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Kaali Musli

Curculigo orchioides belongs to the family Hypoxidaceae. It is a perennial herb about 30cm in height with a short or elongated root stock bearing several fleshy lateral roots. Leaves are simple, crowded on the short stem (rhizome); light yellow flowers are seen throughout the year. Curculigo is a small herb found in India in the subtropical Himalayas. It is commonly known as Kalimusli and used in various Ayurvedic medicines.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Curculigo orchioides
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Hemapuspi, Talamulika Bengali : Talmalu, Talmuli, Sada Musli, Tallur Gujarati : Kalimusali Hindi : Kali Musli, Kali Mushli, Siah Musli Kannada : Neltal, Neltathigodde, Nelatale, Nelatelegadde Marathi : Kali Musli, Bhuimaddi Punjabi : Syah Musli Urdu : Musli Siah Malayalam : Nilappana
Chemical Constituents
The sugars glucose, mannose, xylose and glucuronic acid have been identified in the rootstock of Curculigo orchioides. The rootstock is also reported to contain glycoside, starch, resin, tannin and mucilage. The roots owing to the presence of mucilage are employed medicinally as a tonic and demulcent. The tubers of the plant contain free sugars, mucilage, hemicelluloses and other polysaccharides. Three new phenolic glycosides named curculigosides F–H (1–3) were isolated from 70% EtOH extract of C. orchioides. Previous phytochemical investigations on this species revealed the presence of phenolic glycosides, chlorophenolic glycosides, and cycloartane saponins (1,2).
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs hence it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Tuberous roots of Curculigo orchioides are slightly bitter and are considered tonic, alternative, demulcent, diuretic and restorative. Curculigo orchioides is considered to have immunostimulant, hepatoprotective, antioxidative, anticancer, and antidiabetic activities. According to Ayurveda the root is an aphrodisiac, alternative, appetizer, fattening and useful in treatment of piles, biliousness, fatigue, blood related disorders etc. Rhizomes of C. orchioides were a multipurpose drug with numerous pharmacological activities including hepatoprotective effect, immunostimulatory effect, and estrogenic activity (2, 3).
Health Benefits
Curculigo orchioides is an endangered rasayana herb which is popularly known as “Kali Musli”. The plant is native to India, and holds a special position as a potent adaptogen and aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic system of medicine. It is an important ingredient of many Ayurvedic preparations and is considered to have aphrodisiac, immunostimulant, hepatoprotective, and antioxidant, anticancer and antidiabetic activities. Various chemical constituents like mucilage, phenolic glycosides, saponins and aliphatic compounds from the plant have been reported. The plant is also considered as an important component of various herbal preparations of the Chinese medicine (4). According to Unani system of medicine, root is carminative, tonic, aphrodisiac, antipyretic and useful in bronchitis, ophthalmia, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, lumbago, gonorrhea, gleet, hydrophobia, joint pains etc. It is usually used in the treatment of piles, diarrhea, jaundice, asthma. In Chinese traditional medicine, it is used as tonic for treatment of decline in physical strength. The rhizomes are sweet, cooling, diuretic, aphrodisiac, viriligenic, antipyretic and tonic and can be used against haemorrhoids, leucorrhoea, pruritis, skin diseases, bronchitis, jaundice and diarrhea. Its rhizomers, known as “Xian-Mao” in traditional Chinese medicine, have been used for treatment of enuresis, cold sperm, cold pain of back and knee, numbness of the limbs, and decline in physical strength. It is used as poultice for itch and skin diseases. Results of a scientific study also suggest that C. orchioides can be utilized as a potential therapeutic natural product for Noise Induced Hearing Loss (5, 6).
Research References
1. Gaikar N. V., Sandhya P. and Chaudhari C. A. Evaluation of Curculigo orchioides Mucilage as Suspending Agent International Journal of PharmTech Research 2011, 3(2):831-835. 2. Singh R. and Gupta A. K. Antimicrobial and Antitumor activity of the fractionated extracts of Kali Musli (Curculigo orchioides). International Journal of Green Pharmacy 34-36. 3. Ai-Xue Z., Yong S., Zhi-Yong J., Xue-Mei Z., Jun Z., Jun Lü and Ji-Jun C. Three new phenolic glycosides from Curculigo orchioides G. Fitoterapia, 2010, 81:910–913 4. Chauhan N. S. and Dixit V. K. Spermatogenic activity of rhizomes of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn in male rats International Journal of Applied Research in Natural Products 2008, 1(2):26-31 5. VENUKUMAR M. R. and LATHA M. S. HEPATOPROTECTIVE EFFECT OF THE METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF CURCULIGO ORCHIOIDES IN CCl4 -TREATED MALE RATS Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2002; 34: 269-275 6. Bin Na H., Yong-Ouk Y. and Tong Ho K. Curculigo orchioides, natural compounds for the treatment of noise-induced hearing loss in mice. Archives of Pharmacal Research 34(4):653-659 7. Augustine, Alice and D'Souza, L.Regeneration of an anticarcinogenic herb, Curculigo orchioides (Gaertn.) In Vitro Cellular and Development Biology - Plant 1997, 33(2):111-113(3) 8. Zhang Z., LanFang W. and YongShuai J. Study on antioxidant activities of extracts from Curculigo orchioides in vitro. Chinese Journal of Gerontology 2009 29(24):3201-3203 9. Wu Q., Fu D. X., Hou A. J., Lei G. Q., Liu Z. J., Chen J. K. and Zhou T. S. Antioxidative phenols and phenolic glycosides from Curculigo orchioides. Research Center of Natural Medicines, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, PR China. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 2005, 53(8):1065-1067