Thursday 30 May 2013


                      COSTUS ROOT OIL

BOTANICAL NAME: Saussurea lappa.
COMMON NAME: Costus root oil.
PARTS USED: comminuted, dried roots.
AROMA: Woody, musty.

                                  Costus root oil is one of rare essential oil, it extract using steam distilled from the comminuted, dried roots of saussurea lappa. It is an herbaceous perennial plant with yellow composite flowers growing in the Himalayan highlands. It is also extracts by using vacuum distillation of the resinoid extract obtained by extraction of the roots with is a viscous, light yellow to brown liquid.
                                Major components of the oil are sesquiterpenoid lactones, e.g. dehydrocostuslactone. Other components contributing to its characteristic odor are costol, bergamotenal and alpha-ionone.
                                   The essential oil has an antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal, carminative, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, hypotensive, stimulant, stomachic, and tonic properties. It is also used as incense, and as a fixative and fragrance component in cosmetics and perfumes. The food industry also used Costus Root essential oil as a flavor ingredient - especially in confectionery, alcoholic and soft drinks.

                                             Costus root include resin, volatile oil, inulin and alkaloids. The alkaloids contain costunolide, dehydrocostulactone and dihydrocostulactone, 12-methoxy dihydrocostunolide, costol, B-ionone, B-Sitosterol, stigmasterol, betulin, saussurine and kushtin.


                                            Costus root is beneficial in the treatment of respiratory disorders like bronchitis, asthma and cough, especially controlling attacks of bronchial asthma. The combined action of the essential oil and the alkaloid in the root restrict the paroxysms. It produces a slight but persistent rise in blood pressure and increases the force of contraction and amplitude of the ventricles. The essential oil not only relaxes the bronchial muscle, but also has a marked expectorant action, which relieves turgescene of the mucosa.


                                          This powerful aromatic stimulant is also useful in cholera. An infusion made of 3 grams of fresh saussurea, I gram of cardamom and 120 ml of water can be administered in 30 gram doses every half an hour in treating this condition. The essential oil in the herb produces reflex inhibition by its stimulating properties. It helps in controlling the disease. The depressant action of the drug on the brain helps in relieving the spasm.
                                                      Costus root oil is useful for severe ulceration. The dried and powdered root is the principal ingredient in any astringent and stimulant ointment. Premature Greying of Hair The herb prevents premature greying of hair. The dried and powdered root can be used as hair wash.

                                                Wound healing is one of the uses for which Ayurveda utilized the roots of Costus. The root paste is used locally to promote healing. Tests on animals showed that applying the root paste on wounds sped up the process of healing without producing any infections. The research further recommended the use of Costus into mainstream wound healing medicines.

                                             Apart from wound healing, Costus plant root has been traditionally used in Ayurveda to treat inflammations and also arthritic conditions. Studies have shown that the root extracts which contain different alkaloids; flavonoids, glycosides, phenolic compounds, saponins and tannins had a substantial control on inflammation and arthritis.

                                          The anti-microbial activity of Costus was tested against known bacteria species, which affect humans. Bacteria species such as Bacillus subtalis, Entereococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus in gram positive and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella typhi in gram negative categories are inhibited by this. The rate of inhibition was comparable to standard drugs.

                                            In a study conducted on the root extracts of Costus, it was found that when root extracts interacted with blood, the lymphocytic count was increased to a significant extent. This suggests that the root can be used for enhancing immunity.

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