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Katuka (Picrorhiza kurroa)

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Also listed as: Picrorhiza kurroa
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Black hellebore, black kutki, kali, kali kutki, kali-kutki, karru, katki, katukurogani, kaur, kuru, kuruwa, kutaki, kutki, picroliv, Picrorhiza kurroa, Picrorhiza kurroa extract, Picrorhiza kurroa Royle, Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth., Picrorhiza lindleyana Steud., Picrorrhiza kurroa, Plantaginaceae (family), Scrophulariaceae (family).

Background
  • The katuka plant is native to the Himalayas and is now part of Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for primarily gastrointestinal problems, such as indigestion and constipation. Usually the root or rhizome of the plant is used medicinally. Preliminary studies in animals indicate that katuka may be useful for treating diabetes, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), liver disorders and conditions, and wounds. However, there is currently insufficient evidence available in humans to support the use of katuka for any indication.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Anthelminthic (expels worms), antioxidant, asthma, cancer, constipation, diabetes, digestive tonic, hepatitis, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), immunomodulation, indigestion, infections, insect bites and stings (scorpion), laxative, liver disease, liver protection, low fever, myocardial infarction (heart attack), rheumatoid arthritis, tonic, vitiligo (loss of skin pigment), wound healing.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older):

  • There is no proven effective dose for katuka in adults.

Children (younger than 18 years):

  • There is no proven effective dose for katuka in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to katuka (Picrorhiza kurroa) or its constituents.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • There is currently insufficient available evidence in humans to support the use of katuka for any indication.
  • Use cautiously in patients with diabetes or taking antidiabetic agents.
  • Use cautiously in patients with cancer or taking antineoplastic agents.
  • Use cautiously in patients with a suppressed immune system or taking immunosuppressants.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Katuka is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Katuka may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Although not well studied in humans, katuka may reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL), triglyceride, and total cholesterol levels. However, serum HDL levels may not be affected. Use cautiously in patients taking cholesterol-lowering agents.
  • Katuka may have antitumor and anticarcinogenic properties. Caution is advised when combining with other anticancer agents.
  • Katuka may have antioxidant properties; patients taking other agents with antioxidant effects should use with caution.
  • Katuka may reduce liver weight, serum aspartate transferase (AST), alanine transferase (ALT), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), glutathione S-transferase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, glutathione, or aniline hydroxylase levels. Caution is advised when taking katuka with other potentially liver-damaging agents.
  • Katuka may inhibit leucopenia (abnormally low white blood cell count). Caution is advised when taking katuka with other immunosuppressants.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Although not well studied in humans, katuka may reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL), triglyceride, and total cholesterol levels. However, serum HDL levels may not be affected. Use cautiously in patients taking cholesterol-lowering herbs or supplements, such as red yeast rice.
  • Katuka may have antitumor and anticarcinogenic properties. Caution is advised when combining with other herbs or supplements that have anticancer effects.
  • Katuka may have antioxidant properties, and patients taking other herbs or supplements with antioxidant effects should use with caution.
  • Katuka may reduce liver weight, serum aspartate transferase (AST), alanine transferase (ALT), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), glutathione S-transferase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, glutathione, or aniline hydroxylase levels. Caution is advised when taking katuka with other potentially liver-damaging herbs or supplements.
  • Although not well studied in humans, katuka may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those take herbs or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare provider, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Katuka may inhibit leucopenia (abnormally low white blood cell count). Caution is advised when taking katuka with other immunosuppressants.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Bhattacharya SK, Satyan KS, Chakrabarti A. Effect of Trasina, an Ayurvedic herbal formulation, on pancreatic islet superoxide dismutase activity in hyperglycaemic rats. Indian J Exp Biol 1997;35(3):297-299.
  2. Doshi VB, Shetye VM, Mahashur AA, et al. Picrorrhiza kurroa in bronchial asthma. J Postgrad.Med 1983;29(2):89-95.
  3. Jagetia GC, Baliga MS. The evaluation of nitric oxide scavenging activity of certain Indian medicinal plants in vitro: a preliminary study. J Med Food 2004;7(3):343-348.
  4. Jeena KJ, Joy KL, Kuttan R. Effect of Emblica officinalis, Phyllanthus amarus and Picrorrhiza kurroa on N-nitrosodiethylamine induced hepatocarcinogenesis. Cancer Lett 2-8-1999;136(1):11-16.
  5. Joy KL, Kuttan R. Anti-diabetic activity of Picrorrhiza kurroa extract. J Ethnopharmacol 11-1-1999;67(2):143-148.
  6. Joy KL, Rajeshkumar NV, Kuttan G, et al. Effect of Picrorrhiza kurroa extract on transplanted tumours and chemical carcinogenesis in mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;71(1-2):261-266.
  7. Lee HS, Yoo CB, Ku SK. Hypolipemic effect of water extracts of Picrorrhiza kurroa in high fat diet treated mouse. Fitoterapia 2006;77(7-8):579-584.
  8. Levy C, Seeff LD, Lindor KD. Use of herbal supplements for chronic liver disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2004;2(11):947-956.
  9. Mehrotra R, Rawat S, Kulshreshtha DK, et al. In vitro studies on the effect of certain natural products against hepatitis B virus. Indian J Med Res 1990;92:133-138.
  10. Senthil Kumar SH, Anandan R, Devaki T, et al. Cardioprotective effects of Picrorrhiza kurroa against isoproterenol-induced myocardial stress in rats. Fitoterapia 2001;72(4):402-405.
  11. Singh AK, Sharma A, Warren J, et al. Picroliv Accelerates Epithelialization and Angiogenesis in Rat Wounds. Planta Med 2-22-2007.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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