Safed musli – Asparagus adscendens, Chlorophytum borivilianum

Safed Musli is a traditional medicinal herb native to India’s natural forests. It is used in traditional systems of medicine including Ayurveda, Unani and homeopathy. It has traditionally been used to treat arthritis, cancer, diabetes, increase vitality, improve sexual performance, and for many other purposes.

There are generally three grades of musli available on the market:
1) Roots 3–4 inches long, called badi (bigger) musli, which are sold at the highest price.
2) Roots 3 inches or smaller, called choti (smaller) musli, which are sold at intermediate prices.
3) Broken fragments or chura that get the lowest price.

Despite the medicinal value of the product and the increase in demand for it, the true nature of the drug is the subject of considerable controversy. Completely different types of plants are referred to as “safed musli” in classical and modern texts of the Ayurvedic system of medicine and are sold in different parts of the country.   Note: Shatavari is Asparagus racemosus.

Ayurvedic texts refer to various plant species as “safed musli”: Asparagus adscendens, Chlorophytum Arundinaceum and Chlorophytum Tuberosum. But recently another species of Chlorophytum, Chlorophytum Borivilianum, has become the most accepted source of Safed Musli in the trade. It is considered a “wonder drug” in the Indian system of medicine due to its aphrodisiac and natural tonic properties, due to which it is called “herbal Viagra”. Because of their high therapeutic value, Safed Musli tubers are the main ingredient in over 100 Ayurvedic medicines.

Both plants (Asparagus adscendens and Chlorophytum borivilianum) are used in the name of Safed Musli. The qualities are very similar. Dosage: powder 2- 5 gm once or twice a day.


Asparagus Adscendens

Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)

Family: Asparagaceae

Genus: Asparagus

Species: Asparagus adscendens

Asparagus adscendens is a prickly, evergreen scrambling, perennial plant, native to the Himalayas, growing from a tuberous rootstock. The plant is a source of a nutritious starch that can be used like salep (which is obtained from various species of orchid). The young shoots are probably edible, used like asparagus. The roots are used in the Indian traditional systems of medicine under the name ‘Safed musli’.
The roots are demulcent, diaphoretic, galactogogue and stimulant. They are useful in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and general debility.

Uses and benefits:
› The rhizomes of the herb are powerful aphrodisiacs.
› Asparagus is known to increase sperm count.
› Rasayana – causes cell and tissue rejuvenaion.
› Traditionally, it has been used as an anti-aging agent.
› The roots of the plant are used to treat diarrhea and dysentery.
› These roots hold spermatogenetic, spermatorrhoea and chronic leucorrhoea due to some chemical content.
› It improves uterine growth, mitigates dysmenorrhea and enorrhagia, augments fertility and imparts anabolic properties
› This plant is a source of a nutritious starch and low in calories and is very low in sodium.


Chlorophytum Borivilianum

Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)

Family: Asparagaceae

Genus: Chlorophytum

Species: Chlorophytum borivilianum

Chlorophytum borivilianum is a herb with lanceolate leaves, from tropical wet forests in peninsular India. The Hindi name is safed musli (also commonly known as musli). In traditional Indian medicine it is used as rasayan or adaptogen. It is considered a white gold in Indian systems of medicine. This herb belongs to the vajikaran rasayana group in Ayurveda.
It is cultivated and eaten as a leaf vegetable in some parts of India, and its roots are used as a health tonic under the name safed musli. In traditional Indian medicine it is used as rasayan or adaptogen. It is considered a white gold in Indian systems of medicine.

Uses and benefits:
› Useful for increasing the overall immunity of the body.
› It has spermatogenic property
› It is useful in the treatment of impotence, as it is rich in glycosides (its effectiveness in increasing male potency has become very popular and is now considered as an alternative to Viagra).
› It is known to cure many physical ailments and weaknesses.
› Chlorophytum borivilianum is considered as a curative of Natal and Post Natal Problems.
› It is effective in curing rheumatism and joint pains.


Cautions:  Although the health benefits of Safed Musli are numerous, it is best to consult a physician before starting a course.

More information:  The principal component of “Safed Musli”, Aspragus adscendens, is mainly responsible for the aforementioned therapeutic properties of this medicine.
More than 175 species of Chlorophytum are known worldwide. Asparagus adscendens, Chlorophytum borivilianum, C. arundinaceum and C. tuberosum are considered to be Safed Musli.
There is a lot of confusion in the herbal medicine market regarding the identification of the real Safed Musli and the rampant falsification of the drug by a poor quality plant.
In order to resolve the Safed Musli complex and differentiate between the Chlorophytum species in this group and A. adscendens, an AFLP-based experiment was conducted to develop molecular markers for plant identification.
The cluster diagram created after the cluster analysis showed two main groups. In the first, A. adscendens was grouped together with C. borivilianum, showing 60% similarity. In the second group, C. arundinaceum and C. tuberosum were grouped together, showing 40% similarity. The two groups were 25% diverse. From this analysis, we can conclude that C. borivilianum is closer to A. adscendens than to other analyzed Chlorophytum species.

Sources: Wikipedia. Free information from the Internet. Scientific study ” AFLP-based Detection of Adulterants in Crude Drug Preparations of the ‘Safed Musli’ Complex ” (