Very aromatic medicinal grade Costus Root, a classic ingredient in ancient and tradtional incense. This root has a long history in incense culture world wide.
These wonderful roots burn with a sweet almost floral woody scent. May be easily ground or broken into small pieces to be burned or heated on the Golden Lotus Electric Incense Heater. Acts as a great base when combined with other woods , oils, herbs or resins.
I was amazed when I first tried Costus on the heater! I had never smelled the roots when they were fresh and cured properly. This Costus root is a must try for incense enthusiasts.
Here is a wonderful article from White Lotus Aromatics
A high altitude plant with a unique and beautiful physical form is Saussurea lappa commonly known as Costus Root. It grows on the moist slopes of the Himalayas at altitudes of 8000-12000 feet in Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Lahul-Spiti, etc. It both grows wild and is cultivated. The roots have a long history of medicinal and aesthetic use in Tibet, India and other mountain regions.It was a prized item of commerce from the earliest times as the roots were reputed not only to have great curative properties but also wonderful aromatic qualities much prized in perfume creations of the ancient world. It not only was appreciated as an oil but as a prime ingredient in incense.
It was used by the Romans as a culinary spice as also as a perfume. This root was dug up and cut into small pieces and shipped to Rome and China. The root is generally of the size of a finger wit\' a yellowish woody part and a whitish bark. It is said that Seleucus Callinicus had obtained Costus from India and sent it as gift to the Milesians.6 The Romans also referred to costus as radix, the root as distinguished from Nard which was called folio(the leaf). The price of Costus in Rome is stated by Pliny to have been 5 denarii per pound. India still exports Costus and today the collection of Costus is a state monopoly. In Kashmir the product is used by shawl merchants to protect their fabrics from moths. The Indian origin of Costus is evident from the fact that the word is derivedfrom the Sanskrit term Kustha which means \'that which stands in the earth\'. This word was perhaps used as Costus was a root.
Smaller pieces of the root are ground into a powder and then used to make incense sticks. The longer clean pieces are cut into very thin slices and then burnt at shrines or used as a tonic in hot baths.
Aromatic plants used in incense (Information is provided for cultural interest, not as a recommendation for treatment of disease)
As many of you already know many aromatic plants have been used in incense since ancient times. Costus is among them. Over the course of many generations ancient people discovered that when aromatic plants were burned, they gave off aromatic molecules that had unique healing properties. Many of us tend to associate smoke with something negative, but smoke can also be healing and beneficial. One whole branch of ayurvedic medicine called Dhoopam relates to healing through inhalation of the smoke produced from certain aromatic plants in specific combinations. The Tibetans also developed a very high form of healing through smoke. In fact when I was traveling in the Palampur region of the Himalayas I talked with a research scientists who had spent several years of her life in Bhutan amidst the Buddhist community there. She told me that she had personally observed that people with certain types of diseases came to the monks and they had special rooms where they were treated through inhalation of aromatic plants that were combined in specific formulas and burned. It is important to remember that the molecules created by pyralyisis(distillation by fire) are different than those which exist in the essential oil, CO2 extract, etc. It is an area where only limited research has been done but I think we shall see more forthcoming on the healing benefits of the smoke of roots like Costus, Vetiver, Spikenard; precious woods like agar, sandalwood, cedarwood; resins like frankincense, myrrh and opoponax, etc. These plants and their aromatic products and the incenses produced from them have had a revered place in the sacred pharmacopeias of ancient civilizations and it will be interesting to see what is discovered about them through our modern research technologizes. As has been mentioned before many ancient systems of wholistic health concerned themselves with the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well being of the person and medicines for rebalancing a person were often of a very sublime type, including incense.