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Kutki – Picrorhiza kurroa


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Picrorhiza kurroa is one of the major income generating non-timber forest products found in the Nepalese Himalayas. It is one of the oldest medicinal plants traded from the Karnali zone. Known as Kutki or कुटकी in Nepali, it is a perennial herb and is used as a substitute for Indian gentian .

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It is found in the Himalayan region from Kashmir to Sikkim at an elevation of 2700-4500m[citation needed] and in Nepal, found abundantly between 3500 and 4800m. It is found far away from the community and takes from hours to days to walk to its growing habitat. It has been reported that Picrorhiza has been harvested to near extinction.

Leaves: 5–15 cm long leaves, almost all at the base, often withered Leaves are coarsely toothed, narrowed to a winged stalk.
Rhizomes of the plant are 15–25 cm long and woody.
Flowers: small, pale or purplish blue, borne in cylindric spikes, spikes borne on almost leafless erect stems. Flowers about 8 mm, 5-lobed to the middle, and with much longer stamens.
Fruits: 1.3 cm long.

Chemistry: Chemical composition of Picrorhiza kurroa include Kutkin, a bitter glycoside which contains two C-9 iridoid glycosides-Picroside I and Kutakoside.

The rhizome has a long history of use in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of digestive problems. Other uses have been proposed (e.g. for asthma, liver damage, wound healing, vitiligo) but the medical evidence is not yet conclusive. It appears to be relatively safe based on its long history of traditional use.[3] [7] our study ARKA AAYURVEDA Current research on Picrorhiza kurroa has focused on its hepatoprotective, anticholestatic, antioxidant, and immune-modulating activity. Kutki has hepato-protective properties and thus supports the liver and spleen. It is used in all forms of liver damage, cirrhosis and inflammation of the liver. It protects the liver against damage from the hepatitis C is use to cure fractures

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