Abstract                 Volume:3  Issue-7  Year-2016          Original Research Articles

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Insulin Plant, Costus speciosus: Ethnobotany and Pharmacological Updates
Ravindra B. Malabadi1*, Raju K. Chalannavar2*, Neelambika T. Meti3, Ramesh S. Gani4, Sudabattula Vijayakumar5, Gangadhar S. Mulgund6, Saraswati Masti7, Ravindra Chougale8, Bharati Odhav9, K. Sowmyashree2, S. Supriya2, B. R. Nityasree2 and M. S. Divakar2
1,2Department of Applied Botany, Mangalore University, Mangalagangotri -574199, Mangalore, Karnataka State, India
1,3Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of IT and Biotechnology, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune-Satara Road, Katraj, Pune - 411046, Maharashtra State, India 4Department of Industrial Chemistry, Mangalore University, Mangalagangotri -574199, Mangalore, Karnataka State, India
5Biotechnology Research Institute, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
1,6Department of Botany, Karnatak University, Pavate Nagar, Dharwad, Karnataka State, India
7Department of Chemistry, Karnatak Science College, Dharwad-580 001, Karnataka State, India
8Department of Chemistry, Karnatak University, Dharwad-580003, Karnataka State, India 9Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, Durban University of Technology, P.O. Box 1334, Durban 4000, South Africa
*Corresponding author

This review paper highlights current proven pharmacological research updates of Costus speciosus, a traditional medicinal herb known for many phytochemicals and ethnobotanical uses. The rhizome of these plants are used as an alternative source for diosgenin and generally used to control diabetes. Therefore, Costus speciosus is commonly called as Insulin plant (antidiabetic plant). Costus speciosus showing antidiabetic activity is of significant interest for ethnobotanical community presenting varying degree of hypoglycemic and antihyperglycemic activity. Furthermore, Costus speciosus also plays an important role as a herbal medicine for the treatment of various health ailments. In general, plant based medicines are safe and there are no side effects compared to other drugs and more effective treatment of health disorders. Because of the popularity of herbal medicines, there is a growing demand for natural plant based medicines in both developing countries and international market. In India, the herbal preparations of Costus speciosus are presently used by local people in tea bags (herbal-chai), supplements, beverages, and in food items (not under any brand names) which regulates body sugar and cholesterol levels. However, due to urbanization, industrialization and increase in commercial demand of Costus speciosus, this medicinal plant has been over exploited for its innumerable medicinal properties from natural habitat. Therefore, Costus speciosus has become endangered and now-a-days Costus species are available only in the wild habitat. Hence conservation of Costus speciosus using in vitro micropropagation protocols plays a significant role in preserving this endangered plant species in the natural habitat and alternative for the production of valuable secondary metabolite.

Keywords: Antidiabetic, Ayurveda, Diosgenin, Endangered plant, Herbal medicine, Rhizome
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How to cite this article:

Malabadi, R. B., Chalannavar, R. K., Meti, N. T., Gani, R. S., Vijayakumar, S., Mulgund, G. S., Masti, S., Chougale, R., Odhav, B., Sowmyashree, K., Supriya, S., Nityasree, B. R., Divakar, M. S.,  2016. Insulin plant, Costus speciosus: Ethnobotany and pharmacological updates.Int.J.Curr.Res.Biosci.Plantbiol. 3(7): 151-161. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.20546/ijcrbp.2016.307.021