PHARMACOEPIDEMIOLOGICAL SURVEY ON THE USE OF COSTUS PICTUS (INSULIN PLANT) IN CENTRAL KERALA
Objective: Costus pictus commonly known as spiral ginger or insulin plant is grown in gardens as ornamental plant especially in Kerala and used to control sugar levels. The objective of the present survey was to collect information on the use of this plant as a control measure for diabetes mellitus in a community in central Kerala.
Methods: The study was conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire broadly included questions about knowledge of insulin plant, its use, quantity and frequency of use, the relation of plant material consumption with food intake, effects related to blood sugar level and other symptoms, any discomfort or complications after use among diabetic and normal people. The data obtained was quantitatively transferred to an excel sheet and statistical analysis was carried out.
Results: From the survey, it can be inferred that Costus pictus is widely used to normalise their sugar level. People who are using insulin plant have not done any species identification scientifically. Due to lack of knowledge and difficulty in identification (especially in the non-flowering season), many people are using Costus speciosus without knowing its adverse effects and allergic reactions.
Conclusion: From the survey, it can be concluded that Costus pictus is widely used in some part of the community in Kerala, to normalize their sugar level. It is warranted to increase the awareness in the community about different species of Costus plant and adverse effects associated with similar species.
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