Medicinal use of Costus or Kustha

Costus or Kustha is an important medicinal herb of Ayurveda. It is found in Himalayan range at an altitude of 2500-3600 meters, growing on moist slopes. Costus is also found in basins of the Chenab and Jhelam at altitudes of 3000-3800 m. In Himachal Pradesh, it is found in Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts.The trade name of Costus is Kuth.


Costus is used in traditional Indian medicinal system to treat various ailments. The root powder is used in Ayurveda and Unani system of medicine for treatment of diseases related to brain, nerves, skin, reproductive organs etc. It has anti-ulcer, liver protecting, anti-convulsion, anti-cancer, anti-arthritic, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties. Various clinical studies have supported its use in treatment of diseases. Studies have shown its anti-microbial activities.

The root of plant is stout, wrinkled and ridged.  It has strong aroma. When dried, the colour of root is grey to yellow. It is about 8-12 cm long and 1-3 cm in diameter. The dried root is powdered and used for treatment of diseases. The recommended safe dosage of root powder of costus is 0.2 to 1 grams.
Common Names: Kuth, Pachak, Kushtha, Kooth, Kuste, Costus

How to use Costus for treating diseases

  1. Skin diseases, eczema, itching
    Wash thoroughly Costus leaves. Using mortar and pestle extract juice. Apply this juice externally on the affected skin areas. Regular application will cure skin diseases.
  2. Nerve weakness, Improving blood circulation
    Prepare churna or powder of Costus rhizome. Mix this in vegetable oil and massage at affected areas.
  3. Paralysis
    Take Costus root powder 1/2 to 1 g, twice a day.
  4. Cold cough, low immunity
    Mix costus root powder with honey and take.
  5. Low blood pressure     
    Take costus root powder (1 gram), twice a day with milk.
  6. Scanty menses, Painful periods, Irregular periods     
    Take Costus root powder (1-2 grams), with water/honey for 15 days (prior to expected menstruation) twice a day.
  7. Intestinal parasite     
    Take 1/2 gram Costus powder.
  8. Fever, debility due to fever
    Take costus powder in dosage of 1/2 grams with honey for few days.
  9. Pimple, acne, non-healing wound, eczema     
    Rub costus root on stone and apply on affected facial parts.
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