The health benefits of Curculigo tea are numerous, so much so that this brew has been recognized in the annals of Chinese traditional medicine as well as Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Kampo Japanese traditional medicine. This herbal tea is noted for its immunostimulant, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anti-cancer, aphrodisiac, rejuvenative, carminative and tonic properties.
Curculigo orchioides is the full scientific name of this perennial flowering plant species that grows in parts of India and Sri Lanka, as well as parts of China, Japan, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. It is also known by names such as golden eye-grass, kala musli, black musli and xian mao. Its flowers have about 6 or more petals and possess a bright golden-yellow color. It also possesses a few long, lance-shaped blades of grass that are bright green in color.
Its roots are harvested commercially and this is typically done during the early spring. The roots are then cleaned, dehydrated and then cut into slices.
The active constituents of the herb that may help contribute to curculigo tea benefits are largely found in the roots or rhizomes and include mucilage, saponins, resin, tannin, calcium oxalates, and phenolic glycosides like curculigosides which contain curculigoside A, B, C and D which may be helpful in countering the aggregation of beta-amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease.
These phytochemicals present in the curculigo herb have allowed it to be included in the cocktail of ingredients of certain commercial brands that aim to treat ailments and physical conditions. The androgenic supplement Natadrol, for example, includes curculigo due to its sexual stimulatory effect. Curculigo supplements are now available in pill, capsule, and ointment forms.
Curculigo tea can be made by boiling the chopped roots for about 20 minutes in a vat of water and then letting it simmer down for a further 7 minutes. Sip slowly. Alternatively, the powdered version of the roots can be infused in hot water for about 5 to 7 minutes and then drunk.
It is important to note that curculigo may be mildly toxic and as such, it should NEVER be used for extended periods of time. Individuals with “yin” insufficiency and heat should also not use curculigo tea and other related products.
The following are some health benefits attributed to this brew:
- May help lower the risk for tumors and cancer due to the presence of antioxidant compounds that may help fight damage caused by free radicals.
- May help lower the risk for diabetes due to the compounds present in the herb.
- May be helpful in strengthening the immune system.
- May be helpful in supporting kidney and liver health. It may thus be helpful in fighting jaundice and hepatitis.
- May help fight diarrhea and indigestion.
- May help ease respiratory congestion and assist in the relief of asthma and bronchitis.
- May be helpful in stimulating sexual drive due to compounds found in the herb. It may help fight impotence and erectile dysfunction. As such, it is considered as an aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic medicine.
- May help reinvigorate flagging spirits and energy due to its rejuvenative properties.
- May help ease joint pains.