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ative Photo: Suresh Rana
Common name: Kutki • Hindi: kardi, karoi, karu, karwi • Malayalam: katukhurohani • Nepali: kurki • Sanskrit: anjani, arishta, कटम्भरा katumbhara • Tamil: acokarokini, akutam, akutarokini, amakkini • Telugu: katuka-rogani, katukarogani, katukkurohini • Urdu: kutki
Botanical name: Picrorhiza kurroa    Family: Plantaginaceae (Isabgol family)
Synonyms: Picrorhiza kurrooa

Kutki is a small herb with spoon-shaped, 5-15 cm long leaves, almost all at the base. Leaves are coarsely toothed, narrowed to a winged stalk. Rhizomes of the plant are 15-25 cm long and woody. Flowers are small, pale or purplish blue, borne in cylindric spikes, spikes borne on almost leafless erect stems. Flowers about 8 mm, 5-lobed to the middle, and with much long stamens. Fruits are 1.3 cm long. Flowering stems are usually longer than the leaves. Kutki is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Uttarakhand, at altitudes of 3300-4300 m. Flowering: June-August.
Medicinal uses: It is a well-known herb in the Ayurveda and has been used to treat disorders of the liver and upper respiratory tract, chronic diarrhea, and scorpion sting.

Identification credit: Suresh Rana
Photographed in Paddar Valley, Jammu & Kashmir.
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