Costus root, also known as Saussurea Costus, is a prominent herb cherished in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Known for its warm, bitter, and slightly sweet notes, costus root has a distinctive flavor profile that contributes to both its medicinal and culinary applications. Its aromatic and spiral-shaped root forms the heart of this plant's use, either in its raw state or as a dried, powdered version.
In culinary endeavors, costus root offers a unique earthy and mildly sweet flavor, similar to ginger, and is often used in the preparation of traditional dishes. It adds a dash of complexity and depth to soups and stews, contributing to the harmony of flavors that's often sought in Eastern cuisine. Its distinctive taste is also employed to infuse beverages, including teas, lending them a certain earthiness and slight sweetness.
Beyond the kitchen, costus root finds extensive use in traditional medicine systems. In Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, it's appreciated for its potential to improve digestive health and respiratory function, though these benefits require more scientific validation. Regardless, costus root's contribution to global culinary and medicinal practices is a testament to its unique characteristics and versatility.
Botanical Name: Saussurea Costus
Also known as: Costus Root, Costus, Saussurea lappa, Kuth, Kut, Kushta, Kutha, Kushtanashini, Aromatic ginger, Indian aloe, Qust, Qust al-bahri, Qust al-hindi, Kostum, Kustam, Kostha, Kushtham, Kushtha, and Kushta bheda