Picrorhiza Kurroa


Picrorhiza KurroaPicrorhiza kurroa is one of the oldest medicinal plants that is traded majorly from the Karnali zone. This herb is a common substitute for the Indian Gentia. It is found widely from Kashmir to Sikkim at a height of 2700 to 4500 square feet above sea level.
The Picrorhiza kurroa belongs to the family of Scrophulariaceae.


For relieving vitiligo that causes white colored patches on the skin around 200 mg of the rhizome is powdered and used as an applicator twice in a day.


Picrorhiza kurroa is known as Kutki or Kuru colloquially. It is a small sized hairy perennial herb that has woody rhizomes. The flowers are white or pale blue in color and have cylindrical spikes. The rhizomes are dried and added in medicinal drugs. The trade name of the herb is Picrorrhiza.
The leaves of the plant are 5 to 15 cms long and are coarsely toothed. The woody rhizomes of the Picrorhiza kurroa are 15 to 25 cm long. The flowers are 8 mm and have 5 lobes in the middle. The flower also has long stamens.


The Picrorhiza kurroa contains a bitter tasting agent called glucoside kutkin and a non bitter agent called kurrin. The herb also contains vanillic acid, kutkiol, kutisterol and sesquiterpene. The herb has been recognized as substitute of the European gentian by the Indian Pharmaceutical Codex 1952.


The herb is an indigenous medicine that is a bitter tonic. The Picrorhiza kurroa is useful in relieving periodic attacks of hysteria, epilepsy and convulsion. The herb helps in promoting the secretion of bile juices and has antibiotic properties as well.
The Picrorhiza kurroa is a powerful laxative, a liver stimulant, laxative, appetite stimulator and a febrifuge. Tests have shown that the herb is useful in relieving patients of viral hepatitis, anorexia, vomiting as well as nausea. The plant Picrorhiza kurroa is a bitter carminative and a digestant that has a cooling effect on the body. It is a cardio tonic, anthelmintic and an antipyretic. A number of studies of have shown that the herb is useful for relieving spleen disorders, skin problems and hepatomegaly.


The Picrorhiza kurroa is helpful in relieving the following ailments:

  • Cirrhosis of the liver: The Picrorhiza kurroa is useful in relieving liver cirrhosis. The powdered root is used for this purpose. A teaspoon of the Picrorhiza kurroa powder is mixed with honey and used three times in a day. The dose should be doubled and taken with warm water 3 times in a day for relieving constipation. The herb also helps in stimulating the liver and increase the secretion of juices in it.
  • Jaundice: Picrorhiza kurroa is one of the major constituents of the Ayurvedic management formulation used for relieving jaundice. One or maximum 2 teaspoons of powdered Picrorhiza kurroa is administered for use for this purpose.
  • Indigestion: Picrorhiza kurroa is benefiting for patients suffering from dyspepsia. It helps in strengthening the stomach and in promoting its action efficiently. It improves the appetite and helps in the secretion of gastric juices.
  • Constipation: Picrorhiza kurroa is useful for relieving constipation and inducing the active movement of bowel in the body. It is a proven purgative.
  • Ascites: Picrorhiza kurroa is benefiting for patients of ascites. Around 50 gms of Picrorhiza kurroa is boiled with 200 ml of water for relieving this problem.


Picrorhiza kurroa can cause vomiting, anorexia, itching as well as rashes.
Pregnancy and lactating women should not use this herb. The herb can cause the immune mechanism to become more active in nature and can work to increase the symptoms of auto immune ailments.


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