Herb information Costus or Kustha

Costus is one of the important herb in Ayurvedic medicine system. Know it's health benefits and how you can use this to treat different diseases. Know about it's botanical description, medicinal properties and side-effects.

Himalaya has very rich repository of medicinal herbs. In Ayurveda, the herbs which are obtained from Himalaya are considered best. One such herb which found on the moist slope of the hilly region, at an altitude of 2600- 4000 meters is Kooth. The other common name are Kuth, Pachak, Kushtha, Kooth, Kuste and Costus. Costus or Kustha occurs in basins of the Chenab and Jhelam, Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti, Keylong, Pattan valley, Sangla Kanda and Panihartu areas.

Costus medicinal uses

By Mokkie (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Scientific name: Saussurea lappa, synonym: Saussurea east

Family: Compositae/ Asteraceae

Vernacular name

Sanskrit: Amaya, Pakala, Kooth, Kustha, English: Costus, Assamese: Kud, Kur, Bengali: Kudo, Kut, Kur

Hindi: Kutha, Kannada: Changal Kustha, Kashmiri: Kuth, Malayalam: Kottam, Marathi: Upleta, Kustha

Oriya: Kudha, Punjabi: Kuth, Tamil: Goshtam, Kosbtham, Kostam, Telugu: Changalva Koshtu, Urdu: Qust

Arab, Persian: Kust, Part used: Roots, leaves, Properties and action of Costus Root as per Ayurveda, Rasa: Katu, Tikta

Guna: Laghu, Virya: Ushna, Vipaka: Katu, Karma: Kaphavatajit, Rakta shodhaka, Varnya, Shukrala

Plant Description

Tall, perennial herb up to 2 m high; Leaves: very large at the base, winged stalks, upper leaves smaller, sometimes with two lobes at the base of the leaves; Flowers are about 2 cm long, bluish purple or almost black, on rounded flower heads; Flowering/Fruiting — June-September

Medicinal uses

The costus root contains 1.5-2.5 percent of volatile oil, an alkaloid saussurine (0.05 percent) resin (6 percent), tannins and Kushtin. Due to the presence of these substances Kutha is an effective medicine in treating various pathological conditions.

The main plant part used for medicinal purpose is root. The leaves also used occasionally for external application. The root is anodyne, anti-arthritic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, diuretic, expectorant and tonic. It is useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, hiccough, hysteria, low blood pressure, fever, menstruation trouble, rheumatism and increasing urination. It is also useful in treating skin diseases and facial blemishes. Some Ayurvedic medicines that contain Kustha are Kustadi Churna, Kustadi kwath, Kustadi taila, Pippalayasava, Laghuvisgarva taila, Dasanga lepa, etc.

Read more Medicinal uses of Coustus (Kustha)

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