An ethnomedicinal study focusing the genus Costus in Assam with emphasis on traditional medicine
Biman Bhuyan and Dipak Chetia
The objective of the study was to get an overview of different species belonging to the genus Costus that are available in Assam with special emphasis on the use of the plants in traditional medicine. To attain the objective an ethnomedicinal study was conducted in several geographically distinct zones, encompassing seven administrative districts spread across Assam viz.Nagakhelia village and Jokai area, Dibrugarh; Naojan and Borghoria area, Golaghat; Laipuli, Tinsukia; Majarbari village and Sissiborgaon, Dhemaji; Kathkatia village, Karbi Anglong; Dhupdhora, Goalpara and Dotma, Kokrajhar. Three species belonging to the genus Costus namely Costus speciosus,Costuspictus and Costusscaber were found to be mainly prevalent in traditional medicine in the different surveyed areas of Assam, particularly in the upper Assam. Costus speciosus is found to be mainly used in the treatment of jaundice. Costuspictus was found to be used traditionally in the upper Assam region bordering Nagaland for treating diabetes and associated conditions and Costusscaber is being used in the area bordering Arunachal Pradesh for treating people with jaundice, snake bite etc.