By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD
Picrorhiza kurroa is a bitter root of a perennial herb with presence of rhizomes. In Ayurveda, it is also well known as Kutki, Katuki or Katukarohini. In English it is recognized by the name Picrorrhiza, Hellebore, Yellow gentian etc.
Katuki is known to be a cooling agent possessing the ability to pacify pitta and kapha dosha, without disturbing the digestive fire.
Katuki contains various important phytochemicals like iridoids, cucurbitacins and acetophenones. The iridoid glycosides compound contain picroside I and II, as their bioactive components.
The other principles are pikuroside, phenol glycosides, veronicosides, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy acetophenone picein, androsin, drosin, monocyclic phenolic compounds like apocyanin, mannitol, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid and vanilic acid.
In India Katuki is found in Himalayan regions like from Garwal to Bhutan and Kashmir to Sikkim;Other habitats are Pakistan, Tibet, west of China and north Burman regions.
Scientists have found its potent anti-diabetic,anti asthmatic,anti inflammatory,hepatoprotective and immuno-modulatory activities.
According to Ayurveda it acts as a very good carminative,bitter tonic,liver stimulant,laxative,blood purifier, stomachic, cholagogue (promotes the flow of bile from the gall bladder into the duodenum), anti-viral, anti-pyretic wormicide etc.
Read related: Kutki- picrorhiza kurroa Benefits, Dose, Side Effects, Research
Usually it is believed to be drug of choice in the trteatment of jaundice.
Arogyavardhani is a well known combination containing significant amount of Katukarohini.
Few important home rtemedies of Katukarohini are referred here below-
Constipation, fatty liver
1. Katukarohini rhizome powder in constipation and fatty liver:
Katuki is made into fine powder and stored in closed containers.This is administeredwith suitable vehicle (anupana) like warm water, honey, ghee, sugar candy, butter milk, whey water etc.
It has potent effect in managing constipation,liver disorders,especially fatty liver etc.Dose may be fixed as per ones constitution and usually it is administered in the dosage of 125 mg-250 mg in children and 500 mg-2 gram in adults.
Read related: Fatty Liver: Symptoms, Ayurvedic Treatment, Remedies, Tips
Upper respiratory tract infections
2. Root powder with honey in upper respiratory tract infections in children:
Root powder is mixed with honey and given to lick in children.This is administered 4-5 timers a day.This pacifies URTI very effectively in children.
3. Katuki decoction added with honey or jaggery in fever:
20-30 ml decoction or hot infusion of Katuki is administered in fever, eosinophilia and cold.Honey or jaggery can be used as adjuvants here.
4. Katuki and neem decoction in fever:
Equal amount of katuki and nimba are taken and decoction is made.This acts very effectively in chronic recurrent fever,especially in fever, Pyrexia of unknown origin.
Type II DM and cholesterol
5. Katuki and turmeric powder in Type II DM and blood cholesterol:
A combination of equal amount of Katuki and Haridra powder (500 mg-1 gram) is found to be effective in the treatment of Type II DM and in cholesterol.
Read related: How Turmeric Helps in Diabetes Treatment: 7 Ways
Arogyavardhani, Patolakaturohinyadi kashaya, Katukarohinyadi kashayam,Phala ghrita,Sudarshana churna,Vachadi taila etc are the few formulations possessing Katukarohini with wide application and utility.
Bitter becomes a nector like medicine and Katuki is the best example !
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD