Kutki/Picrorhiza (Picrorhiza kurroa Benth ex Royle )
1253538704image_Kutki-Picrorhiza out.jpg Picrorhiza kurroa Benth. ex Royle Family - Scrophulariaceae Kutki A small nearly hairy perennial herb with an elongated creeping stolons from root stock; leaves spathulate, serrate; flowers white or bluish in dense terminal spicate raceme; dried rhizome cylindrical, deep grayish brown in color and longitudinally wrinkled with annulations at the tip. REGIONAL NAMES English - Picrorhiza Hindi - Katuka, Kuru, Kutki Malayalam - Katukurohini, Katurohini Kannada - Katukarohini Tamil - Katugurohini Telugu - Katki DISTRIBUTION Found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Sikkim at an elevation of 2,700-4,500 meter hills of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. It can be cultivated between 1800 m to 2800 m. altitude. PART USED : Root, Rhizome MEDICINAL PROPERTIES AND USES The rhizome is bitter, acrid, cooling, laxative, carminative, digestive, stomachic, anthelminthic, anti-inflammatory, depurative, cardio tonic, galactopurifier, expectorant, antipyretic and anti-periodic and purgative in large doses. They are useful in burning sensation, constipation, gastropathy, flatulence, colic, anorexia, verminosis, inflammations, leucoderma, leprosy, skin diseases, cardiac disorders, hypotension, cough asthma, bronchitis, hiccough, fever, bilious fever, intermittent fever, diabetes, jaundice, haemorrhoids, impurity of breast milk, general debility, epilepsy, improves eye sight, fever malaria, paralysis, scorpion sting, etc. CULTIVATION AND PROPAGATION : SOIL AND CLIMATE Sandy textured loam soil is best for the cultivation of the plant site rich in organic carbon and high moisture content is needed for cultivation. Further partial shady areas (Canopy of small shrubs) are found good for maximum growth and productivity. NURSERY RAISING AND PLANTING Seeds sown in upper soil surface in seedling trays and covered with thin layer of moss accelerate germination. Moss layer retains moisture and one must avoid splashing of water over the seeds sown. This condition enhances the germination of seed upto 52% to 58% at lower altitude inside polyhouse. Seeds are sown during November-December in polyhouse at lower altitude, during March-April in beds at medium altitude (2200m) and during May in alpine area. Seedlings raised at lower altitude are transplanted in nursery beds at least for six months by raising seedlings at lower altitude in winter and transplanting them at higher altitude during spring. About 44,000 plants are usually planted in one acre of land. Intercropping with Saunf can give better yield, which provide suitable microclimate to growing plants of P. kurroea by providing moisture for long time under its canopy. Intercropping with economically viable plants for the area viz. potato and Foeniculwn vulgare (saunf) were most suitable. Further intercropping with Digitalis purpurea has also been suggested. Vegetative propagation was done successfully through stolon segments by simple method viz., water dip treatment and use of high moisture trenches for rooting of stolon cuttings, which can be easily used for cultivation purpose by local growers. Top segments of stolons were found more suitable for multiplication. Cuttings were kept under soil in trenches or covered with moss with high moisture content, 90% rooting was observed in top segments after 2 weeks. WEEDING AND HOEING Weeding of crop is done at weekly intervals during first year of cultivation and at monthly interval during the second and third year at both altitudes. It also depends on the condition of soil and presence of weeds. MANURE/FERTILIZER Manuring is recommended during winter or before transplanting. In general, maximum manure 60-70 q/acre is required at lower altitude and 40-46 q/acre at medium altitude to achieve best production for three years. However, at sites rich in organic matter only 18.04-q./acre manure is required for three years. IRRIGATION Beds needed excessive watering/irrigation to decrease the mortality rate. At early developmental stage of seedlings in beds, as well as stolon cuttings need watering after every 24 hrs at lower altitude (1800 m.). Generally watering should be done at two days interval during winter. HARVESTING/POST HARVESTING OPERATION After completion of reproductive phase, plants become mature for harvesting and contain good percentage of active principle. Time of completion of reproductive phase differs with the difference in altitude. Generally, the plants in alpine areas complete their reproductive phase during the month of September-October while the plants at lower altitude complete their reproductive phase during the month of September. During senescence of aerial parts, plants should be harvested to achieve the high quantity of active principles. To take the maximum amount of bioactive ingredients harvesting should be done during the months of September at lower altitude while in the months of October at higher altitude. CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS MAJOR CONSTITUENTS Kutkin a glycosidal bitter principal, which is a mixture of two iridoid glycosides viz. Picroside I and Kutkoside OTHER CONSTITUENTS Other reported components include D-mannitol, kutikol, kulki sterol, apocynin, picroside II, a novel cucurbitacin glycoside bitter principal characterized as 25-acetoxy-2-beta-glucosyloxy-3, 16,20-trihydroxy-9-methyl-19-norlanosta-5, 23-diene-22-one, picroside HI, veronicoside, minecoside; phenol glycosides viz., picein and androsin; a number of cucurbitacin glycosides and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyacetophenone. ACTIVE CONSTITUENTS Kutkin and its two organic acids exhibit choleratic and laxative activity whereas apocynin shows only choleratic activity. ANALYTICAL PROFILE HPLC analysis of kutkoside and picroside 1 - the major bioactive constituents Mobile phase Methanol Water (35:65) Flow rate 1.5ml/min. Column CIH Bondapak 10 micro Detector UV at 270 nm STANDARD PREPARATION Prepare a solution containing known concentrations (Cone Range 0.1-0.5 mg/ml) of kutkoside and picroside I in methanol. SAMPLE PREPARATION Reflux (Ihr.) known quantity (5 g) of powdered drug with ethanol (100 ml). Filter and reflux (1 hr.) the marc further two times with ethanol (2x100 ml). Filter, evaporate the combined filtrate to dryness, dissolve in methanol (10 ml) and make up the volume to 25 ml with methanol. Prepare further dilutions if necessary. PROCEDURE Subject known volumes (10 microlitres) of standard and sample preparations to HPLC and record respective peak areas for kutkoside & picroside I in triplicate and accordingly calculate their percentages in the sample. YIELD The average yield is 450 kg/ha and maximum 612 kg/ha from high dose of forest litter treated field. SUBSTITUTE/ADULTERANTS Commercial market samples of Picrorhiza kurroa are often adulterated with Latotis kashmiriana (Royal ex Benth). Bupr (Selaginaceae). The latter grows with P.kurroa at similar elevations between 3200-4500 but does not posses hepatoprotective properties. P.kurroa can be easily identified by its protruded stamens and also by the presence of glycosidic mixture 'Kutki' which is absent in L.kashmiriana. DOSE 1-3 g of the drug in powder form IMPORTANT FORMULATION Arogyavardhini Gutika, Tiktaka, Ghrta, Sarvajvarahara lauha, Mahatiktaka Ghrita
 
Picrorhiza kurroa Benth. ex Royle
 
Family - Scrophulariaceae

 
 
   

     
           

 
     
           

A small nearly hairy perennial herb with an elongated creeping stolons from root stock; leaves spathulate, serrate; flowers white or bluish in dense terminal spicate raceme; dried rhizome cylindrical, deep grayish brown in color and longitudinally wrinkled with annulations at the tip.
     
                   
 REGIONAL NAMES      
           
English - Picrorhiza
Hindi - Katuka, Kuru, Kutki
Malayalam - Katukurohini, Katurohini
Kannada - Katukarohini
Tamil - Katugurohini
Telugu - Katki

     
                   
           

DISTRIBUTION

Found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Sikkim at an elevation of 2,700-4,500 meter hills of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. It can be cultivated between 1800 m to 2800 m. altitude.
     
                   
           

PART USED :
Root, Rhizome

 
     
           

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES AND USES


The rhizome is bitter, acrid, cooling, laxative, carminative, digestive, stomachic, anthelminthic, anti-inflammatory, depurative, cardio tonic, galactopurifier, expectorant, antipyretic and anti-periodic and purgative in large doses. They are useful in burning sensation, constipation, gastropathy, flatulence, colic, anorexia, verminosis, inflammations, leucoderma, leprosy, skin diseases, cardiac disorders, hypotension, cough asthma, bronchitis, hiccough, fever, bilious fever, intermittent fever, diabetes, jaundice, haemorrhoids, impurity of breast milk, general debility, epilepsy, improves eye sight, fever malaria, paralysis, scorpion sting, etc.
     
                   
           

CULTIVATION AND PROPAGATION :

SOIL AND CLIMATE

Sandy textured loam soil is best for the cultivation of the plant site rich in organic carbon and high moisture content is needed for cultivation. Further partial shady areas (Canopy of small shrubs) are found good for maximum growth and productivity.

 
     
           

NURSERY RAISING AND PLANTING

Seeds sown in upper soil surface in seedling trays and covered with thin layer of moss accelerate germination. Moss layer retains moisture and one must avoid splashing of water over the seeds sown. This condition enhances the germination of seed upto 52% to 58% at lower altitude inside polyhouse. Seeds are sown during November-December in polyhouse at lower altitude, during March-April in beds at medium altitude (2200m) and during May in alpine area. Seedlings raised at lower altitude are transplanted in nursery beds at least for six months by raising seedlings at lower altitude in winter and transplanting them at higher altitude during spring. About 44,000 plants are usually planted in one acre of land. Intercropping with Saunf can give better yield, which provide suitable microclimate to growing plants of P. kurroea by providing moisture for long time under its canopy. Intercropping with economically viable plants for the area viz. potato and Foeniculwn vulgare (saunf) were most suitable. Further intercropping with Digitalis purpurea has also been suggested. Vegetative propagation was done successfully through stolon segments by simple method viz., water dip treatment and use of high moisture trenches for rooting of stolon cuttings, which can be easily used for cultivation purpose by local growers. Top segments of stolons were found more suitable for multiplication. Cuttings were kept under soil in trenches or covered with moss with high moisture content, 90% rooting was observed in top segments after 2 weeks.

     
                   
           

WEEDING AND HOEING


Weeding of crop is done at weekly intervals during first year of cultivation and at monthly interval during the second and third year at both altitudes. It also depends on the condition of soil and presence of weeds.
     
                   
           

MANURE/FERTILIZER

Manuring is recommended during winter or before transplanting. In general, maximum manure 60-70 q/acre is required at lower altitude and 40-46 q/acre at medium altitude to achieve best production for three years. However, at sites rich in organic matter only 18.04-q./acre manure is required for three years.
     
                   
           

IRRIGATION

Beds needed excessive watering/irrigation to decrease the mortality rate. At early developmental stage of seedlings in beds, as well as stolon cuttings need watering after every 24 hrs at lower altitude (1800 m.). Generally watering should be done at two days interval during winter.

     
                   
           

HARVESTING/POST HARVESTING OPERATION

After completion of reproductive phase, plants become mature for harvesting and contain good percentage of active principle. Time of completion of reproductive phase differs with the difference in altitude. Generally, the plants in alpine areas complete their reproductive phase during the month of September-October while the plants at lower altitude complete their reproductive phase during the month of September. During senescence of aerial parts, plants should be harvested to achieve the high quantity of active principles. To take the maximum amount of bioactive ingredients harvesting should be done during the months of September at lower altitude while in the months of October at higher altitude.

     
                   
           

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS


MAJOR CONSTITUENTS

Kutkin — a glycosidal bitter principal, which is a mixture of two iridoid glycosides viz. Picroside I and Kutkoside
     
                   
           

OTHER CONSTITUENTS

Other reported components include D-mannitol, kutikol, kulki sterol, apocynin, picroside II, a novel cucurbitacin glycoside bitter principal characterized as 25-acetoxy-2-beta-glucosyloxy-3, 16,20-trihydroxy-9-methyl-19-norlanosta-5, 23-diene-22-one, picroside HI, veronicoside, minecoside; phenol glycosides viz., picein and androsin; a number of cucurbitacin glycosides and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyacetophenone.
     
                   
           

ACTIVE CONSTITUENTS

Kutkin and its two organic acids exhibit choleratic and laxative activity whereas apocynin shows only choleratic activity.
     
                   
           

ANALYTICAL PROFILE


HPLC analysis of kutkoside and picroside 1 - the major bioactive constituents
     
           
       
Mobile phase Methanol     Water (35:65)
Flow rate     1.5ml/min.
Column CIH Bondapak     10 micro
Detector UV at     270 nm
       
     
           

STANDARD PREPARATION

Prepare a solution containing known concentrations (Cone Range 0.1-0.5 mg/ml) of kutkoside and picroside I in methanol.
     
                   
           

SAMPLE PREPARATION

Reflux (Ihr.) known quantity (5 g) of powdered drug with ethanol (100 ml). Filter and reflux (1 hr.) the marc further two times with ethanol (2x100 ml). Filter, evaporate the combined filtrate to dryness, dissolve in methanol (10 ml) and make up the volume to 25 ml with methanol. Prepare further dilutions if necessary.
     
                   
           

PROCEDURE

Subject known volumes (10 microlitres) of standard and sample preparations to HPLC and record respective peak areas for kutkoside & picroside I in triplicate and accordingly calculate their percentages in the sample.
     
                   
           

YIELD
     
The average yield is 450 kg/ha and maximum 612 kg/ha from high dose of forest litter treated field.
     
                   
           

SUBSTITUTE/ADULTERANTS

Commercial market samples of Picrorhiza kurroa are often adulterated with Latotis kashmiriana (Royal ex Benth). Bupr (Selaginaceae). The latter grows with P.kurroa at similar elevations between 3200-4500 but does not posses hepatoprotective properties. P.kurroa can be easily identified by its protruded stamens and also by the presence of glycosidic mixture 'Kutki' which is absent in L.kashmiriana.
     
                   
           

DOSE

1-3 g of the drug in powder form
     
                   
           

IMPORTANT FORMULATION

Arogyavardhini Gutika, Tiktaka, Ghrta, Sarvajvarahara lauha, Mahatiktaka Ghrita
     
           

    
 
 
SAVE TREES
SAVE ENVIRONMENT
SAVE EARTH