Botanical name: Aucklandia costus Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Saussurea costus, Aplotaxis lappa, Saussurea lappa
Costus is a tall perennial herb, well known as a medicinal plant. Stems up to 2 m tall, or more. Lower leaves are long-stalked, pinnate, 30-40 cm long, with a trianglular terminal leaflet, up to 30 cm long. Upper leaves are smaller, up to 30 cm long, stem-clasping. All leaves are irregularly toothed. There is a rounded cluster of a few purple flower-heads at the top of the stem. The flower-heads look like balls covered with purple bracts. Costus is frequently cultivated in the Himalayas as a medicinal plant. It is found in the Himalayas, from pakistan to Himachal Pradesh, at altitudes of 2000-3300 m. Flowering: July-August.
Medicinal uses: Costus is widely used in several indigenous systems of medicine for the treatment of various ailments, like asthma, inflammatory diseases, ulcer and stomach problems.
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