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Alsi, Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum)

Kushta, Saussurea lappa

Description of Plant

Kushta (Saussurea lappa) is an herb of strong, perennial 3-4 feet tall shrub and its outer surface appear yellowish brown - grayish brown having rough longitudinal furrows, fine netted wrinkles, and root branches.

It has thick cylindrical roots 5-20 cm long, 1-6 cm in diameter, some with slight curve that sometimes split longitudinally and have purple colored flowers.

The texture is hard and difficult to snap off. Sometimes presented with peeled outer bark and a dented scar left by the stem on the head of root. The cut surface is yellowish brown - dark brown.

Old roots of this herb have piths in the center and sometime may be empty inside. It smells characteristic and tastes bitter.

General Description

The herb Kushta has been mentioned in Veda's and being used since long times. It is declared to cure various diseases as it possess various properties like Rasayana, Vrushya and Krimigna. This herb is recommended for the rejuvenation of each and every part of the body.

Kushta or Saussurea lappa is being used for thousands years in cosmetics, for gastric ulcers, arthritis, inflammation, skin healing, and more.

It is precisely stated as tamaka nashaka Kushth. The herb is often recommended as a supplement in infertility as it specially nurtures the reproductive organs i.e. why it also works well in menstrual disorders especially painful menstrual cycle. Kushth is also beneficial in skin diseases. It is also used as an anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory & analgesic supplement especially for gout & rheumatism.

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


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Family - Asteraceae


This herb grows in Kashmir and Alpine Himalayan ranges at 8,000- 12,000 feet. It is also found in high mountains of India China, Korea and Japan.

The herb requires humid and cool climate. Deep rich porous soil and sandy textured loam soil, which is rich in organic carbon and has good quantity of moisture is too good for its germination as well as better survival of seedlings and production of long and thick 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
  • Guajarati 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 English
Rasa Tikta Taste Bitter
Guna Laghu, Rooksha, Teekshna Physical Property Light, Dryness Piercing,
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Effects on Doshas

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

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita
  • Sukrasodhana - Group of herbs that cleanse semen, correct sperm morphology
  • Lekhaniya - Group of herbs that have scraping, fat reducing activity
  • Asthapanopaga - Group of herbs used in Basti treatment.
  • Vatashasmana - Group of herb to balance vata dosha.

Ancient Verse about Saussurea lappa

Ancient Verse about Saussurea lappa

The Bhavprakash nighantu edition of 1998: verse 173, page no-91.

The names and of - Kusht are Vapya, Paribhavya, and Utpal.

It is hot in potency, pungent and bitter in taste. The herb facilitates spermatogenesis. It manages gout, skin disease, cough and vata kaphaj diseases.


The Bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary by Padmashri prof. K.C. Chunekar, edited by Dr. G.S. Pandey: edition of 1998, verse 173, page no-91.

Properties of Saussurea lappa

This herb has so many uses in different diseases because of its strong and medicinal properties like anti-cytotoxic, antibacterial, diuretic, hypolipidaemic, antiseptic, hypotensive, spasmolytic, bronchodilator, antimycotic, antiulcer anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant and also acts as insect repellent and insecticidal. Additionally it possesses analgesic and complexion enhancing properties. It is also an antioxidant that contains phenolic agents like in green tea, glycosides, saponins, and flavonoids.

Practical Uses of Saussurea lappa

  • It is effective remedy against foul smell, chronic ulcers, headache, toothache, synovitis, rheumatoid arthritis and dermatitis as a poultice or fumigation.
  • Kushta is good appetizer, digestive and carminative i.e. why it is used in loss of appetite, indigestion, ascites, colicky pain, diarrhea and cholera.
  • It flushes out toxins which makes it an efficient remedy for gout.
  • Expectorant and Asthma - Kushta herb is an efficient expectorant and acts very well in bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory problems along with this it relaxes the bronchioles creating an easier way to breath and opening up the lungs.
  • Kushta is a great diuretic which helps to get rid of excess water.
  • The herb also act as a fine detoxifier as it has ability to flush out toxins.
  • Kushta provides soothing and calming effects to GI tract and results to get rid of gas and diarrhea.
  • It has healing effects as in gastric ulcers.
  • The herb increases male fertility by improving semen morphology.
  • Kushta is a useful uterine stimulant. It is effective in regulating menstrual cycles and end painful periods.
  • It helps to lower down fever associated with cold and flu.
  • Kushta acts as immune booster that increases white blood cell count and boosts immunity.
  • Arthritis - Kushta is also anti-inflammatory agent that brings good results in arthritis, joint disease, rheumatism and back problems.
  • Skin - Kushta is efficient to improve healing of the skin and complexion by making more blood to come to the surface of the skin. This herb as well speeds up healing of skin wounds and is used in modern skin healing medications.
  • Antibiotic - It is a good antibiotic that kills staph and strep infections.
  • Kushta contains alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, glycosides, tannins and saponins all of which are powerful healing agents.
  • Local Application of Kushta is beneficial in alopecia.
  • Kushta oil is used for massaging the gums.

Part Used

Root is the useful part.


1/4 - 1 gm


  • Pregnant and lactating mothers must seek medical advice before taking this herb.
  • Extra precaution is required in case of people with high BP taking this herb.

Ayurvedic Product from Saussurea lappa

Pippalyadi Thailam

Kushta is one of the product of Pippalyadi Thailam oil prepared in the Planet Ayurveda is good in case of Piles.


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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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