Home / Chinese Herb / CURCULIGO RHIZOME [仙茅, XIAN MAO]


[0aaName : Curculigo Rhizome

Chinese Name : 仙茅

Latin Name : Rhizome Curculiginis


This herb is the dried rhizome of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. of the family Amaryllidaceae. It grows in the provinces of Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Jiangsu, Taiwan,  and Zhejiang in China. It is harvested in the early spring or late autumn, cleaned, dried in the sun, and sliced and used unprocessed.

Curculigo rhizome is used to warm up the kidneys, to reinforce the vital functions of the sexual organs, and to treat impotence and sexual  disabilities.

Use of Curculigo Rhizome in TCM

Pungent in taste, warm, and slightly toxic, it acts on the kidney and liver meridians

Effects, Medicinal Uses and Combinations

  1. Invigorates the kidneys and reinforces the vital functions of the kidney yang: for an aching back and knees, premature ejaculation, impotence, polyuria, enuresis, and nocturnal seminal emission, curculigo rhizome is often prescribed with epimedium (yin yang huo) and morinda root.
  2. Relieves Bi-Syndrome: for Cold-Damp-Bi-Syndrome and arthralgia, curculigo rhizome is used with cyathula root, ginger, cinnamon bark, notopterygium root, and acanthopanax to strengthen the bones, tendons, and joints
  3. Relieves hypertension: to treat climacteric (menopausal) hypertension, curculigo rhizome is dispensed with epimedium.


In a decoction or pills, 3 to 9 g.


People with hyperactivity of yang or deficiency of yin should use curculigo with care

Side Effects and Toxicity

At the suggested therapeutic dose, no adverse side effects or toxicity have been reported

Chemical Constituents

Curculigo rhizome contains resins, tannin starch, and fatty oils.

The rhizome contains cycloartane triterpene saponins, including curculigo saponins A-M. other ingredients are triterpenes curculigol  and 31-methyl-3-oxo-2-0-ursen-28-oic acid. Phenyl glycosides, curculigoside-B, curculigines B and C, and aliphatic compounds have been isolated.

Pharmacological Findings

  1. Curculigo is a yang and cardiac tonic.
  2. Gonadotrophic: oral administration to rats of 10 g/kg of the herb’s decoction significantly increased the weight of  the lobus anterior hypophyseos, ovary, and uterus.
  3. Analgesic and antirheumatic.
  4. Antimicrobial.
  5. Antitumorous.