Katuki (Picrorhiza kurroa) – A Bitter Herb with Sweet Properties

Katuki, Picrorhiza kurroa

Katuki is a famous bitter herb of Ayurveda. In fact, Katuki in Sanskrit literally means “Bitter”. It is known as “Picrorhiza Kurroa” scientifically. Basically the word “Picrorhiza” is derived from Greek words “Picro” meaning “bitter” and “Rhiza” meaning “roots”. So it is a herb with bitter root.

It has a root which is a treasure of several medicinal properties. It is a drug with a Sheeta veerya i.e, the drug with a coolant property. Hence it is very useful in removing excessive heat from the body. It has a property to balance Pitta and Kapha which are capable of causing digestion problems like Acidity etc. Thus it helps in improving the metabolism. Because of this it is very effective in management of Obesity, Gouty Arthritis, and Diabetes etc. It has a great role in maintaining the health of liver.

Most of the Ayurvedic medicines intended to cure Liver diseases have Katuki as the major herb. It is a nature’s best Cholagogue i.e, the herb which helps to increase the contractions of Gall bladder and take out the secretions. This mechanism helps in improving digestion, regulate fat metabolism. Not only this, it also helps in Carbohydrates and protein metabolism.

“A man’s Liver is like a Carburetor”- Anonyms.

Liver is a vital organ of a human body. Liver is the largest internal organ of the body and also a main site of metabolism. It is involved in metabolizing many toxins, including chemicals, medications and other natural substances. It is an imperative organ which performs several chemical actions that are considered necessary for the survival. It is also a largest gland which produces chemicals that are used by other parts of body. The Liver is also a store house of lot of Vitamins and chemicals that are the building blocks requisite by the body.

“Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver”- William James

The above quote shows the importance of Liver in maintaining the health of a person. Hence maintaining a normal health of Liver is very important. It is a real challenge. Katuki is a God gift which helps in maintaining health of Liver.

Health Benefits of Katuki

Skin disorders

According to Ayurveda, the main cause of all the skin diseases is imbalance in Pitta. Nabhi (Umbilicus) is the main seat of Pitta. The organs situated in and around Nabhi are responsible in maintaining normalcy of Pitta. Katuki is one such herb which is Pittahara and also Pitta rechaka. By this property it helps in removing toxins from Liver and helps in curing skin diseases.


One of the major causes for Obesity is poor or altered or sluggish metabolism of fats and there poor absorption. Liver is organ responsible for the metabolism of fats in the body. Katuki is a drug having the property of mitigating Kapha. Hence Katuki with this property stimulates the Liver and corrects the fat metabolism.

Central obesity

Katuki is capable of removal of belly fat on regular intake. This action is also initiated in Liver and takes place gradually.

Hormonal imbalances

Liver is important gland which secretes several enzymes that are important to maintain hormonal balance in the body. Liver processes several hormones. Correction of Liver function with the help of Katuki surely corrects the hormonal imbalance in the body.

Jaundice and Fatty Liver

Fatty liver is caused due to sluggish metabolism and alcohol toxicity. Katuki helps in restoration of Liver functions by overcoming fatty liver changes. It also helps in Jaundice as it is best “Pitta rechaka” and helps in removal of excessive bile from body.

Katuki had shown the Liver protective activity. It is also capable of reversing the damage caused to Liver and improve its function.

Antioxidant activity of Katuki

Recent studies have proved that Katuki is an antioxidants and a scavenger of oxygen free radicals. It also has an immune-modulating properties. Thus it acts as a very good immune system regulator and a hepato-protective drug.

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Vaidya Jagjit Singh
He is the Director and Chief Ayurved Physician at Chandigarh Ayurved Centre. He pursued his BAMS from Shri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College, Chandigarh in 1985. He is practising for more than 30 years.
Vaidya Jagjit Singh

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Vaidya Jagjit Singh

Vaidya Jagjit Singh

He is the Director and Chief Ayurved Physician at Chandigarh Ayurved Centre. He pursued his BAMS from Shri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College, Chandigarh in 1985. He is practising for more than 30 years.

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