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Picrorhiza

Plant Part Used

Root/rhizome

Introduction

Picrorhiza is a perennial herb that grows high in the Himalayas. The root and rhizome of this plant have been used in Indian traditional medicine since ancient times to treat liver troubles, upper respiratory problems and more. Recently, researchers and clinicians have reported the value of picrorhiza as an immune-enhancing agent. Modern clinical studies suggest that it may indeed support liver health while offering a number of other potential benefits.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

250mg (standardized extract), 2 to 4 times daily.

Tincture: 2 to 4 ml daily. (1)

Most Common Dosage

250mg (standardized extract), 2 times daily.

Tincture: 2 ml daily.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 4%-10% kutkin.

Reported Uses

Picrorhiza’s most important use may be in the support of liver health. Scientists think picrorhiza may benefit the liver in four ways. First, studies suggest that it may actually be able to stimulate the growth and regeneration of damaged liver tissues. (2) Next, picrorhiza may be able to protect the liver from viral hepatitis infection and potentially toxic agents like alcohol and acetaminophen (ie. an overdose of Tylenol). (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) Picrorhiza may exert anti-inflammatory effects on the liver as well. And finally, it may function as an antioxidant in the liver by limiting free radical oxidation of liver tissues. (7)

Other studies have suggested that picrorhiza may offer benefit to asthma sufferers. Scientists think it may be involved in a complex chain of events that reduces inflammation of the lungs and obstruction of airways. (8) Studies further suggest that picrorhiza may have general anti-inflammatory properties outside the lungs. (9)

Picrorhiza may also lower blood sugar levels, which may prove beneficial to people with diabetes. (10) Additionally, picrorhiza may help regulate general immunity, especially in relation to a benign skin disorder called vitiligo. (11) The disorder, which is characterized by irregular, pigment-free skin patches, is the result of a hyperactive immune system.

Picrorhiza may offer support for patients who suffer from hypoxia, a condition in which inadequate oxygen is supplied to parts of the body. (12) Studies suggest that picrorhiza may protect cells and tissues from the damaging effects of this oxygen starvation while supporting regeneration after it occurs.

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

If you are planning to have any type of surgery or dental work, stop using this dietary supplement for at least 14 days prior to the procedure.

Health Conditions

If you have a bleeding disorder talk to your doctor before taking this dietary supplement.

Side Effects

Side effects are possible with any dietary supplement. This dietary supplement may cause temporary and mild nausea and gastrointestinal upset. Tell your doctor if these side effects become severe or do not go away.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

Read More

  1) Ayuverda

  2) Tibetan Herbs

References

  1. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd edition. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:590.
  2. View Abstract: Singh V, et al. Effect of Picroliv on Protein and Nucleic Acid Synthesis. Indian J Exp Biol. Jan1992;30(1):68-69.
  3. View Abstract: Visen PK, et al. Curative Effect of Picroliv on Primary cultured Rat Hepatocytes Against Different Hepatotoxins: An In Vitro Study. J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. Oct1998;40(3):173-79.
  4. View Abstract: Santra A, et al. Prevention of Carbon Tetrachloride-induced Hepatic Injury in Mice by Picrorhiza kurrooa. Indian J Gastroenterol. Jan1998;17(1):6-9.
  5. View Abstract: Vaidya AB, et al. Picrorhiza kurroa (Kutaki) Royle ex Benth As a Hepatoprotective Agent--Experimental and Clinical Studies. J Postgrad Med. Dec1996;42(4):105-08.
  6. View Abstract: Rastogi R, et al. Picroliv Protects Against Alcohol-induced Chronic Hepatotoxicity in Rats. Planta Med. Jun1996;62(3):283-85.
  7. View Abstract: Chander R, et al. Effect of Picroliv on Glutathione Metabolism in Liver and Brain of Mastomys natalensis Infected with Plasmodium berghei. Indian J Exp Biol. Aug1992;30(8):711-14.
  8. View Abstract: Dorsch W, 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(2-3):128-33.
  9. View Abstract: Engels F, et al. Effects of Apocynin, A Drug Isolated from the Roots of Picrorhiza kurroa, on Arachidonic Acid Metabolism. FEBS Lett. Jul1992;305(3):254-56.
  10. View Abstract: Joy KL, et al. Anti-diabetic Activity of Picrorrhiza kurroa extract. J Ethnopharmacology. Nov1999;67(2):143-148.
  11. View Abstract: Atal CK, et al. Immunomodulating Agents of Plant Origin. I: Preliminary Screening. J Ethnopharmacol. Nov1986;18(2):133-41.
  12. Yegnanarayanan R, et al. Study of Picrorhiza kurroa (PK 300) in Cases of Bronchial Asthma. Bombay Hos J. 1982;24(2):15-18.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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