Kushtha means ‘skin disease’ and refers to its ability to treat many skin disorders. It is a large plant with sweet aromatic roots. Atharvaveda considers this as a potent plant next to Soma (a divine plant) in curing several diseases. It is also called Takmanashana (which cures fevers) in Atharvaveda. Kushtha consists of dried roots of Saussurea lappa C.B. Clarke (Fam. Compositae), a tall, robust, perennial herb with thick roots, found in Kashmir at an altitude of 2500-3600 m, roots collected in September-October.
Sanskrit : Amaya, Pikala
Assamese : Kud, Kur
Bengali : Kudo
English : -Costus root
Hindi : Kutha
Kannada : Changal Kustha
Kashmiri : Kuth
Malayalam : Kottam
Marathi : Upleta, Kustha
Oriya : Kudha
Punjabi : Kuth
Tamil : Goshtam, Kosbtham, Kottam
Telugu : Changalva Koshtu
Urdu : Qust
Kuth roots contain resinoids (6%),and essential oil (1.5%), alkaloid(0.05%) inulin (18%), saussurea lactone(20–25%), a fixed oil and minor constituents like tannin and sugars. Roots obtained from Kashmir are, in general, richer in essential oil content than roots obtained from Garhwal and Nepal.
Rasa : Katu, Tikta
Guna : Laghu
Virya : Ushna
Vipaka : Katu
Lekhaniya, Sukrasodhana, Vajikarana , Dipana, Pachana, Shulasamana, Vedanasthapak, Jvaraghna, Kasaswashara, Mutravirecana, Raktasodhana, Kusthaghna , Stambhana , Rasayana, Stanyajanana,
IMPORTANT FORMULATIONS – Kttoamacukkidi Taila.
THERAPEUTIC USES OF Saussurea lappa / Kushtha:
Lungs: It alleviates vata and hence reduces spasms and bronchorestriction in the chest. So, useful in asthma, hiccups, wheezing and coughs by virtue of its expansive effect on the pranavaha srotas.
Skin: As an alterative and circulatory stimulant it can benefit skin conditions with itching and inflammation. Its cleansing effect on rakta dhatu benefits bhrajaka pitta. The essential oil of the roots exhibit strong antiseptic and disinfectant activity against Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. It is used externally for skin problems from bacterial infection (Paranjpe 2001).
Joints: Specific usage as a blood purifier and especially for gout. It helps to reduce pain in the body by reducing inflammation and stopping spasms (Bhavaprakasa).
Gynaecology: Due to its vatasamak property it is used in painful menses and for lack of or scanty periods due to stagnation in artavavahasrotas. It stimulates ovulation and promotes a regular cycle.
Reproduction: Due to its rasayana and shukrashodhana property, it benefits sukra dhatu and is renowned for purifying the reproductive system (Gogte 2000).
Digestive System: Kushtha benefits the digestive tract and regulates vata, especially samana and apana vayu. It clears nervous spasm, pain, cramps, bloating, flatulence and nausea. It is a specific in diarrhoea and dysentery. Its bitter flavour helps to regulate liver function (Nadkarni 1954).
Cardiac System: A research study conducted on Saussurea lappa revealedthat the combination of Kushtha and Segontin is more effective and suitable without occurrence of any major side effects in the treatment of Ischemic Heart disease. (Source:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3336543/)
0.2-1.0 of the drug in powder form.
It causes constipation in high dose.
It is CITES Appendix 1 listed and all sales of the herb must be validated proving cultivation rather than wild harvesting. In China it is commonly replaced with Vladimiria souliei due to this restriction on trade. Commercially, Saussurea lappa is adulterated with Inula racemosa.