Sea Incense Costus (Qust al-Bahri) and Indian Wood Costus ('Oud al-
Hindi or Qust al-Hindi)
The plant of the Qust, which is known as Costus is 2 metres in length and is generally found in the northwest and northeast of the sub Himalayan regions. The roots are used for medicinal purposes. Ibn Hajr (may Allah have mercy upon him) quotes Ibn 'Arabi (may Allah have mercy upon him) as saying that there are 2 types of costus; Qust al-Bahri (Sea Incense Costus) and 'Oud al-Hindi or Qust al-Hindi (Indian Wood Costus). As for Qust al-Bahri (Sea Incense Costus) then it is white and as for 'Oud al-Hindi or Qust al-Hindi (Indian Wood Costus) then it is hotter Qust al-Bahri (Sea Incense Costus) and darker. [vol. 10, 148 Shamila].
The Messenger r said, "Use this 'Oud al-Hindi (Indian Wood Costus) because it contains 7 types of cures, it is sniffed by the one having throat trouble, and is put inside the mouth of one suffering from pleurisy". [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5692)].
The Messenger r said, " Cupping (Hijama) and Qust al-Bahri (Sea Incense Costus) are the best of your remedies". He added, "You should not harm your children by treating tonsillitis by pressing their tonsils, rather use Qust al-Bahri (Sea Incense Costus)". [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5696)].
Ibnul Qayim (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, "There are 2 kinds of Qust (Costus), the white kind which is called Qust al-Bahri (Sea Incense Costus). The 'Oud al-Hindi or Qust al-Hindi (Indian Wood Costus) is the hottest of them and the Qust al-Bahri (Sea Incense Costus) is the mildest. Both types have many benefits... they dry out the phlegm and cold. When they are taken as a drink, they help a weak liver, stomach and colds associated with such cases. Qust (Costus) also against victular and quartan fever (fever that comes every 4 days), the pain on the side of the body and poisons. When the face is anointed with Qust (Costus) that has been ground and mixed with water and honey, it heals spots that appear on the face. Galinus said that Qust (Costus) 'heals tetanus, the pain on the sides and kills spots (which he called pumpkin seeds).'
Some ignorant doctors are unaware of and deny that Qust (Costus) is an effective remedy against pain in the sides of the body. If these ignorant doctors become aware of what Galinus has stated about Qust (Costus), they would quickly embrace it as if it was a divine text...we stated before that what is sent down from revelation as compared to what is proven by experimentation compares like the difference between the noble master and the commoner. In addition, if any of the ignorant doctors (who ignore the Prophetic medicine) were able to discover a remedy that the Jews, Christians and Polytheist doctors have prescribed, they would embrace it and would certainly prescribe it.
We do not deny that habits have a role in making the cure work or fail. Those who are used to certain foods and medicine would benefit from them more than those who are not used to them and who sometimes would not benefit at all from them..." [p.307 Translated Medicine of the Prophet by Ibnul Qaiyum (may Allah have mercy upon him) with slight corrections].
Modern researches suggest that Qust (Costus) is a blood purifier, antiseptic and increases the cutaneous circulation. Hence, it might be used to treat dandruff, freckles, and ringworm. It is a good insect repellent. Hence, might be used to keep off the insects from the clothes. Internally it is a good anti-spasmodic and neurotonic, hence, might be used to treat coughs, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, paralysis, facial palsy and neurasthenia.
How to take Qust (Costus):
1. 1tsp costus, 1tsp honey in warm water, ideally on an empty stomach, once a day.
It is used to treat; stomach pains, stomach upsets, diarherra, constipation, colon problems, blood clots, tumours, cancer, cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, breathing problems, cleanses the womb, increases fertility, strengthens muscles after labour, contracts the womb, aids weight loss (take twice daily, morning and evening), diabetes (without the honey).
2. 1tsp costus, 1tsp honey, mix together and apply to the skin surface. Leave for 2 hours and then rinse off.
It is used to treat; acne, pimples, spots, scars, burns, nappy rash, mosquito bites, eczema, thrush, piles and as a face mask.
3. 1tsp costus, 1 glass of water, boil together for 2 minutes and allow to cool. Shake and apply 3 drops in each nostril.
It is used to treat; nose bleeds, runny nose, disinfects cuts.
4. 1tsp costus, apply directly to the skin.
It is used to treat; athletes foot. Also used as a natural deodorant.
Take orally with food or drink, once a week.
It is used to strengthen the immune system.
5. 1tsp costus, 1 glass of coconut oil. Place on low heat for 5 minutes and allow to cool. Shake well and apply to skin.
It is used to treat; dandruff, hair loss, arthritis, rheumatism, eczema, bites, spots, skin discolouring.
As with any herb, check with a medical doctor before taking. It is not to be taken whilst pregnant.
Check with doctor if taking blood thinning medication or high blood pressure medication before taking.