CHENNAI:In recent years, hormonal imbalances, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking cigarettes, drug abuse, stress and the side-effects of regular intake of allopathic drugs is leading to poor sexual performance in men. Our traditional systems of medicine, which consider the health benefits of regular sexual activity such as higher levels of immunoglobulin and improved moods, prescribe herbs to increase the libido in humans. One such wonder herb is Kali Musali, botanically known as Curculigo Orchioides Gaertn, belonging to the Hypoxidaceae family. Many modern scientific studies support the traditional use
of Kali Musali roots to cure erectile dysfunction induced by chronic diabetes. This traditional herb is believed to be the best replacement for testosterone products available in the markets.
Kali Musali is a stemless herb, with rhizomes up to 15 cm long, and black in colour. Leaves are 5-25 x 0.8-2 cm, lanceolate, narrow towards base, apex acuminate, plicate, hairy and with nerves prominent beneath. The leaf stalks are 2.5 cm long or sometimes absent; sheaths are imbricating. The inflorescence is a raceme, five-eight cm long and clustered. Flowers are 1.5 cm wide, and bright yellow in colour. The petals (perianth) are six in number. The fruits are capsules, and 1.5 cm long. Seeds are six-eight in number, two mm across, globose and beaked.
This herb is commonly found to grow in open scrub and deciduous forests, almost throughout India. The underground rhizome, when uprooted along with the palm-like leaves, mimic a miniature Palmyra tree, hence locally known as Nila Panai Kizhangu in Tamil; Nela Thengu in Kannada; Nela Thaati in Telugu; Nela Pana in Malyalam; and Orchid Palm Grass in English.