Insulin Plant- Diabetes Remedy- How True is This?| Health Benefits & Uses | Growing & Care

Many plants have amazing powers. Several of them like fenugreek & Neem can help controlling diabetes mellitus, a systemic disease that is troubling a large part of the worldwide population. I’m very excited to share with you today one more medicinal plant that possibly has the power to lower blood sugar. In fact, the plant is called the Insulin plant because of its believed ability to cause hypoglycemia.

The Insulin plant is native to Eastern Brazil. It is also known as the Fiery Costus, Step ladder, or spiral flag plant. In India, it is a valued Ayurvedic medicine known as “Kostum”. In India, like saffron, it used to grow in Kashmir and the Himalayas but nowadays as the interest in medicinal plants is growing several other states grow them as a medicinal and decorative plant. The botanical name of the Insulin plant is Costus igneus. Previously the plant was considered part of the Zingiberaceae family that means a relative of ginger. But later it was reclassified and now comes under the Costaceae family under the genus Costus that contains 150 species of tropical plants.

Health Benefits

Insulin Plants

Several researchers are studying the possible health benefits of this plant.

I couldn’t find any human studies but several scientific and animal studies suggest that the Insulin plant extracts have the ability to lower blood sugar levels which if true is great news for prediabetic people who can control their blood sugar with only lifestyle changes. Here I would like to note that there is also a study that suggests that insulin plant extract may not be useful in treating obesity-induced diabetes. So it is important to keep working out and eat a healthy diet too.

The insulin plant is also believed to possess the diuretic ability that means after eating these plant parts a person may urinate more. It can be beneficial as toxic wastes are washed out of the body. It can also lower blood pressure. Some animal studies claim that it can be effective against breast cancer cells and cure kidney and bladder tumors. Then there are other studies that show the efficacy of the root extract of insulin plants against some bacterial and fungal infections. There are also studies that show how insulin plants can lower blood cholesterol and help reduce swelling/ inflammation.

How to use insulin leaves

One research article, patients take 2 leaves per day for a month. In week 1- 2 leaves are chewed on in the morning and then second week onwards 1 leaf in morning and 1 in the evening is taken. You can add the leaves in salads or yogurt raita. The taste is sweet and sour.

Now, as I clarify in most of my videos, most of the studies that involve the phytochemical properties of plants are usually animal studies. Phytochemicals are natural chemicals in plants. Like synthetic chemicals, these chemicals are also powerful in both good and bad ways. So always do proper research if you want to use any natural medicines and take your healthcare provider's guidance if you are on medication.

Other than its medicinal uses, the insulin plant is one of the best choices as an indoor plant or outdoor tropical garden plant. You can call it beauty with health. It looks very similar to ginger but the red curved stem and variegated leaves make it even more attractive. I have a curved staircase in my home and I decided to get this cute plant to keep at the central curved part of the staircase. The plants came with 6 rhizomes plus 1 extra.


Insulin plants are propagated either by splitting live plants or by planting rhizomes.

How to Grow Insulin Plants




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I’m a gardener for whom gardening is not just a hobby now but has become an integral part of my life. I would like to share with you all the beauty of gardening

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