Botanical Name

Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth




Picrorhiza lindleyana Steud.

Regional Name

English : Hellebore, Hindi :Kutki, Sanskrit :Tikta, Tiktarohini, Kaurohini, Kavi, Sutiktaka, Kauka, Rohini, Urdu :Kutki, Punjabi :Karru, kaur, Assamese :Katki, Kutki, Gujrati :Kadu, Katu, Kannada :Katukarohini, katukarohini, Malayalam :Kadukrohini, Katukarohini, Marathi :Kutki, Kalikutki, Oriya : Katuki, Tamil :Katukarohini, Katukurohini, Kadugurohini, Telugu :Karukarohini.

Part Used

Root & Rhizome.


Kutaki is a perennial, more or less hairy herb, globally distributed in the Himalayan range across Pakistan, India and Nepal. Within India, it is found in the alpine Himalayas of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim between an altitude range of 3300-4300 m. Leaves are coarsely toothed 5–15 cm long. Rhizome are 2.5-8 cm long and 4-8 mm thick, subcylindrical, straight or slightly curved, externally greyish-brown, surface rough due to longitudinal wrinklesat places cork exfoliates exposing dark cortex; fracture, short; odour, pleasant; taste, bitter.   Root are thin, cylindrical, 5-10 cm long, 0.05-0.1 cm in diameter, straight or slightly curved with a few longitudinal wrinkles and dotted scars, mostly attached with rhizomes. Flowers are about small 8 mm, 5-lobed to the middle, and with much longer stamens pale or purplish blue, borne in cylindric spikes.Fruits are about 1.3 cm long.


Kutaki is contains Glycosides (Picrorhizin) two glycosides-Picroside I and Kutakoside.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa :Katu, Tikta, Guna :Laghu, Vipaka :Katu, Virya :Usna, Karma :Hrdya, Pittahara, Dipani, Bhedini, Jvarahara.

Ayurvedic Applications

Svasa, Daha, Jvara, Kamala, Kustha, Visamajvara, Arocaka.

Medicinal Uses

Kutaki is used for jaundice, sudden liver infections caused by a virus (acute viral hepatitis), fever, allergy, Dyspnoea and asthma. It is also used to treat skin conditions including eczema and vitiligo, a disorder that causes white patches on the skin. It is also used for digestion problems including indigestion, burning sensation, constipation, and ongoing diarrhoea. Other uses for treatment of infection, scorpion stings, epilepsy, malaria, and rheumatoid arthritis.
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