The Costus (Saussurea lappa) belongs to the Asteraceae (the Aster family). It is a perennial herb that is distributed in the Himalayan region and in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. This herb grows in highland grasslands, and up to a height of 1-3 m in height. The stem is erect. The basal leaves are oblong-lanceolate with long petioles, and the cauline leaves are sessile and enfold stems, and with undulating margins. The dark purple flower-heads bloom atop of stems from July to September. Costus root is a famous Ayurvedic herb used in treating gout, skin diseases, respiratory disorders etc.