Dried Picrorhiza Kurroa Root/Kutki
Kutkins are group of pharmacologically active compounds present in Picrorhiza kurroa Royle (Scrophulariaceae). Picrorhiza kurroa is traditionally known as kutki and has intense bitter taste. In Ayurveda Picrorhiza kurroa is a reputed remedy for the treatment of liver diseases. The chemical composition of the Picrorhiza has been studied and active constituents are group of iridoid glycosides known as picrosides and kutkosides. The mechanism of action of kutkins appears to the same as that of silymarin (active constituent and hepatoprotective constituent of Silybum marianum). Studies have shown that kutkins are more potent than silymarin as far as hepatoprotective activity is concerned.
The therapeutic activity of the drug may be based on two mechanisms:
- Kutkins alter the structure of the outer membrane of the hepatocytes in such a way as to prevent penetration of the liver toxin into the interior of the cell.
- Kutkins stimulate the action of nucleolar polymerase A, resulting in ribosomal protein synthesis and, thus stimulates the regenerative ability of the liver and formation of new hepatocytes.
- Apocynin, is one of its constituents, has been found to exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory effects on a variety of inflammatory models.
- Silymarin has emerged as potential candidate with hepatoprotective agent. Kutkins have significant, even better hepatoprotective activity than silymarin and the drug should be screed for large-scale clinical trials