Picrorhiza kurroa (fam. Scrophulariaceae) has been used in the traditional Indian systems of medicine to treat liver troubles and bronchial problems.
Kutkin, a mixture of the iridoid glycosides picroside I and kutkoside has been found to be an efficient liver protectant, which is more effective than silymarin obtained from milk thistle1.
Androsin, a phenolic glycoside isolated from P. kurroa, has been attributed with anti-asthmatic properties, probably through the inhibition of the platelet activating factor, which is responsible for bronchial obstruction2. P. kurroa extracts have also been shown to possess anti-allergic activity through mast cell stabilization3.
In a clinical study performed on 20 asthma patients, a crude extract of P. kurroa produced significant improvement. Interestingly, patients who had a known history of allergy to certain food items developed tolerance to these items during the treatment.
Sabinsa Corporation's Picroliv® is standardized for 4% kutkin.
- Planta Medica. 1991, 57: 29-33
- Int. Arch. Allergy Appl.Immunol., 1991. 95:128-133
- Aspects of Allergy Appl. Immunnol., 1977, 11 : 137-144
- Bombay Hosp. J., 1982, 24(2): 15-18