As an Ayurvedic herbalist, if someone comes to me with a liver issue, the first thing I think of is Kutki (aka Katuka). Kutki not only detoxifies the liver and blood, it simultaneously strengthens this vital organ while enhancing cellular growth and tissue regeneration. It is useful in serious conditions such as Hepatitis C and cirrhosis of the liver; but can also be utilized in the more common issues of sluggishness, toxic build-up, excessive heat, and inflammation.
This eastern root possesses the powerful taste of bitter, which is said to be cooling, cleansing, and anti-bacterial by nature. This makes Kutki a great option as an herbal antibiotic, Pitta pacifier, anti-inflammatory agent, detoxifier, and antimicrobial powerhouse. Kutki can also be used as a main herbal component to any weight-loss program as this bitter agent is great for increasing the digestive fire, promoting healthy elimination, and boosting the metabolism.
Due to the intense bitterness and powerful healing properties of Kutki, it has been used in many traditional Ayurvedic formulations such as Tikta Ghrita (Bitter Ghee), Pancha Tikta Ghrita, Arogyavardhini Gutika, Punarnavadi Kvatha, Triphala Ghrita and Maha Yogaraj Guggulu to name a few. Some herbalists use Kutki as a replacement for its Western counterpart, Gentian, which is translated as “the King of the Bitters” (although I personally prefer Kutki any day).
***Sadly, due to the over-harvesting and unsustainable farming practices, Kutki is on the CITES list as an endangered herb. Therefore, it is essential to only purchase Kutki through a trusted source and to use this herb sparingly.
Health Benefits of Kutki
- Detoxifies the liver, blood, and GI tract
- Strengthens the liver
- Useful in liver, spleen, and gallbladder issues
- Relieves allergies and asthma
- Reduces inflammation
- Pacifies Pitta and Kapha conditions
- Benefits arthritic conditions
- Increases the digestive fire (Agni)
- Boosts the metabolism
- Useful in weight-loss therapy
- Boosts immunity
- Herbal antibiotic
- Treats fever
- Treats respiratory issues
- Clears the complexion
- Benefits skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis
- Treats UTI
- Clears congestion in the breast tissue
- Balances blood sugar
- Balances hormones
- Treats both diarrhea and constipation
- Reduces hyperacidity and nausea
How to Use Kutki
1. For Liver Health:
Take 1/2 tsp Kutki with 1 Tbsp Aloe Vera and 1 tsp honey. Take 3 times daily with meals.
For Elevated Blood Sugar:
Take 1/2 tsp. Kutki with 1/2 tsp. Turmeric. Mix in 1/4 cup of warm water and take before each meal.
3. For Clear Skin:
Take 1 tsp Tikta Ghrita melted in 1/2 cup hot water. Take first thing each morning on an empty stomach. If available, add 1/4 tsp Kutki and 1/4 tsp Turmeric for added benefit.
4. For Parasites:
Take 1/2 tsp Kutki with 1/2 tsp Vidanga mixed in 1 tsp. of honey. Take 2 times daily before meals.
5. For Asthma and Allergies:
Take 1/2 tsp Turmeric, 1/2 tsp Ginger and 1/4 tsp of Kutki. Mix in raw, local honey and add 1/4 cup warm water. Take 3 times daily after meals.
6. For Arthritis:
Take 1/4 tsp Kutki, 1/2 tsp Ginger and 1 tsp of Castor Oil. Mix together with warm water and take before bed each night.
liver cirrhosis due to hepatise c
.varices. swelling in legs and feet
Hi sir kutki &chirayta product iam acept please address
If you are looking for a product that contains both Kutki and Chirata, I would suggest Mahasudarshana Churna. This traditional formula contains both of these bitter herbs and is one of my most powerful products I offer. Hope this helps!
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Information regarding Kutki is very important & beneficial
Thanks Murlidhar! I agree:) Thanks for reading… Namaste, Danielle
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Hi, I am suffering from Urticaria from fifteen years now rheumatoid arthritis also came in my life. Regular aayurvedic treatment I followed for two years which reduced arthritis pain to some level but rashes are still there.i am 33 years old married woman.my life get spoiled by rashes.can u please suggest something beneficial to me.my body temperature is always high.is there any different disease to me.please answer.waiting for reply desperately.
Thank you for writing in. I am sorry to hear about your current healthcare issues. It is not possible to give a proper diagnosis without performing a full consultation. The only thing I can say is that it sounds like you are suffering from high Pitta and most likely it is accumulating in the blood and liver. Therefore you may benefit from a Pitta reducing diet, lifestyle and herbal regimen. I would ultimately suggest finding a knowledgeable Ayurvedic practitioner in your area to give you more specific treatment. In the meantime you can read some tips on how to balance Pitta here.
My name is Elisa I am pitta dosha and I was reading that the use Punarnava with Nagarmotha and Kutki can be very effective for weigh loss that is safe for pitta. i heat up so easily especially in the summer. I also tend to have low blood sugar so i afraid to take any weight loss herbs because they tend to lower blood sugar. i almost fainted with apple cide vinegar and a few other herbs. I am also 54 and perimenapausal so I am careful to take herb that only balance the hormones not boost Estorogen or Progesteron but keep them even. Please let me know if you have a herbal combination blend with these herbs or another suggestion.
Thank you for your question! Kutki is likely going to be too strong for you, as it will likely cause lowered blood sugar levels (especially if you are already sensitive to this). Nagarmotha and Punarnava may be better options, but they may be too strong as well. If you try these herbs, you can use them in small dosages (1/16 teaspoon each) and take them in warm water before meals. If your low blood sugar issues still arise, discontinue the herbs straightaway.
Since your system is fairly sensitive, you may wish to stick to gentler herbs to begin. CCF Tea is a great way to increase digestion and reduce heat in the system at the same time. You can drink this tea between meals. We also have a Detox Tea and Healthy Digestion Tea blend that would be not as strong, but still beneficial for speeding up the digestion and increasing digestion. They are also suitable for Pitta types.
I hope this helps to answer your questions. Please let me know if anything else arises and I will be happy to help!
Thinking about using kitku for above issues but apprehensive as I’m a Vata. What are your thoughts on that ? Thanks. Julia
Thank you for your question! Kutki is Vata provoking due to its extremely bitter taste, and cool, dry, and reducing properties. You may wish to use another herb that is similar in action, but more suitable for Vata types such as Guduchi.
Alternatively, you can try to take a very small amount of kutki, but blend it with Vata-reducing substances such as Ashwagandha or ghee. This will help to balance the Vata-provoking properties of Kutki. If you begin to experience Vata symptoms however, the Kutki should be discontinued.
I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any further questions!
How kutki balances hormones ?
Thank you for your question! Kutki balances hormones through the liver, since the liver is one of the main organs involved in hormone regulation. If the liver is impaired, the hormones will eventually be negatively effected.
Does kutki with tulsi balances vata dosha ?
If you are a Vata type and wish to take Kutki, you may want to use a more heavy and unctuous herb to balance the light and dry nature of Kutki. Some options include Ashwagandha or Dashamul. If you wish, you can add in Tulsi as well, but I would still suggest the use of a heavier herb.
Do you have a suggested and trusted cite where we can buy these herbs?
Thank you for your inquiry! Kutki is currently on the CITES list making it hard to find a high, quality sustainable source. I typically go through Banyan Botanicals, but they have been out of stock for a long time. I recently got some Organic Kutki from Ayur Organic but I have been using it fairly sparingly since it is endangered. I generally will use Bhumyamalaki or Neem as a replacement when treating liver issues.