Kushta (Saussurea lappa)

Strong and perennial, kushta (Saussurea lappa) grows to a height of 3–4 feet. Its upper layer is yellowish brown to grayish brown, with finely netted wrinkles, rough longitudinal furrows, and root branches.

It features thick, cylindrical roots that are 5–20 cm long and 1–6 cm in diameter. Some of the roots have a small curvature, and the flowers are purple. The texture is tough and challenging to break off. Occasionally shown with the outer bark peeled off and a dented scar on the root head from the stem. The surface of the cut is dark brown, almost yellowish. This herb's older roots occasionally have empty spaces inside of them and have piths in the middle. It tastes unpleasant and has a distinct fragrance.

General Description

The herb Kushta has been used for a very long period and is mentioned in the Vedas. Because of its many qualities, including those of Rasayana, Vrushya, and Krimigna, it is said to be able to treat a wide range of illnesses. It is advised to use this herb to revitalize every single area of the body.

For thousands of years, kushta, also known as Saussurea lappa, has been used in cosmetics, for the treatment of inflammation, arthritis, stomach ulcers, skin healing, and other conditions. The exact phrase is "tamaka nashaka Kushth." Due to its unique ability to support the reproductive organs, the herb is frequently suggested as a supplement for infertility. This is also the reason that it is effective in treating menstrual diseases, particularly painful menstrual cycles. Kushth is helpful for skin conditions as well. It is also used as a supplement for gout and rheumatism, as well as an anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effect.

The chemical present in this herb which helps to bring beneficial effects in many conditions are Alpha-cyclocostunolide, Sitosterol, Sesquitepenes, Ar-curcumene, isodihydro costuhactone, Essential oil, Costol Taraxas-terol, Costunolide, Dehydro costuhactone, Costol-lactone.


Kingdom - Plantae

Family - Asteraceae


At elevations of 8,000–12,000 feet, this herb thrives in Kashmir and the Alpine Himalayan peaks. It can also be found in India's high Himalayas. Japan, Korea, and China.

The plant needs a chilly, humid climate. Rich in organic carbon and having a sandy texture, deep rich porous soil and sandy textured loam soil are ideal for germination, since they enhance seedling survival and encourage the growth of thick, long roots.


Botanical Name - Saussurea lappa

Hindi Name - Kutha,

Punjabi Name - Kuth

English Name - Indian Costus root,

Telugu Name - Changaluva - Kosthu, Kushtam

Tamil Name - Koshtam

Malayalam Name - Kottam, Seyuddi

Bengali Name - Kood

Gujarati Name - Kudu, Upalet

Kannada Name - Koshta

Kashmiri Name - Kuth

Urdu Name - Qust

Farsi Name - Kust-E-Talkh

Arabian Name - Kuste

Chinese Name - Mu Xiang

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)



Guna (Physical Property)

Laghu, Rooksha, Teekshna

Light, Dryness, Piercing

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

It pacifies the Kapha and Vata Doshas hence it is used in many Vata Kapha diseases.

Charak Samhita

Sushrut Samhita

  • Sukrasodhana - A group of herbs that improve sperm morphology and purify semen
  • Lekhaniya - A group of herbs with fat-burning and scraping properties
  • Asthapanopaga - A group of herbs used to treat basti.
  • Vatashasmana - Herb group to balance the vata dosha.

Properties of Saussurea lappa

Because of its many potent medicinal qualities, including anti-cytotoxic, antibacterial, diuretic, hypolipidaemic, antiseptic, hypotensive, spasmolytic, bronchodilator, immunostimulant, antimycotic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, and insecticidal, this herb has a wide range of applications in various medical conditions. It has analgesic and complexion-improving qualities as well. It is also an antioxidant that includes flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, and phenolic agents like those found in green tea.

Practical Uses

  • When applied as a poultice or fumigation, it is an efficient treatment for dermatitis, chronic ulcers, headaches, toothaches, synovitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Kushta is used to treat cholera, indigestion, ascites, colicky pain, diarrhea, and loss of appetite since it is a good appetizer, digestive, and carminative.
  • It effectively treats gout by eliminating pollutants from the body.
  • Asthma and Expectorant: The Kushita plant is a powerful expectorant that works wonders for bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory issues. It also relaxes the bronchioles, making breathing easier and widening the airways.
  • Kushta is an excellent diuretic that aids in the removal of extra water.
  • Because of its capacity to eliminate pollutants, the plant also functions well as a detoxifier.
  • Gas and diarrhea are eliminated by Kushta's GI tract-soothing and -calming properties.
  • It works similarly to repair stomach ulcers.
  • The plant improves the morphology of semen, which boosts male fertility.
  • One helpful uterine stimulant is kushta. It works well to control menstrual cycles and put a stop to uncomfortable periods.
  • It aids in reducing fever brought on by the flu and cold.
  • Kushta functions as an immunological enhancer, increasing the number of white blood cells and enhancing immunity.
  • Arthritis: Kushta is an effective anti-inflammatory that also helps with rheumatism, arthritis, joint disease, and back issues.
  • Skin: Kushta effectively promotes skin and complexion healing by drawing more blood to the skin's surface. This herb is also utilized in contemporary skin-healing drugs and accelerates the healing of skin lesions.
  • Antibiotic: It effectively combats staph and strep infections.
  • Alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, glycosides, tannins, and saponins are among the potent medicinal ingredients found in kushta.
  • Applying Kushta locally helps with alopecia.
  • Gum massage is performed with kushta oil.

Part Used



1/4 - 1 gm


  • Mothers who are nursing or pregnant should consult a doctor before using this herb.
  • If someone has high blood pressure and takes this herb, they need to take extra care.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published