By Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor


What is costus used for?

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
  • Severe intestinal diseases such as dysentery and cholera

It is also used as a tonic and to stimulate digestion.

How does it work?

There are not enough studies about how costus works. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for more information. However, it is known that 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.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using costus?

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist or herbalist, if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription.
  • You have allergy with any substances of costus or other medications or other herbs.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

The regulations for an herb are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking this herb must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your herbalist or doctor for more information.

How safe is costus?

Costus oil is likely safe for most people when taken by mouth in amounts found in foods. Costus root is possibly safe for most people when taken by mouth, appropriately.

Special precautions & warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking costus if you are pregnant or 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.

Side effects

What kind of side effects may I have from costus?

Costus often contains a contaminant called aristolochic acid. Aristolochic acid damages the kidneys and causes cancer.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your herbalist or doctor.


What interactions may I have with costus?

Costus may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your herbalist or doctor before using.


The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.

What is the usual dose for costus?

The dose for costus may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Herbs are not always safe. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for your appropriate dosage.

What form does costus come in?

Costus may be available in the following forms:

  • Costus powder
  • Raw costus

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Review Date: September 13, 2017 | Last Modified: December 4, 2019

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