Curculigo | Xian M
COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)

Curculigo (Xian M)


Curculigo orchioides


Curculigo, Golden Eye-Grass; Immortal grass, Black Musli; Kali Musli


The most common traditional use of curculigo extract is as an aphrodisiac (curing compromised sexual function and impotency among men). Though animal studies support anecdotal evidence of this use, this is not the most interesting novel application of curculigo extract (and related supplements), nor is curculigo the most effective treatment available for male sexual dysfunction.

Aside from its historical sexual uses, curculigo root supplements have a history of helping alleviate heartburn, indigestion, and other forms of gastric acid reflux. What’s more, these supplements do not just help ease the pain associated with indigestion or heartburn, as some other herbal supplements may do. Rather, they both minimize the severity of acid reflux and protect the esophageal mucous lining from damage during acid reflux flare-ups. Through similar actions, curculigo extract (when taken orally) may significantly reduce inflammation in the esophagus and airways, making it a potential practical nutraceutical treatment for conditions requiring bronchodilation or which cause airway constriction.

These same supplements also show promise for use in preventing the development and slowing the progression of osteoporosis as well as minimizing the symptoms and slowing the disease progression of arthritis.

Curculigo is classified in Chinese medicine as a Yang tonic.  It is categorized as hot, acrid and slightly toxic and affects the Kidney channel.


 Not to be confused with Sisyrinchium californicum, a non-Chinese, non-medicinal flowering plant. Though (probably) not harmful, supplementation with this similarly named “golden eye grass” plant would likely not prove particularly useful.

Supplements made from curculigo almost all require the independent use of the tuberous roots of curculigo plants. Boiled rhizome extracts are probably the most common supplemental forms, though the whole roots, powdered roots, and pre-made extracts/tinctures are also often available for purchase from different retailers.


There isn’t much information or recent research available that focuses on the potential side-effects or contraindications for the use of curculigo extracts and other related supplements. That said, it is likely that these extracts have some diuretic effect. Consequently, people who are sensitive to, advised against using, or already taking diuretic medications should avoid using curculigo supplements without first speaking with their physician.

You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking curculigo.


Hejazi, Iram & Khanam, Rashmin & Mehdi, Syed & Bhat, Abdul & Rizvi, Moshahid & Thakur, Sonuchand & Athar, Fareeda. (2018). Antioxidative and anti-proliferative potential of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn in oxidative stress induced cytotoxicity: In vitro, ex vivo and in silico studies. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 115. 244-259. 10.1016/j.fct.2018.03.013.

Ku, Sae-Kang, et al. “Effect of Curculigo Orchioides on Reflux Esophagitis by Suppressing Proinflammatory Cytokines.” The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, vol. 40, no. 06, 2012, pp. 1241–1255., doi:10.1142/s0192415x12500929.

Pandit, Pranali, et al. “Evaluation of Antiasthmatic Activity of Curculigo Orchioides Gaertn. Rhizomes.” Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medknow Publications, 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792544/.

Tan, Shirui, et al. “Curculigoside Exerts Significant Anti‑Arthritic Effects in Vivo and in Vitro via Regulation of the JAK/STAT/NF‑ΚB Signaling Pathway.” Molecular Medicine Reports, 2019, doi:10.3892/mmr.2019.9854.

Thakur, M., Chauhan, N., Sharma, V. et al. Effect of Curculigo orchioides on hyperglycemia-induced oligospermia and sexual dysfunction in male rats. Int J Impot Res 24, 31–37 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijir.2011.43

Ying Wang, Lu Zhao, Yin Wang, Jinlong Xu, Yan Nie, Yuanhui Guo, Yongtao Tong, Luping Qin, Qiaoyan Zhang, Curculigoside isolated from Curculigo orchioides prevents hydrogen peroxide-induced dysfunction and oxidative damage in calvarial osteoblasts, Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica, Volume 44, Issue 5, May 2012, Pages 431–441, https://doi.org/10.1093/abbs/gms014


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