Chardon de Lait Indien, Hu Huang Lian, Katki, Katuka, Katuko, Katurohini, Katvi, Kuru, Kutki, Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora, Picrorhiza kurroia, Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora, Picrorhiza Urrooa, Picroriza, Xi Zang Hu Huang Lian.
Picrorhiza is a plant that grows in the Himalayan mountains. People, especially practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine, use the root and rhizome (underground stem) for treatment. Picrorhiza has been harvested to near extinction.
Picrorhiza is used for yellowed skin (jaundice), sudden liver infections caused by a virus (acute viral hepatitis), fever, allergy, and asthma. It is also used to treat skin conditions including eczema and vitiligo, a disorder that causes white patches on the skin. Some people use picrorhiza for digestion problems including indigestion, constipation, and ongoing diarrhea. Other uses include treatment of infection, scorpion stings, epilepsy, malaria, and rheumatoid arthritis.
How does it work?
More information is needed to know how picrorhiza might work. Picrorhiza contains chemicals that might stimulate the immune system, kill cancer cells, and relieve inflammation (swelling).
Possibly Effective for...
- Vitiligo, a disorder that causes white patches to develop on the skin. Taking picrorhiza by mouth for up to one year, in combination with a drug called methoxsalen that is taken by mouth and applied to the skin, seems to help treat vitiligo in adults and children.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Asthma. Taking picrorhiza by mouth for up to 12 weeks doesn't seem to help asthma symptoms or improve lung function.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Sudden liver infections caused by a virus (acute viral hepatitis). Early research suggests that taking picrorhiza by mouth for 2 weeks might relieve symptoms such as anorexia, nausea, and feelings of general discomfort in people with acute viral hepatitis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Picrorhiza might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using picrorhiza.
Diabetes: Picrorhiza might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use picrorhiza.
Surgery: Picrorhiza might lower blood sugar in some people. In theory, picrorhiza might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using picrorhiza at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes medications)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Picrorhiza might lower blood sugar in some people. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking picrorhiza along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), and others.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Picrorhiza might increase the activity of the immune system. Taking picrorhiza along with medications that decrease the activity of the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of these medications.
Some medications that decrease the activity of the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For a disease called vitiligo that causes white patches on the skin: 200 mg of picrorhiza rhizome powder twice a day, in combination with a medication called methoxsalen that is taken by mouth and applied to the affected skin.
Skin Problems and Treatments Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Bhattacharya, S. K., Satyan, K. S., and 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. View abstract.
Jagetia, G. C. and Baliga, M. S. 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. View abstract.
Jeena, K. J., Joy, K. L., and 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. View abstract.
Joy, K. L. and Kuttan, R. Anti-diabetic activity of Picrorrhiza kurroa extract. J Ethnopharmacol 11-1-1999;67(2):143-148. View abstract.
Joy, K. L., Rajeshkumar, N. V., Kuttan, G., and Kuttan, R. Effect of Picrorrhiza kurroa extract on transplanted tumours and chemical carcinogenesis in mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;71(1-2):261-266. View abstract.
Lee, H. S., Yoo, C. B., and Ku, S. K. Hypolipemic effect of water extracts of Picrorrhiza kurroa in high fat diet treated mouse. Fitoterapia 2006;77(7-8):579-584. View abstract.
Levy, C., Seeff, L. D., and Lindor, K. D. Use of herbal supplements for chronic liver disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2004;2(11):947-956. View abstract.
Mehrotra, R., Rawat, S., Kulshreshtha, D. K., Patnaik, G. K., and Dhawan, B. N. In vitro studies on the effect of certain natural products against hepatitis B virus. Indian J Med Res 1990;92:133-138. View abstract.
Senthil Kumar, S. H., Anandan, R., Devaki, T., and Santhosh, Kumar M. Cardioprotective effects of Picrorrhiza kurroa against isoproterenol-induced myocardial stress in rats. Fitoterapia 2001;72(4):402-405. View abstract.
Singh, A. K., Sharma, A., Warren, J., Madhavan, S., Steele, K., Rajeshkumar, N. V., Thangapazham, R. L., Sharma, S. C., Kulshreshtha, D. K., Gaddipati, J., and Maheshwari, R. K. Picroliv Accelerates Epithelialization and Angiogenesis in Rat Wounds. Planta Med 2-22-2007; View abstract.
't Hart BA, Simons JM, Knaan-Shanzer S, et al. Antiarthritic activity of the newly developed neutrophil oxidative burst antagonist apocynin. Free Radic Biol Med 1990;9:127-31. View abstract.
Ansari RA, Tripathi SC, Patnaik GK, Dhawan BN. Antihepatotoxic properties of picroliv: an active fraction from rhizomes of Picrorhiza kurrooa. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;34:61-8. View abstract.
Baruah CC, Gupta PP, Nath A, et al. Anti-allergic and anti-anaphylactic activity of picroliv--a standardised iridoid glycoside fraction of Picrorhiza kurroa. Pharmacol Res 1998;38:487-92. View abstract.
Bedi KL, Zutshi U, Chopra CL, Amla V. Picrorhiza kurroa, an ayurvedic herb, may potentiate photochemotherapy in vitiligo. J Ethnopharmacol 1989;27:347-52.
Chander R, Kapoor NK, Dhawan BN. Picroliv, picroside-I and kutkoside from Picrorhiza kurrooa are scavengers of superoxide anions. Biochem Pharmacol 1992;44:180-3. View abstract.
Chander R, Singh K, Visen PK, et al. Picroliv prevents oxidation in serum lipoprotein lipids of Mastomys coucha infected with Plasmodium berghei. Indian J Exp Biol 1998;36:371-4. View abstract.
Dorsch W, Stuppner H, Wagner H, et al. Antiasthmatic effects of Picrorhiza kurroa: androsin prevents allergen- and PAF-induced bronchial obstruction in guinea pigs. Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol 1991;95:128-33. View abstract.
Doshi VB, Shetye VM, Mahashur AA, Kamat SR. Picrorrhiza kurroa in bronchial asthma. J Postgrad Med 1983;29:89-95. View abstract.
Dwivedi Y, Rastogi R, Garg NK, Dhawan BN. Effects of picroliv, the active principle of Picrorhiza kurroa, on biochemical changes in rat liver poisoned by Amanita phalloides. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao 1992;13:197-200. View abstract.
Jia Q, Hong MF, Minter D. Pikuroside: a novel iridoid from Picrorhiza kurroa. J Nat Prod 1999;62:901-3. View abstract.
Mittal N, Gupta N, Saksena S, et al. Protective effect of Picroliv from Picrorhiza kurroa against Leishmania donovani infections in Mesocricetus auratus. Life Sci 1998;63:1823-34. View abstract.
Rajeshkumar NV, Kuttan R. Inhibition of N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced hepatocarcinogenesis by Picroliv. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2000;19:459-65. View abstract.
Rajeshkumar NV, Kuttan R. Protective effect of Picroliv, the active constituent of Picrorhiza kurroa, against chemical carcinogenesis in mice. Teratog Carcinog Mutagen 2001;21:303-13. View abstract.
Rastogi R, Srivastava AK, Rastogi AK. Long term effect of aflatoxin B(1) on lipid peroxidation in rat liver and kidney: effect of picroliv and silymarin. Phytother Res 2001;15:307-10. View abstract.
Saraswat B, Visen PK, Patnaik GK, Dhawan BN. Ex vivo and in vivo investigations of picroliv from Picrorhiza kurroa in an alcohol intoxication model in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 1999;66:263-9. View abstract.
Sharma ML, Rao CS, Duda PL. Immunostimulatory activity of Picrorhiza kurroa leaf extract. J Ethnopharmacol 1994;41:185-92. View abstract.
Vaidya AB, Antarkar DS, Doshi JC, et al. Picrorhiza kurroa (Kutaki) Royle ex Benth as a hepatoprotective agent--experimental & clinical studies. J Postgrad Med 1996;42:105-8. View abstract.
Van den Worm E, Beukelman CJ, Van den Berg AJ, et al. Effects of methoxylation of apocynin and analogs on the inhibition of reactive oxygen species production by stimulated human neutrophils. Eur J Pharmacol 2001;433:225-30. View abstract.