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What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Kuth root (Saussurea lappa)?

Kushta, Saussurea lappa

What is Saussurea Lappa?

Saussurea lappa is a potent medicinal plant which is used in the different system of medicines. Its activities are well proved through a scientific approach to its traditional claims. The root of Saussurea lappa is mainly used for medicinal purposes. Essential oils are extracted from its roots which are used to treat various ailments. Other than medicinal purposes its oil is also used as a flavoring component.

How Saussurea Lappa is Scientifically Classified?

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Phylum - Angiosperms
  • Subphylum - Eudicots
  • Class - Asterids
  • Order - Asterales
  • Family - Asteraceae
  • Tribe - Cynareae
  • Genus - Saussurea
  • Species - S. lappa

General Description of Saussurea Lappa

Saussurea lappa belongs to the genus which has around 300 species in the world, of which 61 are found in India. It is a perennial plant which grows 1-2 m tall and 1 m wide. Leaves of this plant are lyrate and heads of purple florets. The shape of the leaves is auricled at the base with jagged pattern down the sides of the leaves. They measure 0.50- 1.25m long. The roots of the Saussurea lappa are stout and can travel 40 cm in length.

What are the Common Names used for Saussurea Lappa?

Kuth, Lappa, kustha, qust, kut, pachak, kostum, kust, changeling, sepuddy, postkhal and postkhai.

Where is Saussurea Lappa Cultivated?

It is cultivated as a medicinal plant. Mainly in India, it grows in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu Kashmir. High altitudes favor seeds germination and high survival which is the reason for its abundant growth in the Himalayan region. As roots are mainly used for the medicinal purpose, cultivation is specifically focused on them. It can grow in a different variety of soil like light sandy, clay soil that is acidic or the moist soil. The Plant of the Saussurea lappa flowers from July to August.

Why is Saussurea Lappa Endangered?

It is the most endangered medicinal plant of Kashmir. This plant is endangered due to military establishments and road construction in most of the cultivation area of Saussurea lappa plant.

What are the Ayurvedic Properties of Saussurea Lappa?

  • Taste (Rasa) - Bitter (Tikta)
  • Qualities (Guna) - Light (Laghu), Dry (Ruksha), Piercing (Teekshan)
  • Potency (Veerya) - Hot (Ushna)
  • Metabolic property (vipaka) - Convert into pungent taste after digestion.

What are the Medicinal uses of Saussurea Lappa?

  • This herb eliminates or kills the worms present in intestines or other parts of the body.
  • Saussurea lappa helps to treat asthma as it is an effective expectorant. It makes breathing easier by relaxing and clearing bronchiole.
  • It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and dermatitis.
  • This herb treats many skin diseases if applied externally in the form of juice or poultice.
  • Massage of its oil help to relieve nerve weakness and improves blood circulation.
  • Saussurea lappa is an antioxidant which eliminates the free radicals and removes toxins from the body. Improve the overall strength of the body to fight against various diseases.
  • It treats menstrual problems like scanty menses, irregular menses or painful menses. This herb is a uterine stimulant which helps to regulate menstrual cycles.
  • It is a very effective digestive properties which helps to treat indigestion, diarrhea, cholera, and pain in the stomach.
  • Excess water of the body can be eliminated with the help of this herb as it has a diuretic action.
  • Saussurea lappa has calming and soothing effects on G.I.T.
  • This herb has healing properties and hence treats gastric ulcers.
  • It improves semen morphology and increases fertility in males.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties of this herb help to relieve redness, pain, and swelling of the affected area. It treats inflammatory conditions like arthritis, rheumatism and other joint diseases.
  • It kills or stuns the growth of the bacteria and prevents infections.
  • Saussurea lappa's local application helps to regain hair growth.
  • It can be used to massage the gums which maintain oral health.

What can be the Side-Effects of Saussurea Lappa?

  • Saussurea lappa consists of a contaminant called aristolochic acid. This acid damages the kidneys and can cause cancer if taken in large doses for a considerable time.
  • In allergic persons, it may cause an allergic reaction.
  • During pregnancy and breastfeeding take this herb only under medical supervision.
  • Hypertensive patients should avoid taking it.

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