The Miraculous Insulin Plant

in About Plants

‘A leaf a day, keeps your diabetes away’!!

Botanical Name: Costus igneus

Common Name: Fiery Costus/ Spiral Flag/ Insulin plant

Originating in the fertile lands of Bahia and Espirito Santo (Eastern Brazil), Fiery costus is a traditional and an ornamental herb belonging to Costaceae family, with 200 species. Once related to ‘Ginger’ family, it’s famously known as ‘Insulin plant’ in India and Kostum in ancient Siddha literature. Punctuated by a mild purple shade, its large, green fleshy leaves are spirally arranged in arching clumps that grow 2ft. tall. C. igneus has the miraculous capacity to augment Insulin in our body thus curing Diabetes mellitus. It is used by the tribals of Kolli hills (Namakkal Dist., Tamil Nadu) for practically curing diabetes (Hegde et al., 2014). Speaking scientifically, powdered leaves of C. igneus reduced the blood sugar (fasting & PP) levels to normal (Shetty et al., 2010). Besides, it reduces cholesterol, fever, rashes, asthma, fights ageing, harmful bacteria & cancer.


Insulin plant contains number of essential ‘phytochemicals’ such as carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids etc. (Jothivel et al., 2007). The simple ‘anti-diabetic tea’ can be prepared by adding 10 leaves in 1L of water that is boiled for a while and left for overnight. The cooled mixture is filtered and a cupful can be taken 30 mins. before breakfast. Diabetics can also comfortably take 2 leaves/day in the morning and evening for 1 week. After a week the patient should take one leaf each in the morning & evening for 30 days. The leaves must be chewed well before swallowing.


Insulin plant needs fertile soil, moisture and sunshine but it also grows in slightly shady areas luxuriously in pots. Flowering occurs during warm months and the petals are quite sweet and nutritious. It's a quick lower grower and makes a great ground cover. Feel the balmy essence of Costus at your home & lead a healthy life!

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