What are Insulin Leaves?

What are Insulin Leaves?

Costus Igneus: Side Effects of the Insulin Plant for Diabetes Treatment

Costus igneus is known as the insulin plant because it may help lower glucose levels for some people with diabetes. This plant may cause side effects that include dizziness and stomach problems. While C. igneus may help as a supplement for pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, it is not a replacement for insulin or other diabetes medications.

Insulin plant leaves can help lower blood sugars
Sanjiv Shukla/Getty Images

Costus igneus is an herbal plant from Central and South America that’s more commonly known as the insulin plant. Researchers believe it can help lower blood sugar levels in certain people with diabetes.

While it may have some anti-diabetic properties that could be beneficial if used as a supplement, this floral plant can also lead to side effects like dizziness, diarrhea, nausea — even dangerously low blood sugars if it interacts with your other diabetes medications.

This article will provide more information about this particular plant and whether it might be worth considering as an option for diabetes management, including information about possible side effects and how it can impact glucose levels.

Importantly, you should consult your doctor or healthcare team before making any decisions on using the insulin plant or making any changes to your current diabetes care plan.



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What is the Costus igneus plant? 

Costus igneusTrusted Source, or “insulin plant,” comes from Eastern Brazil. It’s a perennial spreading plant that can reach about 2 feet tall.

Those who use this plant consume it in the following ways:

  • chew on the leaves
  • consume the benefits of the leaves as a supplement in tablet form
  • eat the ground powder made from the leaves
  • boil the leaves to make a tea

In Southern India and other parts around the world, people with diabetes use the leaves as a dietary supplement. Additionally, Costus igneus is an antioxidant that can be used to help the immune system defend against bacterial infections. It’s also a diuretic.

Is there a difference between Costus pictus and Costus igneus?

There is no quantifiable difference between Costus pictus and Costus igneus.

The plant is known by a variety of names, including “insulin plant,” “spiral flag,” “painted spiral ginger,” “step ladder,” and “fiery Costus,” among others.

The Costus species is extensively found throughout the world’s tropical zones and is used primarily in Eastern and traditional medicine for its antiseptic and antidiabetic properties.

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