COSTUS Overview Information
Costus is an herb. The root and oil from the root are used to make medicine.
Costus root is used for treating worm (nematode) infections.
Costus oil is used for asthma, cough, gas, and severe intestinal diseases such as dysentery and cholera. It is also used as a tonic and to stimulate digestion.
In foods and beverages, costus oil is used as a flavoring component.
In manufacturing, costus oil is used as a fixative and fragrance in cosmetics.
How does it work?
Costus root contains chemicals that seem to kill worms (nematodes). Some researchers think that the chemicals in costus oil might prevent the airways from narrowing, and this effect lowers blood pressure.
- Worm (nematode) infections. In children, costus root reduces the number of worm eggs in the feces about as well as treatment with a usual medication called pyrantel pamoate. Egg reduction is a measure of the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Digestive problems.
- Other conditions.
COSTUS Side Effects & Safety
Costus seems to be safe for most people. However, costus often contains a contaminant called aristolochic acid. Aristolochic acid damages the kidneys and causes cancer. Don’t use any costus preparation unless lab tests prove it is free of aristolochic acid. Under law, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can confiscate any plant product that it believes contains aristolochic acid. The product won’t be released until the maker proves it is aristolochic acid-free.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of costus during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Costus may cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking costus.
The appropriate dose of costus depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for costus. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.