Safed Musli
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Safed Musli
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Safed Musli, Safed moosli • Hindi: सफ़ेद मुसली Safed musli
Botanical name: Chlorophytum borivilianum    Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus family)

The species name comes from a suburb in Mumbai called Borivili. Safed Musli is a herb with sub-erect leaves and tuberous root system. It can grow upto a maximum height of 1.5 ft. Tubers can grow upto a depth of 10". The plant sports a rosette of long, slender leaves, growing from a thick, fleshy rhizome. The flowers are small, white, produced on sparse panicles. Leaves are slightly yellowish and white flowers with 6 petals are arranged on the flowering stalk which emerge from the centre of the plant. About 20-25 flowers on the flowering stalk appear in July. The seed is very small, black and enclosed in the holes. In one hole, there are about 10-12 seeds. The seed is very light in weight.
Medicinal uses: Safed moosli holds an important position in Indian herbal medicine. The roots are widely used as a natural "sex tonic" and is an integral part of more than 100 herbal drug formulations. Although Indian forests are rich in safed moosli demand is increasing rapidly in Indian and international drug markets. The dried roots of asparagus are used in ayurveda as an aphrodisiac. They are available in the market as Safed Musli. Fifteen grams of roots boiled in one cup of milk should be taken twice daily. The regular use of this remedy is valuable in impotency and premature ejaculation.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed Tandulwadi Fort, Maharashtra.

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