Xian Mao – Curculigo – Rhizoma Curculiginis

Xian Mao

English Name: curculigo

Literal Translation: “immortal grass”

Pharmaceutical Name: Rhizoma Curculiginis

Medica Category: Yang-Tonifying Herbs

Properties: Xian Mao enters the Kidney channel; it is acrid in nature and hot in temperature. It is considered mildly toxic (see safety/clinical notes below).

What is Xian Mao?:

The Chinese Herb Xian Mao is the dried rhizome of curculigo (aka Kali Musli in Hindi and Talamuli in Ayurvedic medicine– Curculigo orchioides Gaertz.). It is a small, perennial flowering herb with long, skinny leaves native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of India. It flowers in the summer then fruits and goes to seed, leaving the roots in the ground. The roots are then dug up and dried for use as medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Xian Mao:

Xian Mao strongly warms the Kidney and tonifies yang to address urinary incontinence, polyuria, and impotence in men; in women, it addresses amenorrhea and infertility. Other clinical presentations of  yang deficiency addressed by this herb include tinnitus and loss of hearing. This herb is also combined in formula to address deficiency and cold in the Spleen (w/acid regurgitation and poor appetite).

Xian Mao dispels cold and dampness from the channels to treat bi zheng (painful obstruction syndrome) in persons with underlying Kidney yang deficiency as a part of their general constitutional makeup. This often presents clinically as arthritis, stiffness in the joints, and numbness.

–safety/clinical notes:

Contraindicated in persons with yin deficient fire or excess heat patterns.

Xian Mao is slightly toxic and quite hot and not recommended for long-term use. Overuse may bring about adverse effects such as numbness or swelling of the tongue.