Feb 12, 2014
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COSTUS SPECIOSUS

Written by

(Koenig) Sm.

Family ► Zingiberaceae.

Habitat ► Assam, North Bengal, Khasi and Jaintia Hills, sub Himalayan tracts of Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and Western Ghats.

English ► Canereed, Wild Ginger.

Ayurvedic ► Kebuka, Kembuka.

Siddha/Tamil ► Krrauvam, Malai Vasambu, Ven Kottam.

Folk ► Kebu.

Action ► Astringent, purgative, depurative, anti-inflammatory (used in gout, rheumatism; bronchitis, asthma, catarrhal fevers, dysuria), anthelmintic, antivermin, maggoticide, antifungal.

The rhizomes contain saponins— dioscin, gracillin and beta-sitosterol- beta-D-glucoside. The alkaloids show papaverine-like smooth-muscle-relaxant activity, cardiotonic activity like that of digitalis and antispasmodic,

CNS-depressant, diuretic and hydro- choleretic activities. Saponins show significant anti-inflammatory and an- tiarthritic activity.

The seeds also contain saponins and exhibit potent and sustained hypoten- sive and bradycardiac activities in dogs with low toxicity and without any haemolytic activity; also weak spasmolytic activity on isolated guinea-pig ileum.

All parts of the plant yield steroidal sapogenin, diogenin (quantity varies from 0.32 to 4%).

(Not to be confused with Kushtha of Indian medicine, Saussurea lappa.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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