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Indian Herbs: White Or Safed Musli

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India, as you know it is the land of folk remedies and alternative therapies. Its aesthetic in natural medicines is so much that nature has blessed this land of ayurveda with a lot of its herbal rarity. Safed musli or white musli is one such rare Indian herb that is not found anywhere in the world but its found growing wild in Indian forests. What’s more is that with the advancement in research more and more of its ayurvedic benefits are being confirmed by the medical societies leading to Its ever increasing demand in the international market . In ayurveda, safed musli is known for its potent health benefits on the male sexual health and as an excellent adaptogen(anti stress herb).

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Infact it is famously called “white gold “ or “ divya aushadhi” by ayurvedic doctors. Scientists have found Its ability to improve sexual functions in males to be as good as viagra and without showing any of the side effects that come with the commercially available chemical supplements. Safed musli is thus gaining popularity as a natural substitute to commercial drugs like viagra not only in India but all over the world. Historically speaking, the first mention of safed musli is found in an old indian test called “Raj nighantu” , which is the ayurvedic materia medica( a book that has all the information about specific herbs , especially their therapeutic properties).

Although It is a common forest plant in India,irrational cutting and harvesting of the roots has put it in a very sensitive state of existence. IUCN (International union for conservation of nature) has added this herb in its critically endangered list which means if this herb is not preserved , it can be extinct soon. Regardless of these threats , the ever increasing global demand and the new scientific advancements has kept safed musli thriving in farmlands in the form of a cash crop.The name “white gold” might have a more literal meaning after all.

  • Botanical name: Chlorophytum borivilianum or Asparagus adscendens
  • Family: Liliaceae
  • Common names: Safed musli or safed musli , White musli, Indian spider plant
  • Sanskrit name: Musali
  • Parts used: Roots and Seeds
  • Native region and geographical distribution:Safed musli is endemic to India which means that it is only found in India. Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are the main producers of safed musli in India.
  • Energetics: Calms down the vata and pitta dosha and increases kapha.

How to use?

Safed musli is most commonly taken in the form of powder. It can either be made into a decoction “kadha” or taken with milk, honey or other herbs as per the need and medical prescription. Safed musli power capsules and tablets are also available in the market as a trouble free quick remedy . It is an essential part of postnatal diet of mothers wherein the musli is given to the new mothers in the form of laddoos. Traditional healers in kerala use a paste of safed musli root for early healing of hairline fractures. The powder of safed musli is mixed with milk and honey and applied on the skin in the form of a paste is known to improve the skin complexion and help in skin whitening. It is an essential part of a common ayurvedic remedy “Musli pak” which is used in the treatment of sexual dysfunctions in ayurveda. The leaves of this plant is used as food in many parts of the country.

Identifying safed musli

Safed musli is a perennial herb (doesn’t need replanting every year) whose leaves grow directly from the ground. The leaves are sub-lanceolate in structure(wider in the middle and tapers at the end, looks like the tip of a lance) and have a smooth surface..The root are cylindrical and form tubers (thick and fleshy roots where food is stored in the plant for example potato is a tuber)Safed musli plant can grow upto 1.5 feet from the ground while its roots can go upto ten inches into the ground. A single plant can have anywhere between 5-30 tubers. Safed musli plant bears small white flowers which grow alternatively in clusters. The safed musli plant flowers in the month of july. The seeds are small and black in color , kind of like onion seeds and they have angular edges.

Health benefits of white musli

White musli is basically an adaptogen and an aphrodisiac which means it helps release stress and is very good for improving the sexual vigor and function. But it has some nutritive benefits too which makes it a perfect herb to maintain the overall health of the body. Let’s study some of the well known uses of safed musli:

Improves libido:The stressful and fast paced life of this day makes it very easy to put your sexual interests on the back burner. There is just too many things to work on at once and before you know the stress piles up so much that the lack of sex drive becomes a psychological problem instead of a conscious choice.However, stress is not the only culprit here; low sex drive can also be attributed to an imbalance or low level of sex hormones in the body. If you are one of those people who have been lost in the rush of the day or suffer from the physiological imbalance in the sexual hormones,white musli may be the herb for you.White musli is a well known ayurvedic remedy for the treatment of low sexual drives especially in men. Even though its not as popular for women, when it comes to improving libido it has known to work equally well for both genders.In a research it was suggested that consumption of this root has a direct effect in increasing the testosterone levels in body which is one of the factors responsible for a good sex drive in both males and females.

Increases sperm count: In ayurveda, safed musli is known for its benefits in improving and managing the overall sexual health of men. It is one of the major herbs used in “vajikarana chikitsa” of ayurveda , which is a method employed in ayurveda to not just improve sexual potency but it is also helpful in ascertaining the health and quality of the offspring. The modern science may not have been aware of this wonder for a long time but with the advancement of scientific studies the allopathic medicine system is also being acquainted with the biochemical and physiological effects of this herb on human body.. In a recent study it was indicated that the water soluble extract of safed musli has a very potent effect in increasing the sperm count , semen levels and testosterone levels in men. However, Its exact mode of action is yet unknown ,It is suggested that the safed musli has some naturally occurring chemical compounds that acts as a stimulants for improving the overall sexual health in males.

Effect in erectile dysfunction: Consumption of white musli is known to be very effective in treating erectile dysfunction in men.In ayurveda it is known to not only deal with erectile dysfunction but also help in maintaining erections for long.It’s believed that it does so by inhibiting a specific pathway in the body (Rho kinase 2) which otherwise reduces the blood flow to penis.However, studies are still going on to obtain a more detailed scientific to prove the action and role of this enzyme in body.

Effect of women health: Much is known about the benefits of safed musli for the health and well being of the male sexual and physiological functions but it is not a completely male biased herb.Regular consumption of safed musli has some useful benefits for the female health too. Firstly, It is known to be as potent in improving the sex drive in females as it is males.Then, it is a potent adaptogen which means it helps release stress which is as much a female problem as it is in males. And lastly, safed musli has a lot of nutritive properties which is beneficial for increasing the strength of the body ,decreasing chances of early fatigue and improving the wellbeing of the body in general. Safed musli is also known to be a very good hormone regulator , it helps regulate and balance the female hormones and regular consumption of this herb is known to regulate the menstrual cycle in females.

Reduces blood sugar levels: Recent studies in India claim that safed musli is very effective in reducing the blood sugar levels in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. However, according to ayurvedic doctors, safed musli is more effective in treatment of slim diabetic people rather than obese diabetics and the doses and usage would vary according to the body type.

Increases good fats: White musli is known to increase the amount of High density fats (good fat) while decreasing the amount of low density fats in the body. The high density fat would make the liver to remove the cholesterol from the body and helps in keeping the overall body cholesterol levels low. This in turn would reduce the chances of plaque formation (fat deposits in arteries) in the body thus minimising the risk of heart problems and heart attacks.

Helps deal with premature ejaculation: Premature ejaculation is a condition when the person is not able to maintain the erection for long and the semen in ejaculated right before or after penetration.While the exact reason for this problem is unknown, it is speculated that stress , weakness and hormonal imbalance or lack thereof could be responsible for this condition. Safed musli as an aphrodisiac, not only elevates the level of testosterone (male sexual hormone) but also act as a stress buster and helps you get a more pleasurable experience. AyurvedIc doctors say that the erectile dysfunction is caused by the imbalance in the vata and pitta “doshas” in body. White musli balances and calms down these two doshas thus help in alleviating this problem.

Anti- arthritic: White musli is a well known anti inflammatory and has long since been in use in ayurveda for its beneficial in reducing the joint inflammation in arthritic patients. Although there is no human research done so far to prove its benefits in arthritis but animal studies have found it to be very effective in treating the symptoms of this disease. In ayurveda, safed musli is believed to act in increasing the levels of the synovial fluid (fluids present in joints) in arthritic patients thus providing more lubrication to the joints and reducing the wear and tear in those joints. Additionally, the nutritive effects of this herb help build up the body functions so the body can start taking more care of itself.

Good for pregnant women: Safed musli is a known galactogogue which means it helps in increasing the milk production in lactating mothers. Also, Its nutritive effects help in dealing with postnatal deficiencies of the new mothers thus restoring them to good health.

Anti aging and good for skin: Safed musli is known to be rich in certain polysaccharides which are known to have a stimulatory effect on the skin. A research in India claims that white musli can activate some metabolic reactions in the body which help in improving the moisture content in skin and keeping the skin look younger and cleaner. However, more research is still needed in this field so its suggested to consult your ayurvedic doctor before using safed musli in any form for your skin.

Helps in weight gain: The nutritive and adaptogenic properties of safed musli make it an excellent natural alternative for gaining weight. Infact, a lot of bodybuilding supplements have safed musli as one of its ingredients. Ayurvedic doctors suggest a regular use of safed musli for 2-3 months to enjoy its nutritive and bodybuilding aspects. Additionally, It is very good for the immune system and provides strength to the muscles, which means, it helps your body to fight infections faster and more effectively while mending any damage done to the tissues nearby. Lesser infections would lead to more of body’s resources being used in keeping up the normal body functioning unhindered and it’s definitely easier gaining weight in a healthy body than in a body that is more commonly prone to diseases.

Increases immunity: Do you catch the common infections easily? Do you constantly curse your body for not being strong enough against the most common infections? This might be due to your body’s weak immune system. As you may already know , the immune system of the body is its main line of defence against diseases. It helps your body to fight infections and keep you safe from the diseases but a compromised or slow immune system cannot keep up with the needs of a healthy body. The good news is that the remedy isn’t far from you. Safed musli is known to improve the overall immune response of the body and keeps you from easily acquiring new infections. Studies have shown that ethanolic extracts of safed musli are very effective immunomodulators which means that using safed musli helps improve the immune response of the body against various diseases. In the same study it was claimed that the safed musli not only helps in improving the general immunity but also in improving the capacity of the immune system to kill pathogens.

Side effects

There aren’t any known side effects of safed musli but a regular consumption can lead to weight gain. Additionally, safed musli is not very easy to digest so it might lead to some digestive discomfort when taken in large amounts , for longer periods of time or if you have a weak liver. Always consult your doctor before adding any herb in your diet. It is not suggested for the pregnant women to take safed musli in their diet as its effects are still unknown in such conditions but it’s known to be good for lactating mothers .

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