Costus igneus, known as the insulin plant, belongs to the family Costaceae.1 There is a very famous saying that a leaf of insulin plant a day keeps diabetes away.
Nevertheless, the herb is not only beneficial for people suffering from diabetes but there is a lot more beyond this.
To know more about the health benefits of the insulin plant, read the below article.
Health Benefits Of Insulin Plant
Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB) has conducted various researches related to this insulin plant.
One of the researchers has proved that insulin leaves have a high fructose level. The excessive fructose is absorbed and filtered by the human digestive enzyme. This further normalizes the sugar level in the blood.2
Thus, it shows how crucial insulin leaves are for people suffering from diabetes. Following mentioned are some major health benefits of this leaf:
1. Curing Diabetes
As the name suggests, insulin leaves work best to cure diabetes by reducing the high sugar level inside the body.3 The increased sugar level in the blood is regulated by the amount of fructose present in the leaves.
Regular intake of insulin leaves can prevent chronic future health complications occurring from diabetes like organ failure and the free flow of nutrients in the body.
For treating diabetes prefer having a decoction prepared with insulin leaves. Boil few insulin leaves in water for good 10 minutes. Strain and drink this solution two times a day for good results.
2. Natural Pre-Biotic To Smooth Digestion
Insulin plant has various vitamins and complex components. The components work as good as the E-Coli bacteria.
A good bacterial growth in the gut smoothens the functioning of the human digestive system and bring about the proper assimilation of the nutrients in the body.4
Further, these leaves also have a high fructose level which helps in improving the colon function system. Thus, its consumption will also help to ease out the excretion process.
Prefer chewing one to two leaves of insulin plant or having the decoction after having your meals for about a month.
Insulin plants have an anti-bacterial and anti-microbial activity.
Methanolic extract of the plant shows maximum anti-bacterial activity against various gram-positive species like Bacillus cerus, Bacillus megaterium, Staphylococcusn aureus and various gram-negative strains like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Salmonella typhimurium.5
So, if you have severe problems related to the kidneys or urination, try consuming these leaves regularly. The insulin leaves kill the bad bacteria inside the urinary pipe.
Moreover, they automatically help in the smooth functioning of the excretory process and providing relief Yet, you still need to drink a lot of water to supplement it.
4. Natural Anti-Oxide
Oxidation is a natural chemical reaction which produces free radicals. These radicals trigger some dangerous illnesses like cancer and harm the skin beauty. This is why people are struggling to get free from such radicals.
A study showed that the insulin plant has moderate levels of antioxidative compounds in it.6 In the same study, it was found that the antioxidant activity of it was around 90.0% when compared with standard BHT (Butylated Hydroxy Toulene) (85%) at a concentration of 400 μg/ml.
It is the methanolic extracts of the leaves and rhizomes of insulin plants that have such high antioxidant activity.
Thus, by regularly drinking insulin leaves, your body fights well and beat the oxidation process occurring inside the body cells.
5. Liver Illness Curing
Liver diseases occur as a result of fat deposition in the liver which further leads to other chronic illnesses.
There are several vital components in the leaves of insulin plant that aid in breaking down the fatty acid deposition in the liver and thereby improving the liver functioning.
Thus, if you are struggling with a liver disease then start consuming this drink daily at least 2-3 times a day. This will help to erode away the poison stored inside the liver.
6. Kidneys Health
Leaves and rhizomes of insulin plant have a diuretic effect. They work to induced an increment in sodium and potassium clearance and thus giving regulating diuresis.7 With proper diuresis and a balanced excretory rate automatically, the kidney health improves.
If you are already suffering from kidney stones or kidney infections then start drinking the insulin leaves tea daily. This will help to ease out the functioning of the kidneys. When the kidneys start to malfunction then there is no way back and you will have to subject your body to dialysis.
7. Bladder Health
The insulin plant has compounds that are good diuretic and aid in bladder health too.
It is very important to maintain the bladder health as if you do not take care of it, it may lead to infection. Thus, the insulin leaves potion can help in the urination process.
Prefer, drinking this potion before going to bed. It is because it will help in stimulating the bladder to work properly and eliminate healthily every morning.
8. Cancer Prevention
In a study done on the ethanolic extracts of one of the species of insulin plant it was found they have anti-proliferative and anti-cancer potential. Although, the study was done in in-vitro mammalian fibrosarcoma (HT-1080) cells.8
So, in this study, it was concluded the barks and leaves have anti-cancer properties against HT 29 and A549 cells.
Consuming the insulin leaves regularly can prevent the growth of cancer cells inside the body.
Insulin leaves have a natural anti-oxide character. This automatically enhances your body immune system by removing all the free radicals from the body. With a well-maintained immunity system, your body will remain healthy throughout.
Start by drinking the insulin leaves and honey decoction regularly. Drink it at least twice a day if you have a weak immune system.
10. Reduction In Cholesterol
The insulin plant has a high amount of water water-soluble that slows down the absorption of glucose from the digestive system into the blood.9 Not only this it regulates the insulin production and sugar absorption ability of the body.
This, in turn, brings about better assimilation and absorption of fats and thereby reducing the blood cholesterol levels in the body.
If you usually suffer from high cholesterol levels then you are at a higher risk of getting a heart attack, stroke, or cancer. Cholesterol is the biggest enemy of the body and thus it is important to avoid it.
Start consuming insulin leaves every day which will help your body in breaking down the cholesterol from the food.
11. Cure For Asthma
Studies show that the plant has the ability to control the inflammation in the airways. Further, it also helps to soothe the muscles in the lungs that tend to tighten during an asthma attack.
If you suffer from asthma then prefer consuming the insulin plant leaves to benefit you from asthma attacks.
12. Helps Alleviate Symptoms Of Bronchitis
Bronchitis occurs when the airways become narrow due to the inflammation of the airways and the excessive mucus present in them. The essential compounds present in the leaves of insulin plant work on to reduce the inflammation and thereby curing the condition.
Daily consumption of tea infused with insulin leaves will help to reduce this inflammation and thus slowly and gradually cures Bronchitis.
Side Effects Of Insulin Plant
It is obvious that there will be some side effects of every herb. Yet the insulin leaves do not have any strong side effect and can be consumed by everybody on a daily basis.
The only thing which has to be considered is that insulin leaves should not be consumed by lactating or pregnant women. This is because it may affect the hormonal balance leading to further complications.10
Further, insulin leaves should not be consumed directly as the taste and effect may be too strong. Thus it is always better to consume these leaves while they are infused in warm water.
Or, you may mix an extract of these leaves in the tea or coffee you may drink to neutralize the strong taste of the herb. Other than the above-mentioned aspects there is no other caution which needs to be taken while consuming insulin leaves.
Its dosage has not really been specified and depends on the person’s capability. Yet, it is mandated that you may consume this potion at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed for enjoying its health benefits.
Also, it does not have any major side effects, people consume it more than twice a day for even better and faster results. Thus, its dosage depends from person to person. Yet, if you are still skeptical about the dosage you should consult your nearest physician as he will be the best guide for the same.
How To Use Insulin Leaves?
The best ways to process insulin leaves are mentioned below, yet you can also process them as per your needs and convenience:
How To Make Insulin Leaves Steeping?
1. Pick ten plus insulin leaves. Cut them into small slices and wash them under flowing water.
2. Dry these leaves under the sun. You may check the dried leaves by squeezing them.
3. The dried leaves are ready to be steeped now. Take a cup of water and let it boil. Once it starts to boil pour it into the glass wherein you have already placed some dried insulin leaves.
4. Wait a moment until the water in the glass turns brown.
5. You may add honey to this mixture for a better taste. Start drinking this regularly for best results.
How To Make Tea Of Insulin Leaves?
- Pick 5-7 slices of fresh insulin leaves from the tree.
- Wash under the flowing water and then let it dry out for a moment.
- Prepare a pot to boil 3-5 cups of water.
- Wait a moment until the water starts to boil. Then put the leaves into the water. Let the water boil until it reduces only to about one cup.
- Switch off the stove and filter the insulin leaves before pouring it into the cup. You may add some honey for taste purposes.
- Drink regularly at least once a day for best results.
Now, you know the array of health benefits of insulin plant and the ways to take it. If you wish you can start consuming it from today itself to improve your health.
However, if you face any issue after consuming it immediately discontinue the use and consult a doctor if required.
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|↑2||Bhat V, Asuti N, Kamat A, Sikarwar MS, Patil MB. Antidiabetic activity of insulin plant (Costus igneus) leaf extract in diabetic rats. J Pharm Res. 2010;3:608–11.|
|↑3||Jayasri MA, Gunasekaran S, Radha A, Mathew TL. Anti-diabetic effect of Costus pictus leaves in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Int J Diabetes and Metabolism. 2008;16:117–22.|
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|↑6||Majumdar M, Parihar PS. Antibacterial, antioxidant and antiglycation potential of Costus pictus from southern region, India. Asian J Plant Sci Res 2012;2:95-101.|
|↑7||Meléndez-Camargo ME, Castillo-Nájera R, Silva-Torres R, Campos-Aldrete ME. Evaluation of the diuretic effect of the aqueous extract of Costus pictus D. Don in rat. Proc West Pharmacol Soc 2006;49:72-4.|
|↑8||Sathuvan M, Vignesh A, Thangam R, Palani P, Rengasamy R, Murugesan K. In vitro antioxidant and anticancer potential of bark of Costus pictus D.Don. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2012.|
|↑9||Saraswathi R, Upadhyay L, Venkatakrishnan R, Meera R, Devi P. Isolation and biological evaluation of steroid from stem of Costus igneus. J Chem Pharm Res. 2010;2:444–8.|
|↑10||Benny M. Insulin plant in gardens. Natural Product Radiance 2004;3:349-50.|