Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa)
Health Benefits Of Kutki
- Remedies Liver Anomalies
- Aids In Weight Loss
- Promotes Heart Functions
- Augments Skin Health
- Promotes Digestion
- Treats Arthritis
- Shields Against Infections
- Fights Respiratory Issues
- Regulates Diabetes
Kutki or Katuka is a traditional hepatoprotective herb that has immense healing properties. In fact, over the past few years, with more and more knowledge about this incredible herb, and forever increasing demand in the national and international market, various medicinal companies have extracted potent hepatoprotective drugs and compounds from the roots of Kutki and formulated them into powerful medications. Known by the botanical name Picorrhiza kurroa, Kutki comes from the Scrophulariaceae family. The name Picorrhiza comes from the Greek word ‘Picroz’ which means ‘bitter’ and ‘rhiza’ meaning ‘root’, referring to the bitter taste of the herb. Picrorhiza kurroa is one of the major income generating non-timber forest products found in the Nepalese Himalayas. It is one of the oldest medicinal plants traded from the Karnali zone. Known as kutki or कुटकी in Nepali, it is a perennial herb and is used as a substitute for Indian gentian. Being a potent cardio-protective herb, Kutki is quintessential for treating a host of heart ailments. Owing to its strong antioxidative nature, it strengthens the heart muscles, prevents lipid build up within them, and hence reduces the risk of heart attacks, heart blocks, blood clots, atherosclerosis etc. Known as kutki or कुटकी in Nepali, it is a perennial herb and is used as a substitute for Indian gentian (Gentiana kurroo).
Health Benefits Of Kutki:-
Remedies Liver Anomalies:
Deemed as ‘sarva roga niramani’, just like the bitter kalmegh leaves, kutki possesses potent hepatoprotective and hepatostimulative properties which makes it a magical remedy during jaundice, in which the liver gets mostly effected. The plant offers support to the liver functioning by secreting bile which in turn helps the liver enzymes to come down to normal levels. It also cleanses and detoxifies the liver and improves liver functioning.
Aids In Weight Loss:
The abundance of flavonoids in kutki root helps the body shed excess weight faster. Being loaded with fiber and essential nutrients, when taken regularly, the formulations of the bitter herb satiates sudden hunger pangs and prevents overeating and hence can play a pivotal role in one’s weight loss regimen. The herb also reduces the accumulation of LDL (i.e. Low-Density Lipoproteins or bad cholesterol) in the body, thereby improving metabolism and helping the body to maintain a proper weight.
Promotes Heart Functions:
Being a potent cardio-protective herb, Kutki is quintessential for treating a host of heart ailments. Owing to its strong antioxidative nature, it strengthens the heart muscles, prevents lipid build up within them, and hence reduces the risk of heart attacks, heart blocks, blood clots, atherosclerosis etc. It not only plays a crucial role in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood but also dilates blood vessels and normalizes blood flow, hence managing high blood pressure.
Fights Respiratory Issues:
Blessed with powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, and anti-asthmatic properties, Kutki is considered to be a well-known traditional remedy for all sorts of respiratory troubles. It holds high significance in treating the common cold, sore throat, cough and flu symptoms. It also thins and loosens rheum particles within the chest and nasal cavities and hence eases breathing and helps the body to get rid of mucus. It is also beneficial in treating bronchitis and asthmatic conditions.
Shields Against Infections:
The biochemical compounds present in this bitter herb has been used since the ancient times to combat germs and shield the body against various infections. Thanks to its strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and antifungal properties, kutki is not only used for removing bacteria and germs from the body but also used for recurring fever conditions. It also helps in reducing general debility, weakness, and fatigue and improves the vitality of the body.
Imbued with excellent carminative and digestive properties, kutki makes for a one-stop solution for all digestive woes. The anti-flatulent property reduces the formation of gas in the alimentary canal, thus reducing flatulence, bloating, constipation, and abdominal distension. The antacid property of the herb prevents the formation of excessive acids in the stomach thereby treating indigestion, ulcer, gastritis and promoting better absorption of nutrients in the body.
Thanks to the exceptional hypoglycemic property, kutki holds high significance in pacifying the blood sugar levels in the body. The production of insulin from the β-pancreatic cells becomes active in taking kutki or its formulations. It helps to reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose which in turn leads to low blood glucose levels and thus helps in managing diabetes.
The wealth of anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties of the Kutki root is extensively used for providing relief from pain and inflammation due to arthritis. It is also extremely effective against Rheumatoid arthritis which is known as Amavata in Ayurveda, an ailment that stems due to the vitiation of Vata doshas and accumulation of Ama in the joints.
Augments Skin Health:
Sanctified with antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, kutki offers blood purifying properties which helps in removing toxins from the blood and hence helps to manage skin diseases. It not only helps in shielding the skin from oxidative radical damage due to the harmful UVA and UVB rays, to reduce the risk of the various signs of aging like wrinkles, blemishes, spots, fine lines, and dark circles, but also treats allergic
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