Health Benefits of Saussurea costus

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Saussurea costus Quick Facts
Name: Saussurea costus
Scientific Name: Saussurea costus
Origin India
Saussurea costus is a herb belonging to family Asteraceae family which comprises almost 1000 genera and 30,000 species that is distributed more or less throughout the globe. About 177 genera and 1052 species are found in India. The genus Saussurea DC is composed of 300 species in the world and about 61 species are available in India.

It is an erect, robust herb which is generally found at the elevations of 8,200 to 9,800 ft (2,500 to 3,000 m) in India (Himalayas, Jammu, Kashmir, Kishenganga Valley and Western Ghats). Its flower heads are bluish-purple, stalkless and 2 to 5 clustered in axils of leaves or terminal. Leaves are membranous, glabrate beneath, scaberulous above and auricled at base. Typically the plant blooms from July to August and seeds ripen from August to September. The plant could be grown in wide range of soils such as light sandy, heavy to medium clay soils which are acid, neutral or basic and alkaline soils. The plant thrives from semi-shaded areas or areas with no shade.

It is known in different names with various languages like Arabic: kust or qust; Chinese: Mu Xiang; Hindi: kut, kur, and pachak; Bengali: kostum, gostham; Tamil: potchuk; Sanskrit: kustha and Kashmiri: kuth or postkhai. Medicinal properties of Saussurea costus plant are well documented in traditional and Ayurvedic medicine.

Plant description

Saussurea costus is a perennial and pubescent herb with stout simple stem usually 1 to 2 m high. Leaves are irregularly toothed; basal ones are large and about 0.50 to 1.25 m long with long winged petiole. The upper leaves are smaller, shortly petioled or subsessile. The two small lobes at base of leaves clasp the stem. The bluish-purple to black flowers are rounded, hard, about 2.4-3.9 cm across. Corolla is tubular, blue-purple or black and 2 cm long. Involucral bracts are long pointed, ovate-lanceolate, hairless, rigid and purple. Flowers are followed by fruits basically curved, compressed, tip narrowed with a rib and about 8 mm long. Pappus is double feathery and brown. Roots are dark brown or grey, stout upto 40 cm long.

Health Benefits of Saussurea costus

  1. Heart health

Studies show that Saussurea costus promotes heart health. The report published in journal viewed the effects of Saussurea costus on rats and determines the herb combat myocardial injury.

  1. Cancer

Saussurea costus is effective for cancer. The study on the test of human gastric cancer cells shows that the herb suppresses the tumor growth and induces apoptosis.

  1. Liver health

Saussurea costus is beneficial for treating liver ailments according to the study conducted on animals. The test conducted on mice shows that Saussurea costus treatment helps to lower liver damage related with hepatitis.

Traditional uses

  • Saussurea costus is effective as a treatment for cough, asthma, bronchitis and cholera.
  • The herb excludes the worms found in intestines and other body parts.
  • As an effective expectorant, it helps to treat asthma by making breathing easier, clearing and relaxing bronchiole.
  • It is used for treating dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • When applied externally in the form of juice or poultice, it treats skin problems.
  • Massage the oil to provide relief from nerve weakness and promote blood circulation.
  • As an antioxidant, it eliminates free radicals and toxins from the body.
  • It is also helpful for menstrual problems such as irregular menses, scanty menses and painful menses.
  • It effectively treats diarrhea, indigestion, stomach pain and cholera.
  • The diuretic action of Saussurea costus eliminates excess water of the body.
  • It also treats gastric ulcers.
  • It also provides relief from pain, redness and swelling of affected area. Also helpful for treating inflammatory conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis and joint diseases.
  • The herb prevents infection as well as the bacterial growth.
  • Massage the gums with the herb to maintain oral health.
  • It also reduces the fever related with flu and cold.
  • The herb improves healing of skin as well as complexion by improving the blood circulation.
  • It is also applied to treat alopecia.
  • In Ayurvedic medicines, it is used for treating various ailments such as cold, cough, leprosy, quartan malaria, rheumatism, persistant hiccups, stomachache, hairwash, typhoid fever and toothache.

Saussurea costus Uses for Treating Diseases

  1. Skin diseases, itching, eczema

Apply the juice of leaves externally on affected areas to clear eczema, itching and skin diseases.

  1. Improving blood circulation and nerve weakness

Massage the mix of vegetable oil and Saussurea costus rhizome to the affected areas.

  1. Paralysis

Take ½ to 1 gram of Saussurea costus root powder twice a day.

  1. Cold cough, low immunity

Take the mixture of Saussurea costus powder and honey.

  1. Low blood pressure

Take 1 gram of Saussurea costus powder twice a day with milk.

  1. Painful periods, Scanty menses, Irregular periods

Take 1 to 2 grams of Saussurea costus root powder with honey/water twice a day for 15 days.

  1. Intestinal parasite

Take ½ gram of Saussurea costus powder.

  1. Fever, debility due to fever

Take ½ grams of Saussurea costus powder with honey for few days.

  1. Varicose veins

Apply the mixture of costus root powder and vegetable oil over affected areas for blood circulation and nerve weakness.

  1. Painful and irregular menses

Take 1 to 2 grams of Saussurea costus with water/honey for 15 days to expected menstruation twice a day.

  1. Fever, cold and low immunity

Take ½ grams of Saussurea costus with honey for few days.

  1. Reduce blood pressure

Take 1 gram of Saussurea costus root powder with milk twice a day.

  1. Indigestion

Take 4 to 8 pinches of Saussurea costus powder with honey twice a day after lunch and dinner.


  • Saussurea costus contains aristolochic acid that damages kidneys and causes cancer when taken for large doses.
  • People with heart disease, kidney disease, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume it under medical supervision.
  • People with hypertension should avoid its consumption.






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