Picrorrhiza (E), Kutki (H):
Kutki is a very bitter root that has wonderful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It grows in the freezing climate of the Himalayas and evidently absorbs some of this 'cooling' property from its surrounding environment. Kat.uka- literally means 'pungent' which is strange as it is a very bitter tasting herb.
Liver Kutki protects the liver against damage from the hepatitis C virus. It increases the flow of bile and reduces such bilious pitta symptoms as sour or bitter taste in the mouth, acidity and nausea. Use in all forms of liver damage, cirrhosis and inflammation of the liver. Heart As it clears heat from ran˜jaka pitta and the blood it can also benefit the heart; especially palpitations caused by pitta irritating rakta. Allergies Its anti-inflammatory effect on rasa dhatu is used for immune reactions and hypersensitivity to environmental allergens; asthma, rhinitis, eczema with signs of heat and high pitta and kapha. Used in bronchial asthma for its expectorant properties. Immunity It is useful in autoimmune conditions as an immune stimulant with inflammations of a pitta–kapha variety; arthritis, psoriasis, acute and chronic infections. Clinical trials for inflammatory and allergic conditions showed significant improvements. Digestion At a low dose (<1g per day), can increase digestive fire, agni and peristalsis. Large doses will purge the bowel (purisavahasrotas). Useful in dysentery with bleeding, bloating, mucus and parasites. It scrapes toxic accumulations from the intestines and blood. This scraping action is also used to clear fat from the body and to stimulate the digestive fire in medas-dhatu so that it can metabolise the earth and water elements effectively.