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Kushta (Saussurea Lappa)

KUSHTA – Saussurea lappa

It is commonly known as Costus root. It is an important medicinal plant used in Ayurveda as it is used to cure so many disorders especially in skin related diseases. The plant got the name Kushta as the drug useful in leprosy or skin diseases. It is also known as Agada as it protects health by keeping free from diseases. It is also known as Vapya as the plant grows in watery or marshy places.


Dr.Gupta’s IAFA has been working on Kushta plant for discovering more medicinal properties. Our experts found out that the plant can act as an anti-ulcer, anti-convulsant, anti-cancer, hepatoprotective, anti-arthritic, anti-viral, Anti-oxidant,Anti-ulcer agent.Kushta can also be used for diseases like hepatitis, jaundice, splenomegaly, cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis, paralysis, tremors, epilepsy, hysteria, arthritis, chronic rheumatism, sciatica, gout, intestinal worms, amenorrhea, fevers, malaria, leucoderma, erysipelas, ring worm, chronic itching, scabies, dysentery, dyspepsia, cholera, alopecia etc.

Action of Kushta–Saussurea lappa in Allergies

IAFA has been conducting various studies on Kushta to found out the antiallergic and antiinflammatory properties of the plant. The plant contains costunolide, lactones, costunolide, Isodihydrocostunolide, cynaropicrin sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpene lactones; other compounds include glycosides, anthraquinones, chlorogenic acid, β-costic acid, daucosterol, β-sitosterol, and saussureamines. These chemical constituents present in the plant Kushta helps in antiallergic activities of the plant.

Vernacular names and Classification

Botanical Name Saussurea lappa
Family Asteraceae 
Native Names
Sanskrit Name Kushta, Vapya
Hindi Name Kut, Kushta
English Name Indian Costus tree
Malayalam Name Kottam 
Kannada Name Changalkoshtha 
Telungu Name Changalva koshtu

Ayurveda reference of Kushta – Saussurea lappa

Morphology of Kushta –Saussurea lappa

  • Perennial herb
  • Stem – erect, simple
  • Leaves – membraneous irregularly toothed
  • Stem leaves are smaller in size
  • Flowers – bluish coloured, arranged as axillary or terminal clusters
  • Fruits – compressed, curved tip narrowed and cupped

Geographical distribution of Kushta –Saussurea lappa

It is distributed in Kashmir and different parts of India like Western ghats uttarpradesh , Tamilnadu, Kerala etc.

Phytoconstituents of Kushta –Saussurea lappa

Root contains resinoids, resins,  essential oil, alkaloids, saussurine , kushtin, inulin, valeric acid, sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpene, Costunolide,  primary sesquiterpene lactone, dehydrocostus lactone, dihydro-dehydrocostus lactone, camphene, costol, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, betulin, aplotaxene, β- selinine, β-elemene, α and β-ionones, a bicyclic sesquiterpenic acid, phellanderine, C13-ketone and certain unidentified constituent’s including hydrocarbons, ketones and alcohols.

Parts used of Kushta –Saussurea lappa

  • Root

Dosage ofKushta –Saussurea lappa

  • Powder (churna)- 0.5 -1 gm

Medicinal Properties ofKushta –Saussurea lappa

  • Sukrala – Increases sperm count
  • Vatasrahara – Useful in gout 
  • Visarpa – Useful in herpes
  • Kasahara – Useful in cough
  • Kushtahara – Useful in skin diseases
  • Jvarahara – Useful in fever 
  • Hikkahara – Useful in hiccups

Dr. Sahil Gupta

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– Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)

Ayurvedic Allergy Specialist
CEO & Founder of IAFA®

Home remedies of Kushta –Saussurea lappa

Ayurveda is purely based on naturally available herbs for treatment purposes. Kushta is an easily available plant and can be used to treat diseases like,

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (Amavata)– 2 gm of powder of Kushta is given along with 1 table spoon of Eranda taila for 7 days.
  • Headache (Sirasula)- 2 gm of powder of Kushta is taken along with ghee and honey for 3 days.
  • Worm infestation (Krumi roga)- 3 gm of powder of Kushta is taken along with ghee and honey for 7 days.
  • Hiccups (Hikka)- Powder of kushta is covered by cloth and made into a ignited at one end and inhale the 
  • Swelling (Sotha)-  Paste of Kushta  is made with rose water and applied over affected area, remove after 20 minutes.
  • Memory (Medhya) – 2 gm of kushta powder and Vacha mixed with honey and Ghee. It should be taken in the early morning before food.
  • Skin diseases(Kushta)- kushta powder mixed with ghee or butter and applied over affected area.
  • Cough (Kasa)- 2 gm of kushta powder is taken along with warm water for 2 days.

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist


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