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Chamaecostus cuspidatus - Bandhukapushpa

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Chamaecostus cuspidatus, insulin plant

Chamaecostus cuspidatus is a species of herbaceous plant in the Costaceae family native to eastern Brazil. In India, it is known as insulin plant because of its use in Ayurvedic medicine for its purported anti-diabetic properties.



Parts Used

Dried Leaves.

Chemical Composition

Leaves are rich in protein, iron, ad antioxidant components such as ascorbic acid, a-tocopherol, ß-carotene, terpenoids, steroids, and flavonoids. Ethanol extract of leaves yielded tannins, phlobatannins, saponin, flavonoids, terpenoids, and cardiac glycosides. Study for essential oil yielded the following major constituents in %: (Stem) hexadecanoic acid, octadecadienoic acid, dodecanoic acid, linalyl propanoate, tetradecanoic acid, A-eudesmol, y-eudesmost 4-ethoxy phenol; (Leaf) hexadecanoic acid, 2.pentanol, dodecanoic acid, ß-ionone, farnesyl acetone, a-ionone (Rhizome) hexadecanoic acid, 9,12-octadecadienoic acid, dodecanoic acid , tetradecanoic acid, linalool, a-terpinol [1]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada Kempu honne
Hindi Banda, Bija-sal, Peisar, Jarul, Keukand
Malayalam Honne, Karintakara, Vengai, Venna-maram
Tamil Neyccarikamaram, Venkal
Marathi NA
Gujarathi NA
Punjabi NA
Kashmiri NA
Sanskrit Asana, Bandhukapushpa
English Fiery costus, spiral flag



Sub terrestrial plant



Kind Shape Feature
simple alternate entire, oblong, 4-8 inches long with parallel venation, spirally arranged around the stems. Large, fleshy, smooth, and dark green leaves have a light purple underside



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
unisexual 1.5 inches in diameter orange 5-20 on cone-like head at the tips of branches


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
short legume 0.5 inch Fruits are green colored, less than 0.5 inch. 12-20 seeds {{{6}}}

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used

Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation

Division of clumps, Cuttings.

How to plant/cultivate

As this plant is perinnial. They prefer a either full sun or partial shade. It needs fertile soil &ample moisture. It is often planted near water.The substrate should be sandy loam. They can tolerate temperature only above at leaves. They are good for under planting. They reach the height up to 4-8 inches. This plant grows at the temperature zone of zone 9. It requires shade to part shade light..[3]

Commonly seen growing in areas

Central Atlantic rain forest, South america, Himalayan regions.

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