440–444. / doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.44590.

(4) Immunostimulant principles from Curculigo orchioides / Journal of ethnopharmacology ISSN 0378-8741 CODEN JOETD7 / 2003, vol. 89, no2-3, pp. 181-18

(5) Antidiabetic Activity of Curculigo Orchioides. Root Tuber / V Madhavan et al / Summary Pharmaceutical Biology • 2007, Vol. 45, No. 1, Pages 18-20

(6) Immunostimulatory effect of methanol extract of Curculigo orchioides on immunosuppressed mice / A R Bafna and S H Mishra / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 104, Issues 1-2, 8 March 2006, Pages 1-4

(7) Curculigo orchioides: the black gold with numerous health benefits / Nagendra Singh Chauhan, Vikas Sharma et al / Journ of Chinese Integrative Medicine, July 2010, Vol 8, No 7.

(8) Effect of Curculigo orchioides on hyperglycemia-induced oligospermia and sexual dysfunction in male rats / M Thakur, N S Chauhan, V Sharma, V K Dixit and S Bhargava / International Journal of Impotence Research 24, 31-37 (January/February 2012) | doi:10.1038/ijir.2011.43

(9) Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. (Kali Musali): An endangered medicinal plant of commercial value / Saba Irshad, J Singh, S P Jain, and S P S Khanuja / Natural Products Radiance, Vol 5(5), 2006, pp 369-372.

(10) Ameliorative Effects of Curculigoside from Curculigo orchioides Gaertn on Learning and Memory in Aged Rats / Xiu-Ying Wu, Jian-Zhong Li, Jian-Zheng Guo and Bao-Yuan Hou* / Molecules 2012, 17(9), 10108-10118; doi:10.3390/molecules170910108

– Yields active compounds: flavones, glycosides, steroids, saponins, triterpenoids and secondary metabolites.
– Tuberous root contains resin, tannin, mucilage, fat, starch, and ash with oxalate of calcium.
– Phytochemical study yielded starch, enzymes, tannins, ash; contains glycoside, orcinol-1-0-beta-D-apiofuranosyl-(1–>6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside, curculigoside, syringic acid.
– Fresh rhizomes yield yuccagenin, a sapogenin, and alkaloid lycorin.
– Rhizome yielded a phenolic glycoside, curculigoside.
– Chlorform extract of rhizome yielded hentriacontanol, sitosterol, stigmasterol, cycloartinol, sucrose.

– Root is aromatic, slightly bitter, mucilaginous to taste, considered demulcent, diuretic, and restorative.
Taloangi4– According to Ayurveda, root is healing, demulcent, aphrodisiac, appetizer, alternative, immunostimulant, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anticancer, tonic and antidiabetic.
– According to Unani, root is carminative, tonic, aphrodisiac, antipyretic.
– Studies have suggested anticancer, antihepatotoxic, and immunomodulatory activities.

Parts utilized
· Rhizome.
· Collect from early February to late October.
· Remove roots and rootlets, rinse, cut into pieces.
· Sun dry.

• For lumbago, weak kidney, neurasthenia, urine retention, chronic nephritis, impotency, bed-wetting.
Taloangi5• Hypertension among women at late ages, chronic arthritis.
• Weakening of the knees and lumbar regions, numbness of the 4 limbs, rheumatic arthritis.
• Given with milk and sugar for gonorrhea, leucorrhea, and menstrual derangements.
• In Ayurveda, increases kapha and reduces vata and pitta; used for treatment of piles, asthma, gonorrhea, biliousness, fatigue and blood disorders. Also considered a sexual tonic.
• In Unani, used for bronchitis, ophthalmic, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, lumbago, joint pains.
• In India, Pakistan and China, tuberous roots have been used for cancer, jaundice, asthma, wound healing. Rhizome juice extract has been used as tonic to overcome impotence.
• In India, plant rhizome has been used as an aphrodisiac.

Study Findings
• Anti-osteoporosis: Curculigo orchioides ethanol extract showed a definite protective effect on bone loss in ovariectomized rats by inhibiting bone resorption and increasing S phosphorus and calcium levels.
• Antioxidant / Hepatoprotective: Study showed the antioxidant and hepatoprotective capacity of CO in carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatopathy in rats. In a study of hepatotoxic rats, the co-administration of the methanolic extract of CO rhizomes showed a tendency to attain near normalcy in the biochemical and histopathologic parameters. Study isolated curculignin A and curculigol screened for antihepatotoxic activity against thioacetamide and galactosomine-induced hepatotoxicity.
• Anti-asthmatic: Ethanol extract of C orchioides showed to effective against histamine-induced contraction and indicated a usefulness of CO in the treatment of asthma.
• Antibacterial: Study showed the steam distilled extract of C orchioides has a potential as antiseptic for the prevention and treatment of antibacterial infections..
• Antimicrobial / Anti-tumor / Saponins: Study showed antibacterial (P aeruginosa, S aureus, K pneumonia), antifungal (Aspergillus niger and A flavus) and antitumor activities of different fractionated extracts of CO attributed to the presence of plant glycosides, saponins.
• Spermatogenic Activity: A study of ethanolic extract in albino rats showed pronounced effect of orientation of male towards female rates, increased anogenital sniffing and mounting, increased spermatogenesis, findings that support the folk use of the plant as an aphrodisiac.
• Immunostimulatory: The plant rhizomes have been used to treat declining strength, jaundice and asthma. The study of its methanolic extract showed significant immunostimulant activity in an isolated purified glycoside-rich fraction, acting on both lymphocytes and macrophages. Methanol extract of CO exhibited a potential as a protective agent against cytotoxic drugs. In a study on humoral and cell mediated immunity in normal and cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppressed mice, results showed a dose-dependent increase in humoral antibody titre and delayed-type hypersensitivity.
• Antidiabetic: In a study of alcohol and aqueous extracts tested with alloxan-induced diabetic rats, both produced significant hypoglycemic activity when compared with diabetic control.
• Pharmacologic Properties: Studies have observed oxytocic activity of a flavone glycoside. Hepatoprotective activity against rifampin-induced hepatotoxicities. Ethanolic extract exhibited estrogenic activity with increase in vaginal cornification, uterine net weight and proliferative changes in the uterine endometrium.
• Aphrodisiac / Spermatogenic Effect: Ethanolic extract of rhizome have shown improved sexual behavior in male rats with observed changes in sexual performance as: penile erection, mating performance, mount frequency and mount latency, with pronounced anabolic and spermatogenic effect.
• Effect on Hyperglycemia-Induced Oligospermia and Sexual Dysfunction: An aqueous extract was evaluated for benefits in rats against STZ-induced hyperglycemic stress and sexual dysfunction due to hyperglycemia. Results showed amelioration in damage caused by sustained hyperglycemia vis-a-vis male sexual behavior, sperm count, penile erection index and seminal fructose content.
• Curculigoside / Learning and Memory / Cognitive Benefits in Aged Rats: Study evaluated the ameliorating effects of curculigoside from C. orchioides on learning and memory in aged rats. Results showed curculigoside can improve cognitive function in aged animals, possibly by decreasing the activity of AchE in the cerebra and inhibiting the expression of BACE1 in the hippocampus. Results suggest a potential new drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: An ethanol extract of rhizome showed significant dose-dependent exhibited dose-dependent anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, steroids, and tannins.
• New Phenolic Glycosides / Weak Anti-HBV Activity: Study yielded three new phenolic glycosides, curculigosides F-H from the rhizomes of C. orchioides. Compound 1 exhibited weak anti-HBV activity in vitro.
• Mucilage as Suspending Agent: Study evaluated mucilage from the roots of C. orchioides as a suspending agent, comparing it with standard suspending agents like sodium carboxymethylcellulose and Acacia. Results showed the mucilage to to be superior suspending agent than acacia indicating a potential source of a pharmaceutical adjuvant.
• Acute Toxicity Study / Anti-Inflammatory: A hydroalcoholic extract of rhizome and its alkaloidal and non-alkaloidal fractions were evaluated in a carrageenan-induced paw edema rat model. Results showed anti-inflammatory activity. On acute toxicity evaluation, no toxicity was noted up to 2000 mg/kg/p.o.

Extracts in the cybermarket.