Costus root (E):
Kushtha means 'skin disease' and refers to its ability to treat many skin disorders. It is a large plant with sweet aromatic roots. It looks a bit like burdock (they are from the same family). When you smell a plant with such a warm fragrance think 'digestive promoter', 'fluid drying' and 'stagnation clearing'.
Digestion Kushtha benefits the digestive tract and regulates vata, especially s´amana and apana vayu in the centre of the abdomen and lower digestive tract. 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. Lungs It calms 'marut', the wind, and hence reduces spasms and bronchorestriction in the chest. Useful in asthma, hiccups, wheezing and coughs by virtue of its expansive effect on the pranavahasrotas. Its warming aromatic nature can help to dry excess kapha secretions. 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. It is used externally for skin problems from bacterial infection. Joints Specific usage as a blood purifier and especially for gout as it regulates the urinary output of inflammatory pitta and irritant vata toxins. It helps to reduce pain in the body by reducing inflammation and stopping spasms. Gynaecology 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 It benefits ´sukra dhatu and is renowned for purifying the reproductive system.