Benefits of Saussurea
Herbs a to z
Saussurea, known as castes in English, is a tall, stout herb having an annual stem and perennial roots. It has very large heart-shaped leaves; bluish, bluish-purple or almost black flowers and hairy fruits. The dried roots of the plant constitute the drug. Saussure is indigenous to India. It occurs in Kashmir and adjoining areas at altitudes ranging from 2,500 to 4,000 mitres above the sea level.
The roots of the plant contain an essential oil, alkaloid saussurine and a bitter resin. The resinoid on distillation with superheated steam under reduced pressure yields an essential oil I. However, the essential oil contains terpenes, aplotaxene and sesquiterpenes.
The plant is well-known both in the Ayurvedic and Tibbi medicine. The root has a pungent taste and a peculiar fragrance. It is a tonic, aphrodisiac, antiseptic and a stimulant. It strengthens functioning of the stomach and promotes its action. It is helpful in arresting secretion or bleeding.
The essential oil has antiseptic and disinfectant properties. It relaxes the involuntary muscle tissues and serves as a cardiac stimulant. It relieves flatulence’s and is a diuretic. It is also useful in removing catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes.
Saussure is beneficial in the treatment of respiratory disorders like bronchitis, asthma and cough, especially controlling attacks of bronchial asthma. the combined action of the essential oil and the alkaloid in the root restrict the paroxysms. The alkaloid saussurine has a depressant action on the vagus centre in the medulla, which supplies motor nerve fibre, as well as on the involuntary muscle fibres of the bronchioles and gastrointestinal tract. It produces a slight but persistent rise in blood pressure and increases the force of contraction and amplitude of the vent rides. The essential oil not only relaxes the bronchial muscle, but also has a marked expectorant action which relieves turgescent of the mucosa· It, however, does not produce a permanent cure unless the causal factors are investigated into and removed.
This powerful aromatic stimulant is also useful in cholera. An infusion made of 3 gram of fresh saussurea, 1 gram of cardamom and 120 ml of water can be administered in 30 gram doses every half an hour in treating this condition. The essential oil in the herb produces reflex inhibition by its stimulating properties. It helps in Controlling the disease. It is an irritant and has a strong penetrating and persistent odour and taste. The depressant action of the drug on the brain helps in relieving the spasm.
Saussurea is useful for severe ulcerations. The dried and powdered root is the principal ingredient in any astringent and stimulant ointment.
Premature Graying of Hair
The herb prevents premature graying of hair. The dried and powdered root can be used as hair wash.
Aphrodisiac: In the indigenous medicine in India, saussurea is used as tonic and as an aphrodisiac. During its passage through the urethra the essential oil excreted in the urine produces a certain amount of irritation, acting as a stimulant.
The root forms a very valuable raw material for producing an expensive perfume, closely resembling the violet perfume.