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Kutaki: Picrorhiza kurroa

Scrapes the unnecessary fat out of the body

Ignites the appetite

Useful in all urinary disorders including Diabetes

Alleviates all skin diseases

Cardiac tonic

Useful in respiratory discomfort and cough

Common Name:
Picrorhiza(Eng.)

Sanskrit Name:

  • Katuka
  • Tikta
  • Katurohini
  • Kandaruha- Means it is in the form of a stem spreading on ground
  • Matsyashakala- Means its rhizome is having skin like that of a fish
  • Chakrangi- Because of spiral marks on it
  • Krishnabhadra- As it is having black complexion on inner side
  • Shataparva- With many joints
  • Katambhara

Lt. Name:
Picrorhiza kurroa- Sacrophulariaceae

Bio energetics:

  • Rasa(Taste)- Tikta(Bitter)
  • Guna(Charactristics)- Laghu(Light); Ruksha(Rough)
  • Veerya(Potency)- Sheeta(Cool and calm)
  • Vipaka(Post digestion effect)- Katu(Pungent)

Chemical composition of Kutaki Powder:

Kutkin is the active principal of Picrorhiza kurroa and is comprised of kutkoside and the iridoid glycoside picrosides I, II, and III. Other identified active constituents are apocynin, drosin, and nine cucurbitacin glycosides. Apocynin is a catechol that has been shown to inhibit neutrophil oxidative burst in addition to being a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, while the curcubitacins have been shown to be highly cytotoxic and possess antitumor effects.

Effect of Kutaki Powder on Tridoshas:

Picrorhiza kurroa Powder pacifies the Kapha and Pitta Doshas i.e. it is useful in management of diseases resulting from aggravation of Kapha/ Pitta or both.

Home Remedial Uses of Kutaki Powder in Ayurveda:

  • Bhedaniya- The word Bhedana stands for the breaking action. Picrorhiza kurroa is the best Ayurveda herb to correct the liver functions. It is the disturbance of liver function which is often responsible for constipation and similar conditions. It is one of the best Dietary supplement for constipation.
  • Lekhaniya- Lekhan means to scrap out. It specially applies for the bad products of metabolism, toxins and extra fat in the body. Picrorhiza kurroa Powder is a recommended Ayurveda supplement for weight loss.
  • Stanya shodhana- For well being of a baby it is very important that the milk he/she is getting from his/ her mother is of best quality possible. Kutaki Powder is the best dietary supplement to cleanse breast milk.
  • Deepana- Deepan means to ignite the fire. The fire is residing with in our body as digestive fire at gross level while as metabolic fire on subtle level. Kutaki Powder is the best dietary supplement to stimulate appetite and boost metabolism.
  • Hrudya- As said above Kutaki powder is the best Ayurveda herb to support liver function which regulates the whole metabolism. These are the metabolic wastes which are often responsible for the heart diseases specially blockage in cardiac arteries and other. Thus Picrorhiza kurroa nourishes the heart indirectly by correcting the metabolism.
  • Prameha hara- Kutaki Powder is one of the best Ayurveda herb to support liver and correct metabolism; thus it is a recommended dietary supplement for diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
  • Shwas- kasa hara- Picrorhiza kurroa useful in respiratory discomfort and cough
  • Kushthaghna- As per Ayurveda our skin and liver are the main sites of Pitta Dosha in the body and both are inter connected with each other. Kutaki powder harmonizes the Pitta Dosha and supports liver thus Kutaki Powder is also a natural remedy for skin diseases
  • Krimipranut-Picrorhiza kurroa Powder is one of the best anti infectious and anti microbial Ayurveda herb.
  • Dahajit- DahaJit means alleviator of the burning sensation. Pitta Dosha is responsible for all the fires in the body. Thus Kutaki powder is one of the best Ayurveda herb for burning sensation.
  • Vishama jwaranashini- Picrorhiza kurroa is useful in intermittent fever

Research done on Kutaki Powder:

  • The major constituents in Picrorhiza kurroa are the glycosides picroside I, kutkoside, androsin, and apocynin. They have been shown in animal studies to be antiallergic, to inhibit platelet-activating factor (an important pro-inflammatory molecule), and to decrease joint inflammation. According to test tube and animal studies, picrorhiza has antioxidant actions, particularly in the liver. It has also been shown to protect animals from damage by several potent liver toxins, offering protection as good as or better than silymarin (the flavonoids found in milk thistle). However, it does not have the amount of human research as silymarin. Picrorhiza has also shown to reduce formation of liver cancer due to chemical exposures in animal studies.
  • A series of cases of acute viral hepatitis in India were reportedly treated successfully by a combination of picrorhiza kurroa with a variety of minerals. A number of similar reports have appeared in Indian literature over the years. No double-blind clinical trials have yet been published, however.
  • Two preliminary trials suggest that picrorhiza kurroa may improve breathing in asthma patients and reduce the severity of asthma. Although, a follow-up double-blind trial did not confirm these earlier trials.
  • A preliminary trial conducted in India found a small benefit for people with arthritis (primarily rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Picrorhiza kurroa in combination with the drug methoxsalen was found in a preliminary trial to hasten recovery in people with vitiligo faster than those receiving methoxsalen and sun exposure alone.

Useful part of Kutaki:

Dry rhizome

Doses of Kutaki:

Powder- 1-2 gm;

Some combinations of Kutaki Powder in Ayurveda:

Arogyavardhini vati; Katukadya loha; Tiktadi kwatha; Tiktadi ghruta


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