What is Picrorhiza Kurroa? What are the Benefits of Kutki? How to use Picrorhiza Kurroa? Side Effects of Picrorrhiza. Picrorrhiza Green Tea


Kutki Botanical name is Picrorhiza Kurroa, other common names are picrorrhiza, yellow gentian, picroliv, katuka, katuki, kurri, kuru, hellbore. It is found in Himalyan regions of China, Pakistan, India, Bhutan, and Nepal. Its trade name picrorrhiza is based on a scientific name.

The dried rhizomes of the plant constitute the drug, it is used extensively in conditions in which the drugs with taste are considered significant. The Picrorhiza Kurroa is a recognized substitute for the European gentian in Indian Pharmaceutical Codex 1952.

What is Picrorhiza Kurroa?

Picrorhiza Kurroa is a small, hairy perennial herb with woody rhizomes. It contains bitter glucoside kytkin, a non-bitter product kurrin, vanillic acid, alcohol kutkiol, sterol kutkisterol, and an odorous principle, sesquiterpene. In Greek, “picros” means bitter, while “rhiza” means root.

Picrorhiza Kurroa Leaves 

Picrorhiza Kurroa leaves

The leaves are basal and alternate and 8-12 cm long, almost radical, toothed, narrowed, sharply serrated, and alternately arranged on the stem. Terminal Spikes are present. Calyx divides equally into 5 parts.

Picrorhiza Kurroa Flowers

Picrorhiza Kurroa

The flowers are very small white or pale blue-purple, borne in cylindric and dense terminal spikes. The flowering time of Picrorhiza Kurroa is June to August.

Picrorhiza Kurroa Fruit

The fruit is an acute capsule, tapered at the top, dehiscing into 4valves, 12 mm long. The fruiting time of Picrorhiza Kurroa is June to August.

Picrorhiza Kurroa Seeds 

The seeds are numerous, ellipsoid, and coated very thick, and transparent. The color is white, with an oblong curved raphe.

Picrorhiza Kurroa Roots 

Picrorhiza Kurroa root

The Roots are elongated, tubular,5–10 cm in length, and 0.5–1.0 mm in diameter. They are straight or marginally curved with a few longitudinal and dotted scars, mostly associated with rhizomes.

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What are the Benefits of Kutki / Picrorhiza Kurroa?

In Indian medicine, Picrorhiza Kurroa is considered a valuable bitter tonic, almost as efficacious as Indian gentian, botanically known as gentian kurroo (nilkenta). It cures periodic attacks of hysteria, epilepsy, and convulsion and promotes the secretion of bile.

Picrorhiza Kurroa is considered an important medicinal plant that is mostly used in the traditional medicinal system for asthma, jaundice, fever, malaria, snakebite, and liver disorders.

It has anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, antimutagenic, cardio-protective, hepato-protective, anti-malarial, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-ulcer, and nephroprotective properties.

Picrorhiza Kurroa has a pungent and bitter taste, it has cold potency. It helps to balance the Pitta and Kapha doshas and often an excess of it can aggravate the Vata doshas.

Let’s check out the health benefits of Picrorhiza Kurroa

For Ascites

Picrorhiza is beneficial in the treatment of ascites, a disease characterized by the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen.

For Constipation

Picrorhiza serves as a mild purgative by inducing active movement of the bowel. It gives relief from constipation.

For Indigestion

Picrorhiza is beneficial in the treatment of dyspepsia. It strengthens the stomach and promotes its action while improving appetite and stimulating the secretion of gastric juices.

For Jaundice

Picrorhiza is one of the two major herbs considered beneficial in Ayurveda for the treatment of jaundice. The second one is Turpeth (Nisoth)

For Liver Cirrhosis

Picrorhiza is an important herb for liver treatment in Ayurveda, it stimulates the liver to produce more bile, and increased secretion relieves congestion of the liver, and the tissues start functioning again.

For Weight Management

Picrorhiza contains rich fibers and essential nutrients that help to control weight gain and shred access weight.

For Respiratory Problems

Picrorhiza contains anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, and anti-asthmatic properties that help to treat respiratory problems and keep the track healthy.

For Ulcers

Picrorhiza contains anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer properties, the root of Picrorhiza helps to treat ulcers, peptic ulcers, canker sores, or mouth ulcers.

How to use Picrorhiza Kurroa?

Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. The general recommended dosage is 3-6 grams of Picrorhiza Kurroa daily once a day.

Here are some home remedies for Picrorhiza Kurroa / Kutki

  • Take 50 grams of Picrorhiza Kurroa root powder with 200ml water, boiled till three-fourths of the water evaporates, and take this fresh decoction daily for 21 days. Helps to induce 4-5 motions on average, leading to reduction of girth abnormal belly.
  • Take 5 grams Picrorhiza Kurroa root powder with water daily, helps to improve appetite and treats indigestion.
  • Take 5 grams of each, Picrorhiza Kurroa root powder and Turpeth root powder, and mix them well. Take with hot water, twice a day, daily. Helps to treat jaundice.
  • Take 1 tsp of Picrorhiza Kurroa root powder with an equal amount of honey and mix them well. Take thrice a day on daily basis Helps to treat liver disorders.
  • Take ½ tsp of Picrorhiza Kurroa root powder with 1 tbsp of aloe vera juice and 1 tsp of honey, mix them well, and take them after a meal, maintaining liver health.
  • Take ½ tsp of Picrorhiza Kurroa root powder with ½ tsp of Berberis Aristata powder mixed in ¼ cup of warm water thrice a day, helps to maintain blood sugar levels under control.
  • Make a decoction of ¼ tsp Picrorhiza Kurroa root powder, ½ tsp Ginger, and 1 tsp Castor Oil. Mix them with warm water and take it before going to bed, helps to treat arthritis.

Side Effects of Picrorrhiza

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’ have any side effects but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have special health issues.

Some side effects of Picrorrhiza are mentioned below

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take Picrorhiza Kurroa without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • If you are on diabetes or on hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Picrorhiza Kurroa.
  • Do not take Picrorhiza Kurroa without a doctor’s prescription if you are suffering from chronic diarrhea.
  • Picrorhiza Kurroa is not suggested without medical supervision for children below 12 years of age, the elderly, or physically or mentally weaker persons.
  • If you are on any health supplements, advise the doctor before starting Picrorhiza Kurroa.

Picrorrhiza Green Tea

This tea helps to improve digestion and immunity of the body, it is also helpful to maintain blood sugar levels. You can add this tea to your brunch menu.


  • Water – 1 ½ cup
  • Picrorhiza Kurroa Root Powder – ½ tsp
  • Green Tea – ½ tsp
  • Berberis Aristata Powder – ½ tsp
  • Cinnamon Powder – ¼ tsp
  • Nutmeg Powder – ¼ tsp
  • Black Pepper Powder – ¼ tsp
  • Black Salt – ¼ tsp


  • Heat the pan and add water, start to boil.
  • Add all the ingredients except black salt.
  • Boil for 2-3 minutes.
  • Strain the tea in a cup with help of a tea filter.
  • Add black salt according to the taste, mix it and drink hot.
  • You can also add lemon.

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