Kutkins are group of pharmacologically active compounds present in Picrorhiza kurroa Royle (Scrophulariaceae). Picrorhiza kurroa is traditionally known as kutki and has intense bitter taste. In Ayurveda Picrorhiza kurroa is a reputed remedy for the treatment of liver diseases. The chemical composition of the Picrorhiza has been studied and active constituents are group of iridoid glycosides known as picrosides and kutkosides. The mechanism of action of kutkins appears to the same as that of silymarin (active constituent and hepatoprotective constituent of Silybum marianum). Studies have shown that kutkins are more potent than silymarin as far as hepatoprotective activity is concerned.
Singh, Amrit Pal
"Kutkins: A Review of Chemistry and Pharmacology,"
Ethnobotanical Leaflets: Vol. 2005
, Article 26.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/ebl/vol2005/iss1/26