Scientific name: Cheilocostus speciosus (J.Koenig) C.D.Specht
Synonym: Costus speciosus (J.Koenig) Sm.
Bengali/Vernacular name: Keu, Keumol, Banduki, Kura, Tia tot.
English name: Spiral ginger.
Tribal name: Fala chingey, Hodogi, Khedogi, Praing daing muk (Chakma); Cry tong mui, Kiloni gach, Koingdo pang (Marma); Moth gangath (Garo); Kramo-kujii (Khumi); Krah-dey (Khasia); Oal sup (Murang); Terpimungkhorol (Pangkhoa); Prein-taw-mey-bawn (Rakhaing); Pekhum (Tripura).
Description of the plant: An herb up to 3 m tall, stem sub-woody at the base, spirally twisted. Leaves are spirally arranged, oblong, 15-30 cm long, with pointed tip, short stalks and covered with soft hairs on the lower surface. Flowers occur in very dense, solitary spikes. Spikes are very dense, solitary, terminal, ovoid, 5-10 cm long; purple bracts ovate, 2.5-4.5 cm long. Calyx is flattened, purple, 3-5 cm long, with 3 short, ovate lobes. Corolla segments are white, oblong, 4-6 cm long. Lip is white, suborbicular, 6-8 cm long, crinkled, irregularly and rather finely toothed.
Plant parts used: Rhizome.
Ethnomedicinal uses: The juice extracted from the rhizome of the plant is given for the treatment of cough, diabetes, fever, asthma, bronchitis, and rash.
Pea-sized pills are made with the rhizomes of the plant is taken thrice a day (one pill each time) for one month to treat spermatorrhoea.
A fresh juice is extracted from the rhizome of the plant is taken thrice a day (10 ml amount each time) for three days to treat stomachache.
Stem juice is given in dysentery.
Juice extracted from the rhizome of the plant is applied on the infected skin once a day until the eczema and scabies is cured.
A fresh juice is extracted from the rhizome of the plant is taken for the treatment of food poisoning and indigestion.
Distribution: The species commonly occurs almost throughout the country except Sundarban.
Is this plant misidentified? If yes, please tell us….