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ative Photo: Suresh Rana
Common name: Bitter-Root • 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

Bitter-Root 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. Bitter-Root 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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