Kutki - A Popular Liver Tonic - Healthy Ayurveda

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Kutki – A Popular Liver Tonic

Kutki – A Popular Liver Tonic

Kutki – A Popular Liver Tonic
Kutki (katuka) is a popular liver tonic herb. Although its name means ‘pungent’ it also has a strong bitter taste. It grows at high altitudes in the Himalayas and is also known as ‘Dhanvantarigrasta’ because it was said to be consumed by Dhanvantari (father of Ayurveda). It pacifies excess heat in the body due to its antinflammatory properties.  It is a light and dry herb and therefore can increase these qualities in the body; hence its use must be carefully monitored. Kutki works especially well with diseases related to the liver and has antibacterial and expectorant properties. As it also works on the immune system by stimulating it, it is sometimes said to be contraindicated in certain autoimmune diseases.

Kutki has several ayurvedic actions which make it a desired herb in some diseases. It has a strong scraping effect which assists in the removal of toxins. It also kindles digestion and reduces heat in the blood due to its cooling properties. It is said to destroy poisons and also alleviates skin disorders.

Kutki is a light and dry herb and has a bitter, pungent taste with a cooling effect in the body. Its post digestive effect is pungent and it is also effective on the digestive, circulatory, nervous and respiratory systems.

Some indications, amongst others, include:
·        Liver damage
·        Cirrhosis
·        Inflamed/ enlarged liver
·        Acidity
·        Nausea
·        Palpitations
·        Allergies
·        Bronchial Asthma
·        Rhinitis
·        Arthritis
·        Psoriasis
·        Dysentery
·        Parasites


There are many combination compounds that involve kutki to address certain conditions. Some being:
·        Kutki with manjistha, amalaki, guduchi and bhumyamalaki in liver inflammation and liver infections
·        Kutki with pippali and licorice in allergic reactions
·        Kutki with amalaki, manjistha and shatavari for intestinal inflammation
·        Kutki with ashwagandha and licorice for boosting immunity

It is important to be aware of some of the contraindications of using kutki. In cases of excess lightness and dryness in the body, it is not recommended. It can also cause diarrhea and gas and therefore not suggested in a weak digestive system. It is also contraindicated in pregnancy. Always seek a physician’s advice before undertaking herbal supplementation.

·        Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda.
·        Lad, V., & Frawley, D. (1986). The yoga of herbs
·        Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice
·        Green, J. (2000). The herbal medicine-makers’ handbook a home manual
·        Lad, V. (2012). Ayurvedic perspectives on selected pathologies

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