Kutki - NutraPedia

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Kutki: An Overview of Its Uses and Implications

1. Conditions Studied for Kutki's Use

Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa), a traditional Ayurvedic herb, has been studied for various health conditions, including:

  • Liver disorders such as hepatitis and jaundice
  • Immune system modulation
  • Respiratory ailments like asthma
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Antioxidant and antiviral properties

2. Efficacy in Treating Conditions

While traditional use suggests beneficial effects, scientific evidence on Kutki's efficacy is still emerging. Some studies have shown potential benefits in liver protection and immune response modulation, but these findings require further clinical trials to establish definitive efficacy.

3. Health Benefits of Kutki

  • Protective liver effects: Kutki is known for its hepatoprotective properties that may assist in liver health and recovery.
  • Immune system support: It might enhance immune function by modulating immune response.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Contains compounds that could help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Respiratory health: May aid in mitigating symptoms of respiratory conditions.
  • Antioxidant: The presence of antioxidants helps in combating oxidative stress.

4. Downsides of Kutki

Kutki is generally considered safe when used in appropriate doses. However, some potential downsides include:

  • Possible side effects at high doses, such as gastrointestinal discomfort or allergic reactions.
  • Risk of liver damage with excessive use, contrary to its hepatoprotective effects at lower doses.
  • Insufficient data on its long-term safety profile.

5. Kutki: Genetic Considerations

There is limited research on the interaction between Kutki and specific genetic variations. However, individuals with genetic predispositions affecting liver metabolism or immune response might experience differing effects from Kutki. It is essential to consult healthcare professionals for personalized advice, especially when considering genetic factors.

Summary of Research on Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa)

About Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa)

Kutki, scientifically known as Picrorhiza kurroa, is a traditional herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is primarily used for liver disorders, respiratory issues, fever, dyspepsia, chronic diarrhea, and scorpion stings. It grows in the Himalayan region and is characterized by a bitter-tasting, creeping rootstock, flat oval leaves, and white or pale purple flowers. Concerns exist about its threatened status due to unregulated harvesting.

Pharmacokinetics and Active Compounds

Research into Kutki's pharmacokinetics focuses on the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of its two active compounds, picrosides I and II. Studies show differences in bioavailability depending on the form administered, with the extract leading to higher bioavailability than capsules or the kutkin mixture. A new analytical method was developed to measure the concentrations of picrosides in rat plasma, providing insights for clinical use.

Extraction Techniques and Biosynthesis

Scientists have developed a new technique to extract kutkin from P. kurroa roots with a high yield. Understanding the biosynthetic pathway of picrosides is crucial due to the plant's endangered status and has led to the identification of intermediate compounds like catalpol and aucubin.

Therapeutic Potential and Clinical Trials

Various research papers discuss Kutki's potential in treating liver diseases, Parkinson's disease, asthma, and ulcerative colitis through its liver-protective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical trials have shown significant improvements in liver function for patients with acute viral hepatitis.

Comparative Studies and Pharmacokinetics

Comparative studies on different species of Picrorhiza plants reveal variations in the presence of active compounds and their antioxidant activities. Pharmacokinetic studies on rats help understand how different compounds like gentiopicroside and verproside are absorbed and distributed in the body.


Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa), with its active compounds picrosides I and II, demonstrates a range of potential medicinal benefits, especially for liver-related issues. Research continues to explore its pharmacokinetics, extraction methods, therapeutic potential, and clinical applications.


  1. Picrorhiza kurroa. Monograph
  2. Comparative pharmacokinetic profiles of picrosides I and II from kutkin, Picrorhiza kurroa extract and its formulation in rats
  3. TLC densitometric quantification of picrosides (picroside-I and picroside-II) in Picrorhiza kurroa and its substitute Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora and their antioxidant studies
  4. Structure of kutkin, the bitter glucoside of Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth
  5. A proposed biosynthetic pathway of picrosides linked through the detection of biochemical intermediates in the endangered medicinal herb Picrorhiza kurroa
  6. Oral treatment with the NADPH oxidase antagonist apocynin mitigates clinical and pathological features of parkinsonism in the MPTP marmoset model
  7. Antiasthmatic effects of Picrorhiza kurroa: androsin prevents allergen- and PAF-induced bronchial obstruction in guinea pigs
  8. New cucurbitacin glycosides from Picrorhiza kurrooa
  9. Picrorhiza kurroa (Kutaki) Royle ex Benth as a hepatoprotective agent--experimental & clinical studies
  10. A Picrorhiza kurroa derivative, picroliv, attenuates the development of dextran-sulfate-sodium-induced colitis in mice
  11. Long term effect of aflatoxin B(1) on lipid peroxidation in rat liver and kidney: effect of picroliv and silymarin
  12. Pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of gentiopicroside following oral and intravenous administration in mice
  13. Pharmacokinetics of verproside after intravenous and oral administration in rats
  14. Determination of the plasma pharmacokinetic and tissue distributions of swertiamarin in rats by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry
  15. Assessment of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase catalyzed formation of Picroside II glucuronide in microsomes of different species and recombinant UGTs
  16. Hypolipemic effect of water extracts of Picrorrhiza kurroa in high fat diet treated mouse
  17. Hypolipemic effect of water extracts of Picrorrhiza rhizoma in PX-407 induced hyperlipemic ICR mouse model with hepatoprotective effects: a prevention study
  18. Antidiabetic activity of standardized extract of Picrorhiza kurroa in rat model of NIDDM
  19. Metabolic activation of natural phenols into selective oxidative burst agonists by activated human neutrophils
  20. Critical role of microglial NADPH oxidase-derived free radicals in the in vitro MPTP model of Parkinson's disease
  21. Spirulina maxima pretreatment partially protects against 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine neurotoxicity
  22. Protective effects of Picrorhiza kurroa on cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression in mice
  23. New antiasthmatic drugs from traditional medicine?
  24. AKL1, a botanical mixture for the treatment of asthma: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study
  25. A double-blind clinical trial of Arogya-wardhani--an ayurvedic drug--in acute viral hepatitis
  26. Biochemical changes induced in liver and serum of aflatoxin B1-treated male wistar rats: preventive effect of picroliv
  27. Hepatocurative effect of picroliv and silymarin against aflatoxin B1 induced hepatotoxicity in rats
  28. Picroliv protects against aflatoxin B1 acute hepatotoxicity in rats
  29. Protective effect of picroliv, active constituent of Picrorhiza kurrooa, against oxytetracycline induced hepatic damage
  30. Prevention of carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic injury in mice by Picrorhiza kurrooa
  31. Hepatoprotective activities of picroliv, curcumin, and ellagic acid compared to silymarin on carbon-tetrachloride-induced liver toxicity in mice
  32. Picroliv affords protection against thioacetamide-induced hepatic damage in rats
  33. Hepatoprotective activity of picroliv, curcumin and ellagic acid compared to silymarin on paracetamol induced liver toxicity in mice
  34. Choleretic effect of picroliv, the hepatoprotective principle of Picrorhiza kurroa
  35. Effect of Picroliv on cadmium-induced hepatic and renal damage in the rat
  36. Therapeutic efficacy of Picroliv in chronic cadmium toxicity
  37. Picroliv preconditioning protects the rat liver against ischemia-reperfusion injury
  38. Picroliv protects against monocrotaline-induced hepatic damage in rats
  39. Protective effect of picroliv against hydrazine-induced hyperlipidemia and hepatic steatosis in rats
  40. Picroliv and its components kutkoside and picroside I protect liver against galactosamine-induced damage in rats
  41. Picroliv protects against alcohol-induced chronic hepatotoxicity in rats
  42. Protection against Amanita phalloides by the iridoid glycoside mixture of Picrorhiza kurroa (kutkin)
  43. Ex vivo and in vivo investigations of picroliv from Picrorhiza kurroa in an alcohol intoxication model in rats
  44. Anticholestatic effect of picroliv, active hepatoprotective principle of Picrorhiza kurrooa, against carbon tetrachloride induced cholestasis
  45. A study of standardized extracts of Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth in experimental nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  46. Cytokines in inflammatory bowel disease
  47. Cytokine and anti-cytokine therapies for inflammatory bowel disease
  48. Amelioration of murine dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis by nuclear factor-kappaB decoy oligonucleotides
  49. NF-kappaB signaling proteins as therapeutic targets for inflammatory bowel diseases
  50. Effect of Picroliv on cadmium induced testicular damage in rat
  51. Prevention of acute cadmium toxicity by Picroliv
  52. Picrorhiza kurroa, an ayurvedic herb, may potentiate photochemotherapy in vitiligo

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