Costus Igneus

Costus Igneus

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 Medicinal plant Costus igneus uses and health benefits (Insulin plant)

The insulin plant or Costus igneus is a low growing plant that grows to a height of 2 feet. Leaves are simple, oblong, alternate, entire, large, fleshy, and evergreen. They are 4-7 inches in length and have parallel venation.
The undersides of the leaves have a purple color. The leaves have a spiral arrangement around the stem that arise from underground root-stocks. The leaves form attractive arching clumps.
The flowers are orange in colour and 3.8 cm in diameter. During the hot months, flowers bloom. Flowers appear at the tip of branches.

Costus igneus the insulin plant: Uses, information and side effects

Common name

The common name for this is the insulin plant. People also call it spiral flag, fiery costus, Kostum, step ladder, Keukand, and Jarul.

Insulin plant scientific name or family

The botanical name for this plant is Costus Igneus. It belongs to the Costaceae family.

Geographical areas where Costus igneus grows

It grows natively in North America. Now, it has been propagated all over the world including India.

Insulin plant medicinal uses and benefits

The medicinal property of the insulin plant is due to the presence of chemicals such as Terpenoids, Saponins, Flavonoids, Corosolic acid, Sapogenin, Tanins, and Steroids. It has been used in Ayurveda since the olden times.
  • Ant diabetic property: It reduces sugar levels in the blood. You need to take only one leaf a day to bring your sugar levels under control. Further, it reduces the level of the induced cholesterol. Diabetics will normally have a high cholesterol level that is induced due to the high sugar level in the blood. But, once you take the costus igneus plant leaf, you will see a drop in the cholesterol levels too.
  • Cure for asthma: You can treat asthma in two ways. One is to take the short-term cure and the other is the long-term cure. Quick-relief asthma will relieve symptoms, but they will flare up again. The long-term cure will control the inflammation in the airways and bring relief to the patient. Costus igneus helps to soothe the smooth muscles in the lungs that tighten during the asthma attack. This helps relieve the symptoms of asthma.
  • Helps alleviate symptoms of bronchitis: Bronchitis occurs when the airways become narrow due to mucus and inflammation. Use of the leaves of the insulin plant helps to fight the inflammation and bring down the cholesterol level. This helps remove the obstructions in the airways and improve the breathing condition of the patient. 
  • Antioxidant properties: Quercetin and diosgenin are the bioactive compounds present in costus igneus that exhibit antioxidant properties. It increases the concentration of superoxide dismutase, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase. It decreases the level of glutathione and so could help decrease the oxidative stress and the damage to healthy cells. Another substance that could help the antioxidant nature is the phenolic compound.
  • Treat fevers: Chew one leaf in the morning to get relief from fever. The insulin plant has antipyretic properties. This helps control the fever, and the patient gets relief.
  • Diuretic property: One may have the decoction prepared with the leaves of the plant for relief from urinary problems. Use three leaves for 2 cups of water, add honey for improving the taste. It increases the sodium and potassium clearance indicating that it has good diuresis.
  • Cures skin diseases: Costus igneus shows good protective action for the skin. Grind a few leaves to a paste and apply it on your face and hands. Leave it on to dry. Do this for two weeks, and you will see the tightening of the skin. There will be a glow due to the increased elasticity of the skin.
  • Cancer preventing nature: The phenolic extract of the leaves of the plant have an anti-proliferative and anti-cancer potential. This is seen in all parts of the plant including the bark.
  • Anodyne property: By reducing the sensitivity of the nervous system, the anodyne substance will help reduce the pain. Leaves of the insulin plant can be used in the form of a paste to give you relief from pain.
  • Ameliorative effect: The study of alcohol-induced stress in the body was studied with respect to the insulin plant. It was observed that the mitochondrial enzyme s came back to normal levels at the end of the 21-day treatment period.
  • Has antibacterial property: The chemicals in the plant prevent the growth of bacteria. You can use the leaf of the plant internally and externally. For people who have candidiasis of the nails and hair, application of the paste of the leaves of the plant will improve the condition and relieve the symptoms.
  • Treat urinary stones: Plant extracts, plant compound lupeol and stigmasterol inhibit calcium oxalate urolithiasis. This putative action in preventing the formation of stones is further strengthened by the formation of crystals of calcium oxalate monohydrate.
  • Antiseptic nature: You can apply the extract of the plant to the skin and prevent the antimicrobial activity. This antiseptic action is from the outside of the body. You can effectively inhibit the growth and spread of microbes on the skin.

Symptoms of diabetes

Many people do not know that they have diabetes. This is because the symptoms of diabetes are unnoticeable unless you are looking for it. The common symptoms of diabetes are as follows:
  • Unexplained loss of weight
  • Increased thirst
  • Wounds are slow to heal
  • Itching around penis or vagina
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling sensation or numb feeling in hands and feet
  • Urinating more than usual, especially at night
  • Vaginal infections
The leaves of the insulin plant help to build up insulin by strengthening the beta cells in the pancreas of the body. If you leave diabetes untreated, it can lead to severe complications such as kidney failure, nerve damage, blindness, erectile dysfunction, and heart disease.
One must chew Costus igneus leaf well before swallowing it. Drink water once you have chewed the leaf. Start with two leaves twice a day and reduce to one leaf in the subsequent week.
The best effect is seen after 30 days. It is strictly recommended to consult an expert before using insulin plant benefits.

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