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Friday, 14 December 2012

Costus: Indian Aloe Wood

Anas, Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Allah's Messenger, may the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, said: " Some of the best treatments lie in cupping and Kistroot." 
Reported in Sahih Muslim and Sahih Al Bukhaaree, Cf. Cauterization and Cupping, VI; Venesection and Cauterization , VII 

Narrated Umm Qais, Allah be pleased with her: 

I went to Allah's Apostle along with a a son of mine whose palate and tonsils I had pressed with my finger as a treatment for a (throat and tonsil) disease. The Prophet said, "Why do you pain your children by pressing their throats! Use Oud Al-Hindi ( Indian aloe wood) for it cures seven diseases, one of which is pleurisy. It is used as a snuff for treating throat and tonsil disease and it is inserted into one side of the mouth of one suffering from pleurisy." 
Sahih Al Bukhaaree, Book of Medicine  no. 5343

There are two kinds of Qust-roots ( Arb. Qust/Kist): 1. the white root of medicinal plant known as the common inula, Arb. Raasin Tibbi; and 2. the aromatic root of Indian aloe tree ( Arb. 'Oud Hindi), commonly known as aloe. 

Qust/'Oud al Hindi/Indian Aloe Wood
 Pictures courtesy of
Yunus Bin Shaddaad Al-Azdi
Inula/Rasin Tibbi/Qust
Kust-roots or costus, commonly known as Indian aloe have hot and dry temperaments in the third degree and provide extra heat. While the white variety, known as the common inula is balmier. Both provide considerable medicinal effects.

  •  Both roots dry out excess phlegm, and help remedy head cold, or acute nasal congestion (catarrh; Arb. zukaam). 
  • Drinking an infusion of costus helps weakness of the liver, weakness of digestion, slackness of the stomach, stomach flu, diarrhea of the liver; and helps as an antipyretic to abate febris recurrence, quells quartan phlegmonous fever.
  • An ointment of it helps backache, or rheumatic pain in the lumbar region (lumbago); also kills ringworm, and to remove dry scales shed by the skin, including dandruff.
  • Costus also can help spasmodic contractions and rigidity of voluntary muscles (tetanus).
  • Costus is used in the treatment of pleurisy.  
  • Costus roots also help asthmatic symptoms and heaviness of the chest. 
  • An inunction of costus mixed with water and honey helps to control skin discoloration on the face and the chest resulting from pregnancy or malnutrition. Also helps the removal of scars, surgical or otherwise. 
  • Be sure to look for costus in shops which sell Indian foods and spices. Some herbal shops might carry this medicinal plant  as well. If not available in your area, search the internet for more information as to how you can obtain it. 

May the Creator give you the best of health and well-being. 

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