Costus speciosus is an erect plant that grows up to 2.7 meters high. Its root stock is tuberous; stem sub-woody at the base; leaves are sub sessile, oblong, spirally arranged, silky-pubescent beneath; sheaths coriaceous; flowers are present in very dense spikes, many; bracts ovate, mucronate, bright red; corrolla tube short, lobes ovate-oblong subequal; lip white with yellow center, crisped, concave; disk with a tuft of hair at the base. Fruits capsule, globosely trigonus, red; seeds black with white aril. Flowering time in Indian condition is August to October. According to Ayurveda the rhizomes are bitter, astringent, acrid, cooling, aphrodisiac, purgative, anthelmintic, depurative, febrifuge, expectorant and tonic and useful in burning sensation, constipation, leprosy, worm infection, skin diseases, fever, asthma, bronchitis, inflammatians and anemia. Traditionally decoction of rhizomes is given to cure urinary troubles and to dissolve stones. Decoction is also used as bath to cure high fever, cough, dyspepsia, worms. It is used along with sugarcane juice and other herbs to cure jaundice. It is also used in arthritis and applied as a paste.