- Hypoxidaceae consists of about 9 genera and 200 species; a family of herbaceous perennial monocotyledons. Curculigo Gaertner is a small genus in the family, consisting of 17 species and four varieties, seven of which are in China.
The genus Molineria honors the Italian botanist Bernardo Molineri (1741-1818). The species epithet is derived from Latin 'capitulatus , a, um' meaning having a small head, referring to the globose and compact inflorescences. (12)
Curculigo capitulata is an herb up to 1 m tall, stout. Rhizomes tuberous, thick, with creeping, slender stolons. Leaves often 4--7; petiole 30--80 cm; leaf blade oblong-lanceolate to suboblong, 40--90 × 5--14 cm, plicate, papery, sometimes pubescent, margin entire, apex acuminate. Flowering stems (10--)15--30 cm, brown villous. Racemes nodding, capitate to subovoid, 2.5--5 cm, densely many flowered; bracts ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, 1.5--2.5 cm, hairy. Pedicel ca. 7 mm. Perianth yellow; segments ovate-oblong, ca. 8 × 3.5--4 mm, apex obtuse, outer segments adaxially hairy, inner ones adaxially hairy on midvein or at base of midvein. Stamens 5--6 mm; filament less than 1 mm; anther linear, ca. 5 mm. Ovary subglobose to oblong, hairy. Style longer than stamens, slender; stigma subcapitate. Berry white, subglobose, 4--5 mm in diam., beakless. Seeds black with irregular stripes. (Flora of China)
Molineria capitulata is a hairy palm-like herb that can reach up between 0.6 m to 1 m tall. This herb is stemless, leaf stalks are directly attached to the rhizome underground. Leaves are long, elliptic to lanceolate, ribbed longitudinally. Spare hairs can be found along the veins on the underside. Leaves have a smooth margin, pointed tip measuring at 60 - 150 cm long and 5 - 15 cm wide. Foliage is attached to a long petiole of similar length. Its flowers are borne on a head-like raceme inflorescence of 2 - 6 cm wide produced at the base of the plant. Flowers are yellow, deflexed, covered in wooly hairs, attached to a very short stalk (subsessile). (7)
- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Assam, Bangladesh, China, Hainan, Himalaya, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Malukuu, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Queensland, Solomon Is., Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam. (2)
- Study of roots (Li et al, 2019) identified three unprecedented 9-norlignans (capitulactones A-C, 4–6) featuring a unique 3,5-dihydrofuro[2,3-d]oxepin-7(2H)-one scaffold. (4)
- Study of ethanolic extract of rhizomes isolated three new norlignans, capituloside (1), a mixture of curculigenin (2) and isocurculigenin (3), along with four known compounds (4–7), a mixture of 1-O-methylcurculigine (4) and 1-O-methylisocurculigine (5) and a mixture of curculigine (6) and isocurculigine (7). (5)
- Study of BuOH-soluble fraction of rhizomes isolated two new norlignans, (+)-(1R,2S)- and (−)-(1S,2S)-1-O-butylnyasicosides (1, 2), and the known nyasicoside (3). An alternative study devoid of n-BuOH yielded two additional novel norlignans, 3‘‘-dehydroxynyasicoside (4) and 1-O-methylnyasicoside (5). (see study below) (6)
- The phytochemical screening of leaf extract of Molineria recurvata revealed the presence of alkaloids in high concentration followed by hydroxy-anthraquinone glycosides, phytosteroids, dextrin, flavonoid etc. (10)
- Hydrodistillation of fresh fruit for essential oil identified 30 compounds representing about 98.98% of total oil with major constituents of
α-pinene (30.48%), ß-phellandrene (20.88%), α-terpinene (3.95%) and α-humulene (4.68%). The essential oil were characterized by monoterpene (21) and sesquiterpene (9) fractions. (see study below) (11)
- Studies have suggest anti-arrhythmic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, thrombolytic, analgesic properties.
Leaves, rhizomes, root juice.
- Fruits are edible.
- In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, used for the treatment of consumptive cough, kidney asthenia, impotence, spermatorrhea, hemorrhoids, asthma, jaundice, diarrhea, colic, and gonorrhea. In traditional Dai medicine, used for urinary tract infection, acute renal nephritis, nephritis-edema, cystitis, nephrolithiasis, hypertension, and rheumatic arthritis.
- In India, used as remedy for irregular dilation of the pupils and ophthalmia. Overnight infusion of rootstock used to treat conjunctivitis and earache. Plant paste used as poultice, hemostatic, and antiseptic. (8)
- Tripuri practitioners in India use apply parts of fresh rhizome after removing the epidermis to stop the bleeding of cut area. Dried rhizome powder is applied on boils to facilitate healing.
- The Mara tribe in Saiha district of Mizoram, India use root of juice for stomach problems. (13)
- Nagaland tribes in India use decoction of crushed rhizomes for treatment of jaundice.
- Crafts: The hill people of Camarines in Luzon, Philippines, used the leaf fibers for making false hair (wigs). Ifugao children use it for warp in toy looms. In Thailand, leaves are used like banana leaves, for wrapping. (1)
- Wound use: Leaves torn into strips used for stitching wounds of animals after castration and other surgical procedures. It is told that monkeys have been observed binding up their wounds with poultice of the plant. Men have reported dressing war wounds with the plant. (8)
• Anti-Arrhythmic Norlignans: Study of BuOH-soluble fraction of rhizomes isolated two new norlignans, (+)-(1R,2S)- and (−)-(1S,2S)-1-O-butylnyasicosides (1, 2), and the known nyasicoside (3). An alternative study devoid of n-BuOH yielded two additional novel norlignans, 3‘‘-dehydroxynyasicoside (4) and 1-O-methylnyasicoside (5). Compounds 1 and 3 exhibited potent activity against ouabain-induced arrhythmia in heart preparations of guinea pig. (6)
• Antimicrobial / Fruit Essential Oil: Study evaluated Molineria capitalata essential oil of fruits for antimicrobial activity against tetracycline resistance/multidrug resistance S. aureus, E. coli, S. typhi, P. aeruginosa, N. gonorrhea, Candida albicans, C. stellatoida, C. tropicalis, Fusarium exosporium. Myrcene was isolated from the dichloromethane extract of fruits essential oil. Results showed the essential oil and isolated compound, myrcene, possess strong antibacterial potential and fungal activity on a few fungi. It did not show activity against Candida albicans, C. stellatoida and C. tropicalis. (see constituents above) (11)
• Antioxidant / Thrombolytic / Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Leaves / Fruit: Study evaluated the methanolic extract of leaves for pharmacological activities using experimental and computational models. Qualitative analysis yielded total phenolic and flavonoid contents of 148.67 and 24 mg/g, respectively. Antioxidant activity by reducing power of MEMC showed strong reducing capacity with absorbance of 1.87 at 400 µg/mL. The extract showed significant protection against blood clotting and highest protein denaturation inhibition at 500 µg/mL. The extract showed significant potential pain inhibition in both acetic acid-induced writhing and formalin-induced paw-licking models in mice. In computational analysis, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, orcinol glucoside, curcapital, crassifogenin C, and 2,6-dimethoxy-benzoic acid displayed a strong predictive binding affinity against the respective receptors. (15)