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Latin name: Saussurea lappa

Sanskrit/Indian name: Kushtha

General information:

Costus is a perennial shrub that is found in abundance in the Himalayas. The herb is documented in The Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India as a potent reliever of cough, bronchitis, skin infections and gout.

Therapeutic constituents:

The roots contain resinoids, essential oils, alkaloids, insulin and other minor constituents like tannins and sugars. The root (containing both the essential oil and alkaloid saussurine) is used to treat asthma, by relaxing the bronchioles. The relief obtained is comparable to that of conventional bronchodilators without side effects (Indian Medicinal Plants—An Illustrated Dictionary, C.P.Khare. 588. 2007).

Key therapeutic benefits:

  • The essential oil of the roots has strong antiseptic and disinfectant properties, which help heal wounds, cuts and bruises quickly.
  • Costus is useful in the treatment of bronchial asthma.
  • It is a potent anti-inflammatory, which relieves joint aches and pains, as a result of gout or rheumatism.