Picroriza Curroa, Kutki or Kutaki – Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth. (from the Greek. pikros – bitter and rhiza – root). A perennial herb from the Norichnikov family – Scrophulariaceae.
The plant has a ligneous stem and rhizome 15-20 cm long.
The leaves are oblong, with a serrated edge, rather fleshy, their tips are rounded, and the bases narrow and gradually pass into the winged vaginal stalk.
The inflorescence is spike-shaped, 5-10 cm long with many flowers, the corollas are semi-cylindrical.
Homeland – the north-eastern part of the Himalayas, is found at an altitude of 3000-4000 m.
Rhizomes contain iridoid glycosides – picrosides I and II and cutcoside. A mixture of these glycosides exhibits hepatoprotective properties. Androsine, acetophenones, acetosyringin are also contained.
Picroriza curroa is widely used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. The leaves, bark and roots of the plant are used. They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, tonic, antiseptic, antibacterial and immunomodulating properties.
The healing properties of Curroa picrises:
- with liver diseases, helps to normalize the level of liver enzymes, protects liver cells from destruction by toxic substances, restores the cell walls of hepatocytes;
- to stimulate appetite and digestion;
- with anorexia;
- with nausea and vomiting;
- with indigestion and chronic diarrhea;
- with constipation;
- to increase the body’s immunity against hepatitis B virus;
- for detoxification and cleansing of the liver and recovery after viral, alcoholic and medication effects;
- with diseases of the respiratory tract, with bronchial asthma;
- with malaria;
- for the treatment of skin diseases, vitiligo, psoriasis;
- as an antitumor agent;
- like an antidote to bites of scorpions and snakes.