Costus igneus Nak and Costus pictus D. Don, commonly known as Spiral flag, is a member of Costaceae and a newly introduced plant in India from South and Central America. It is a perennial, upright, spreading plant reaching about two feet tall, with spirally arranged leaves and attractive flowers. In southern India, it usually grows as an ornamental plant and its leaves are used as a dietary supplement in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Recently, a number of researches have been carried out to evaluate the anti-diabetic potential of this plant. Besides, it has been proven to possess various pharmacological activities like hypolipidemic, diuretic, antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-cancerous. Further, various phytochemical investigations reveal the presence of carbohydrates, triterpenoids, proteins, alkaloids, tannins, saponins, flavonoids, steroid, and appreciable amounts of trace elements. This work is an attempt to compile and explore the different pharmacological and phytochemical studies reported till date.
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