Kali Musli (Curculigo orchioides) Information, Benefits, Uses and Warning

There are two varieties of Musli which are used for medicinal purpose, Safed Musli and Kali Musli. Both are Rasayan drug of Ayurveda and used to cure weakness, fatigue and as a tonic.

Safed musli is white in colour and is obtained from various plant species including Chlorophytum borivilianum.

Kali or Krishna musli (Talamuli) is brownish-brown roots of a stemless perennial herb Curculigo orchioides.

Like Shvet Musli, Kali musli is also used to increases potency and to treat seminal weakness, STDs such as syphilis, gonorrhea and menstrual derangements. It is mainly used for diseases of the urogenital system in both males and females.

Kali musli is tonic for health and cures general weakness. It is also prescribed in treatment of piles, jaundice, asthma, diarrhea and gonorrhea. It is present in several herbal formulations for gynecological problems and sexual weakness of males. Kali musli is bitter, appetizer, nervine, adaptogenic, sedative, anticonvulsive, androgenic and anti-inflammatory drug.

General Information

Kali Musli is tuberous and wrinkled root of plant Curculigo orchioides. This plant is small herb up to 30 cm high.

Roots of plant are tuberous about 4 inches long with bitter and mucilaginous taste. Rootstock is straight, cylindrical, tuberous, 5-22 cm long, 0.5-0.8 cm thick, brownish surfaces marked with closely spaced prominent transverse wrinkles in the upper or basal half. It bears a few stout lateral roots of 5 or more cm long. Lateral roots are dull white in colour and spongy externally. The fresh cut surfaces of the rootstock has a starch white colour and mucilaginous. A few fibrous roots also occur.

Leaves are sessile or short petiolate with sheathing bases, 15-45x1.2-2.5 cm size, linear or linear lanceolate, membranous, glabrouus or sparsely softly hairy and plicate in bud. The leaf tips when contacts the soil, develops roots and produce adventitious buds.

Inflorescence is axillary, scapose racemose, the scape very short and hidden among the bases of leaves underground, clavte, flattened with the pedicels, bracts and the ovary concealed in the leaf sheaths.

The lower big flowers on the scape are mostly bisexual and the upper small ones staminate. Flowers are epigynous bright yellow, bisexual or unisexual with lanceolate, membranous bract. Perianth gamophyllous, rotate and six lobed, locate at the top of a slender sterile long extension of the ovary by means of which the perianth is exposed above the ground. Perianth lobes similar, elliptic oblong 1.2-1.6 cm long, 0.2-0.3 cm broad, outer lobes hairy on the back, inner ones sparsely hairy along nerves.

Stamens are 6 in number, filamentous filiform, short 2mm long, adnate to the base of the perianthlobes, Anthers linear or linear lanceolate, basifixed and sagittate. Ovary inferior, hidden among the leaves usually below the ground, tricarpellary syncarpous, lanceolate and trilocular with a fairly long slender beak or extension -the stipe.

Ovules many in each cell attached by a distinct long funicle. Style short columnar, 2mm with a 3 lobed stigma. Lobes are elongate, erect and appressed.

Fruit is a capsule about 1.5-2cm long, 8mm broad, oblong, glabrescent with a slender beak and spongy septa.

Seeds 1 to many, oblong, black, shiny with crustaceous testa grooved deeply in wavy lines.

Flowering and fruiting occur mostly from October to January, rarely throughout the year.

Scientific Classification

The botanical name of Siyah / Kali / Black Moosli is Curculigo orchioides. It belongs to plant genus Curculigo and family Amaryllidaceae / Hypoxidaceae.

Below is given detailed taxonomical classification of plant.

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Subkingdom - Tracheobionta
  • Superdivision - Spermatophyta
  • Division - Magnoliophyta
  • Class - Monocotyledon
  • Subclass - Liliidae
  • Order - Liliales
  • Family - Amaryllidacae
  • Genus - Curculigo
  • Species - orchiodes
  • Scientific Name: Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. – Golden eye-grass
  • Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Roots / Rhizomes
  • Plant type: Herb
  • Distribution: Assam, Bengal, Kumaon eastwards, ascending up to 1830 m in Khasi hills, Manipur and the Eastern Ghats, also in Konkan southwards. Also in Sri Lanka, Japan, Malaysia and Australia.
  • Habitat: Grows in moist and humus rich soil of shady forests of Asia
  • Origin: Forests of India
  • Status: endangered

Used to treat: Weakness, Impotence, Nervous diseases

Unani properties: Hot 2 degree, Dry 2 degree, Tonic, Aphrodisiac

Vernacular names /Synonyms

  1. Latin Name: Curculigo Orchioides
  2. Sanskrit: Talamuli, Bhumitila, Krishna Mushali, Taalpatri
  3. Hindi: Kali Mooslie, Kali Musli, Syahmusali, Muslikand
  4. Assamese: Talmuli, Tailmuli
  5. Bengali: Talmalu, Tallur, Talamuli
  6. English: Brahmin Ginseng, Golden Eye-Grass, Black Musli, Black Musale, Black Musalie
  7. Kannada: Neltal, Neltathigodde, Nelatale, Nelatelegadde
  8. Malayalam: Nilappenea, Nilappanai, Nelpana, Nilappana, Nilapanai Kilangu
  9. Marathi: Kali Musali, Bhuimaddi
  10. Oriya: Talamuli
  11. Punjabi: Syah Musali, Musali Safed,
  12. Tamil: Nilappanai, Nilappanaikkilhang
  13. Telugu: Nel Tadigadda, Nallatadigudda, Nelatadi, Nelatatigaddalu, Nilaptaligaddal
  14. Urdu: Musali Siyah, Kali Musali
  15. Unani: Moosli Siyah, Musali Siyah

Constituents of Curculigo orchioides

  • Mucilage 8%-9% (Glucose, mannose, xylose and glucuronic acid, glycoside)
  • Saponins (curculigenin A, B and C; curculigosaponins A-F, curculigosaponins G, H, I and J, Yuccagenin)
  • Glycosides (Phenol and Flavonoids)
  • Aliphatic compounds
  • Fatty acids (palmitic, oleic, linolenic linoleic, arachidic and behenic acid)
  • Alkaloid (Lycorine)
  • Steroids (Hentriacontanol, sitosterol, stigmasterol, cycloartenol, bita sitosterol)
  • Elements (Potassium, copper, calcium, Zinc)
  • Esters and others (tannin, starch, resin and hemicellulose etc.)

Ayurvedic Properties and Action

Kali musli is heating, aphrodisiac, appetizer, useful in the treatment of piles, fatigue, blood related disorders. It strengthens semen, muscles and bones. It cures vitiation of Vata and Pitta Dosha.

It improves complexion and treats skin diseases. Kali musli is prescribed in impotence, seminal weakness and loss of libido. It is used in Ayurvedic formulation which improves fertility of males.

It is Madhur or Sweet Vipak which means it digests into sweet. Sweet is heavy, nourishing and moistening to the tissues. It slows tissue metabolism and build Dhatus.

  • Rasa (taste on tongue): Madhura (Sweet), Tikta (Bitter)
  • Guna (Pharmacological Action): Guru (Heavy), Picchila (Slimy)
  • Virya (Action): Ushna (Heating)
  • Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Madhura (Sweet)


  • Shramahara- take away of fatigue or shrama
  • Pittahara – anti-bilious
  • Vrishya - aphrodisiac
  • Rasayana - tonic
  • Pushtiprada - nourishes body
  • Balaprada - gives strength
  • Shukral - increase the quantity and improve the quality of the Shukra dhatu (included the male semen and the female egg, as both are essence of all of the other dhatus (tissues) of the body)
  • Mutral - diuretic

Few Ayurvedic Formulations

  1. Dhatupaushtik Churna
  2. Organic India Oh-Boy! Formula

Important Medicinal Properties

Kali musli is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb. Below is given medicinal properties along with the meaning.

  • Aphrodisiac: Stimulates sexual desire.
  • Alterative: Alter favorably the course of an ailment.
  • Appetizer: Improves appetite.
  • Antipyretic/antifebrile/febrifuge: Effective against fever.
  • Anticonvulsant / antiepileptic: Preventing or arresting seizures
  • Androgenic: Stimulates activity of the accessory male sex organs, encourages development of male sex characteristics.
  • Anticancer: Used against or tending to arrest or prevent cancer.
  • Antineoplastic: Acting to prevent, inhibit or halt the development of a neoplasm (a tumor).
  • Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
  • Demulcent: Relieving inflammation or irritation.
  • Diuretic: Promoting excretion of urine/agent that increases the amount of urine excreted.
  • Fattening: liable to make a person overweight.
  • Hypoglycemic: Reducing level of the sugar glucose in the blood.
  • Sedative: Promoting calm or inducing sleep
  • Nervine: Used to calm the nerves.
  • Tonic: Restore or improve health or well-being.
  • Uterine stimulant: Uterotonics, medications given to cause a uterus to contract, or to increase the frequency and intensity of the contractions.

Main indications of Kali Musli

Kali / Siyah musli is mainly indicated in following conditions:

  1. Impotence
  2. Erectile dysfunction
  3. Urinary problems (polyurea, dysuria)
  4. Gonorrhea, syphilis
  5. Menorrhagia, leucorrhoea
  6. Geriatric tonic

Health Benefits of Kali Musli / Black Musli

  1. It is rejuvenating and aphrodisiac herb.
  2. It is a Rasayana or tonic to all functions of the body.
  3. It is antioxidant and adaptogenic.
  4. It reduces stress.
  5. It increases weight.
  6. It is a sexual tonic.
  7. It promotes sperm count.
  8. It increases testosterone level.
  9. It stimulates male sex hormones.
  10. It gives strength to muscles and bones.
  11. It increases libido and physical strength in men.
  12. It reduces blood pressure.
  13. It stimulates production of breast milk.
  14. It is diuretic and promotes urine secretion.
  15. It protects liver.

Medicinal Uses of Black Musli / Kali Musli

Kali musli is used in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani for treatment of variety of diseases. It is indicated in bronchitis, difficult breathing, ophthalmia, piles, vitiation of Vata Dosha, biliousness, indigestion, fatigue, diseases of blood, vomiting, diarrhea, lumbago, gonorrhea, pain in joints and general weakness.

As a restorative tonic, to cure weakness, sexual debility

  1. The juice of fresh roots are taken in dose of 1-2 teaspoonful for treating weakness and as general tonic.
  2. Intake of this powder in dose of 5 grams with milk, for one month cures weakness.

Aphrodisiac, Premature ejaculation, better performance, impotence

Prepare a powder by mixing, Ashwagandha + Shatavari + Kali musli, in equal amount. Take this powder in dose of 5-10 gm with cow milk twice in a day for one month.

Low sperm count, impotence, general body weakness, loss of stamina and vigor

Take root powder in dose of 5-10 grams.

To gain weight

Take root powder in dose of 5-10 grams with milk.


Kali musli paste with goat's milk is applied.

For itches and skin diseases

The poultice of root is used.

Bleeding, wounds, acne, pimples

The powder of roots is applied.

Skin Allergy

The paste of leaves is applied externally.

Swelling of glands

The paste of roots is applied externally.


Application of root paste on pile mass gives relief in pain and burning sensation.

Cough, cold and asthma

The smoke produced from the roots is inhaled.

Dosage of Curculigo orchioides

  • Adult usage levels: 5-10 gram
  • 5-16 years: ½ adult usage levels
  • 1-5 years: ¼ adult usage levels


  • It promotes weight gain.
  • It has Oxytocic effects (induces labor by stimulating contractions of the muscles of the uterus).
  • In the recommended dose, no adverse reactions have been reported.
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