Introduction of Xian Mao:Common Curculigo Rhizome or Rhizoma Curculiginis.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Common Curculigo Rhizome, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Curculigo orchioides Gaertn., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Common Curculigo Rhizome, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Rhizoma Curculiginis(Common Curculigo Rhizome).

dried brownish root segments of Rhizoma Curculiginis Pin Yin Name: Xiān Máo.
 English Name: Common Curculigo Rhizome.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma Curculiginis.
 Property and flavor: heat or warm in nature, tastes pungent, toxic.

 Brief introduction: The herb Rhizoma Curculiginis is the dried rhizome of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn., used to warm the kidney, reinforce Yang, strengthen the tendons and bones, and dispel cold-damp for the treatment of aching back and knees with intolerance of cold, impotence, enuresis, stubborn arthralgia, chronic diarrhea. The herb is commonly known as Rhizoma Curculiginis, Common Curculigo Rhizome, Xiān Máo.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Rhizoma Curculiginis (Xian Mao) as the rhizome (rhizoma rootstalk) of the Amaryllidaceae family plant species (1). Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. It is a plant of the Curculigo genus, the Amaryllidaceae family (amaryllis family) of the Liliflorae order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Curculigo orchioides Gaertn.

 several shrubs of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn grow in field. Botanical description: The plant, Curculigo orchioides Gaertn is a plant of the Amaryllidaceae family (amaryllis family) and Curculigo genus, it is also known as Curculigo orchioides Gaertn.var.minor Benth., commonly known as Curculigo orchioides Gaertn., Curculigo orchioides, Xian Mao, Di Zong, Du Mao, Shan Dang Shen, Xian Mao Shen, Hainan Shen. A perennial herb. The rhizome is nearly cylindrical and orthotropal, about 1 cm in diameter, and grows up to 30 cm long, out bark is brown; Fibrous roots are often tufted, succulent, with annular transverse veins, up to 6 cm long; The aerial shoots (terrestrial stems) are inconspicuous.

 Leaves are basal; Leaf blades are linear (filate), linear-lanceolate or lanceolate, 10~45 cm long, 5~25 mm wide, the apex is long acuminate, the base is decurrent into a petiole, veins are distinct, both surfaces are sparsely pubescent or glabrous.

 a colorful drawing of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn.,root,green stem and leaves,flowers The scapes (flower stalks) are very short, 6-7 cm long, mostly hidden inside the base of the sheath-shaped petiole, also is piliferous; bracts are lanceolate, 2.5~5 cm long, membraneous, has marginal seta (tricholoma);

 Racemes are more or less corymbose, and usually have 4~6 flowers; Flowers are yellow, about 1 cm in diameter, hypanthium (floral tube) on the lower part is linear, the upper part is 6-lobed, lobes are lanceolate, 8~12 mm long, 2.5~3 mm wide, back surface of outer whorl sometimes has sparse pilose; 6 stamens, about 1/2 length of tapel (perianth lobe), filaments are 1.5~2.5 mm, anthers are 2~4 mm; Stigma is 3-lobed, the divided part is longer than style, ovary is narrow and long, apex has a long rostrum (beak), ovary length with rostrum is up to 7.5 mm, covered with sparse hairs.

 The berries are nearly fusiform (almost spindle-shaped), 1.2~1.5 cm long, about 6 mm wide, with a long rostrum (beak) at the front end. Seeds are coracinus (bright black), the surface has vertical repousse, has a rostrum (beak). The flowering period and fruiting period are from April to September.

 fresh dark brown herb roots of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. with green leaves Ecological Environment: The plant grows in forest and grassland or barren slopes, in areas at altitudes below 1,600 meters above sea level. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the Zhujiang River area, the southwest area, Taiwan, and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a warm climate, slightly resistant to drought and shade. It is appropriate to choose low mountain slopes or flat land, deep soil layers, and loose and fertile sandy loam for cultivation. It is not advisable to choose low-lying land for cultivation.

 dried brownish thick roots of Common Curculigo Rhizome are piled together Characters of herbs: The rhizome is cylindrical, and slightly curved, its length is 3~10 cm, and the diameter is 4~8 mm or 0.4~1.2 cm. The surface is dark brown (black brown) or tan (chocolate-brown), coarse and rough, and has vertical grooves, transverse wrinkles, and punctate thick root marks. The texture of the herb is hard and crisp, easy to break, the fracture surface is slightly flat, slightly keratoid (keroid), hazel (pale brown) or tan (chocolate-brown), dark near the center, and has a dark ring. The herb has a slight fragrance, it tastes slightly bitter and pungent. The herb of a better grade has thick strips, the surface is dark brown.

 The Curculigo Gaertn, is a genus below the Hypoxidaceae family, with about 10~20 species, it is distributed in tropical regions, in China, there are about 7 species. Herbs of the genus are perennial, with short rhizomes; Leaves are basal, long, folded; Flower stalks are long or short; Flowers are usually unisexual, arranged in dense capitate or spikes, with bracts; Perianth often extending into a linear tube on an ovary, 6-lobed; Subovary, 3 loculi; Berries, not cracking, more or less has rostrum (beak). There are about 10~20 species of the genus distributed in the world, and 7 species are distributed in China. The genus plants are distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, South America, and Oceania, grow in forests or wet places, prefer warm and damp environments, bear winter temperatures of 10 °C (Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit), and better grow in humus-rich loose sandy loam, plants in the genus can be potted to view leaves, for landscape values.

 collected fresh herbs of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. with green leaves and roots in a bundle In China, the Curculigo Gaertn genus plants could be classified into 2 sects, one is Sect. Molineria (Colla) Benth., including 5 species and known as: (1).Curculigo breviscapa., (2).Curculigo capitulata., (3).Curculigo crassifolia (Baker) Hook.f., (4).Curculigo gracilis (Wall. ex Kurz) Hook. f., (5).Curculigo sinensis.; Another is Sect. Curculigo., including 2 species and known as:(1).Curculigo glabrescens (Ridl.) Merr., (2).Curculigo orchioides Gaertn.

 This humble weed looks like a seedling, it can help to stimulate the Yang in the body and, in particular, can help men to protect the kidney. Modern studies have shown that it has androgen-like and adaptive effects, anti-aging effects, and enhance immune function.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-hypoxia and high-temperature resistance effect on mice; ②.prolong the sleep time of pentobarbital sodium on mice; ③.delay the incubation period of convulsion caused by tetrahexin in mice; ④.inhibit the swelling inflammation of auricle caused by croton oil in mice.

 Medicinal efficacy: Invigorating kidney Yang, strengthening the bones and muscles, dispellieg cold and dampness. It is indicated for asynodia (impotentia) and cold sperm, aconuresis (incontinence of urine), metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, cold pain in heart and abdomen, epigastric cold pain, cold and numbness in waist and feet, cold and pain of waist and knees, aching pain of waist and knees, weakness and feebleness of tendons and bones, spasm of lower limbs, Yang deficiency and cold diarrhea, ulcer, scrofula(lymphoid tuberculosis), menopausal syndrome, etc.  

 Administration of Rhizoma Curculiginis (Xiān Máo): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma Curculiginis (Xiān Máo)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 3~10 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:mashed and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~10 grams, or prepared to pill, powder;or infusing in wine. Externally:proper amount, mashed and apply stick.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Rhizoma Curculiginis should not be prepared with ironware.




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  • 1.Introduction of Xian Mao:Common Curculigo Rhizome or Rhizoma Curculiginis.

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