Chamaecostus cuspidatus, common name fiery costus or spiral flag, is a species of herbaceous plant in the Costaceae family native to eastern Brazil (States of Bahia and Espirito Santo). In India, it is known as insulin plant because of its use in Ayurvedic medicine for its purported anti-diabetic properties.
Chamaecostus cuspidatus has large fleshy looking leaves. The undersides of these large, smooth, dark green leaves have light purple shade. The leaves are spirally arranged around the stem, forming attractive, arching clumps arising from underground rootstocks. The maximum height of these plants is about two feet. The flowers are orange in color and are 1.5 in (3.8 cm) in diameter. Flowering occurs during the warm months. And they appear to be cone-like heads at the tips of branches.
Amritha K from boldsky writes “The plant has been regarded as being a magical, natural cure for diabetes. Even though the herb is primarily used for curing diabetes, it is also beneficial in the treatment of kidney stones, blood pressure and various other ailments.
Studies have revealed a colossal escalation in the prevalence of diabetes cases in India, in the past five years. Thereby increasing the demand of the plant in the country. The effectiveness of the plant in treating diabetes can be gathered through the saying, ‘a leaf of insulin plant a day keeps diabetes away’.
The plethora of benefits offered by the plant, as mentioned before is not limited to individuals suffering from diabetes. The benefits offered by the plant can be advantageous to anyone who is health-concerned. Read on to know more about the advantages of miracle diabetes cure.
Phytochemicals In Insulin Plant
A study conducted by Hegde, Rao and Rao on the insulin plant revealed that the perennial plant is rich in iron, protein, and antioxidant components like α-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, steroids, β-carotene, terpenoids, and flavonoids.
In another study, it was ascertained that the methanolic extract of the plant had a high percentage of phytochemicals such as carbohydrates, proteins, triterpenoids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids.
On examining the leaves of the plant, it was revealed that it contains 21.2% fibre, 5.2% extractive in petroleum ether, 1.33% in acetone, 1.06% in cyclohexane and 2.95% in ethanol. The other components found was terpenoid compound lupeol and a steroid compound stigmasterol in the stem of the plant. In the rhizome, bioactive compounds such as quercetin and diosgenin were found.
The rhizomes and the leaves contain amounts of potassium, calcium, chromium, manganese, copper and zinc.
Health Benefits Of Insulin Plant
From normalising the blood sugar levels to improving digestion, the advantages of the herb are limitless.
1. Cures diabetes
The herb works wonders by reducing the high sugar level in your blood. The fructose content in the insulin leaves regulate the sugar levels, by maintaining it in the required level. Regular consumption of the leaves can aid in preventing the onset of chronic health complications developed as a result of diabetes. Such as the uncontrolled flow of nutrients in the body as well as organ failures. A decoction made out of the leaves is the best cure for diabetes.
2. Improves digestion
The various complex components, vitamins and nutrients present in the herb are asserted to work similar to the E.coli bacteria, which improves the digestion process. By acting as a natural pre-biotic, it actuates smooth digestion. The growth of the good bacteria in the digestive system aids in the proper absorption of nutrients. Likewise, the fructose level helps to improve the colon function, easing the excretion process.
3. Possesses antioxidant properties
Studies have revealed that the insulin plant has compounds that are antioxidative in nature. The antioxidative property of the herb destroys the free radicals, thereby protecting your body and cells. The antioxidant properties of the herb are concentrated in the methanolic extracts found in the rhizomes and leaves of the plant.
4. Manages diuresis
The herb possesses sodium and water retention capacity, making it an integral part of improving your bladder and kidney health. The rhizomes and leaves of the plant have diuretic property and manage diuresis.
5. Has antibacterial properties
The methanolic extract from the plant protects your body from gram-positive species like Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus cerus, Staphylococcus aureus and various gram-negative strains like Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Salmonella typhimurium. It kills the problem causing bacteria and provides relief in the excretory process.
6. Cures liver problems
Insulin plant helps break down the fat deposits and unnecessary toxins in the liver. By removing the toxins from your body, the herb limits the development of chronic illnesses in the future. Breaking down of the fatty acids help in improving the liver function as well. Regular consumption of the herb is an effective solution for curing liver problems.
7. Improves bladder health
Being diuretic in nature, the insulin plant is effective in curing problems related to the bladder system. Regular consumption of the herb can aid in stimulating the proper functioning of your bladder, avoiding the risks of developing any infections.
8. Enhances immunity
The antioxidant properties of the herb are effective in improving your immune system. Insulin plant removes the toxins such as free radicals and helps develop a healthy immune system. Regular consumption can improve the immune system and shield your body from any illness.
9. Prevents cancer
Studies have revealed that the insulin plant has antiproliferative and anticancer properties. Along with its antioxidant nature, the herb helps by removing the free radicals that cause cancer. It was ascertained that the herb is exclusively useful in treating the HT 29 and A549 cells. Regular consumption of the herb helps prevent the growth of cancerous cells in our body.
10. Reduces cholesterol levels
The insulin herb is rich in water-soluble components that aid in slowing down the absorption of glucose into the  blood system. By slowing down the process, it regulates the sugar absorption and insulin production in the body. The slow absorption results in the proper absorption of the fat content and hence, resulting in the reduction of blood cholesterol levels. Thereby, the herb helps your body from succumbing to the risks of heart attack, stroke, or cancer.
11. Treats sore throat
One of the other features of the miracle herb is its anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming the herb can help cure a sore throat and symptoms of bronchitis as it is developed due to the  inflammation of your airways. Insulin plant will reduce the inflammation and cure the condition.
12. Reduces blood pressure
Insulin herb is known to subside hypertension. Regular consumption of the herb will aid in reducing high levels of blood pressure and calming the heart.
13. Cures asthma
As mentioned before, the plant has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in clearing any inflammation caused in the airways. It helps cure asthma by soothing the lung muscles that tighten on the onset of an asthma attack.
Dosage Of Insulin Plant
Singularly dependent on the individual’s physical condition, the dosage is not exactly specified. However, in order to gain the health benefits offered by the herb, it is recommended that it be consumed at least twice per day. Consuming it more than twice have not resulted in any side effects, but consult a physician if you want to increase your dosage.
You can consume it once in the morning and once before going to bed at night. Insulin plant can be used as a potion (leaves extract), or insulin leaves tea can be made to enjoy its health benefits.
How To Make Insulin Leaves Extract
- Select a bunch of insulin leaves (10-15) and wash it under flowing water .
- Cut the leaves into small pieces and dry them under the sun.
- You can check the drying of the leaves by squeezing it.
- Once the leaves are dried, store it in an airtight jar.
- Take a cup of water and boil it.
- Once it is boiled, pour the water into a glass containing the dried insulin plant leaves.
- Wait until the water turns brown.
- Drink the extract on regular basis for positive results.
1. Insulin leaves tea
- 5-7 insulin leaves
- 4 cups of water
- Honey for taste
- Wash the leaves and let it dry out.
- Boil the water in a pot.
- As the water begins to boil, add the leaves.
- Let it boil, till the water reduces to one cup.
- Filter the tea and pout the tea into a cup.
- Add honey for taste.
Side Effects Of Insulin Plant
As usual, every herb that holds a plethora of benefits is bound to have some risks incorporated with it. In the case of insulin plant, it is no different.
Pregnant and lactating women must avoid it, as the herb may affect the hormonal balance.
Avoid consuming the leaves directly because of the strong taste and effect can cause a burning sensation.”
Source: Amritha K. Insulin Plant: Does It Cure Diabetes? Benefits, Dosage & Risks. Available form: https://in.style.yahoo.com/insulin-plant-does-cure-diabetes-052132034.html