Katuka – Learn About A Powerful Herb for the Liver


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Katuka is a very powerful herb for the liver.  The main prabhava (property) of this herb is called pitta rechana in Sanskrit (it stimulates the liver to get rid of accumulated pitta toxins). 

The latin name is picrorhiza kurroa, and the Hindi name is kutaki, usually pronounced, kutki.  It has been researched a lot in the past 30 to 40 years for its effect on the liver.  In fact, scientists have isolated an active ingredient, and have named it picroliv.

Vaidya Mishra does not recommend using an active ingredient of any Ayurvedic herb.  First of all, these active ingredients are isolated with the use of benzene and hexane and other toxic chemicals, which kill the subtle vibration of the herb. 

Secondly, when one chemical is isolated from the total pranic energy of the plant, it is a setup for creating problems in the body. The plant comes with a specific balance of pranic energy (soma, agni and marut). When one chemical is extracted from the plant, the balance of soma, agni and marut of the whole plant does not come with it, and the body has to deal with the extreme properties of the extracted chemical without any balancing factors.

Ayurveda does not believe in this approach, and goes in the exact opposite direction with the process of samyog (balanced combination with other herbs) and samskar (processing to balance any extreme properties of the plant).

Katuka is a powerful herb that activates the liver to help it lose the pitta toxins that naturally build up in the liver. The liver has a big role to play in the body. It contains five agnis (burners) which transform the vibrational energy of all the foods we eat, the sounds we hear, etc., into our specific energy. A whole family may eat the same food, but each person will use the food to create a body and an energy that is different from the others.

Because so much transformation takes place in the liver, a lot of waste products can build up there. This is especially true in this modern world because we come in contact with many substances which the body cannot process properly. Harsh chemicals, pranically dead food, or difficult to digest food, toxic emotions, even electro-magnetic radiation, all have to be processed by the liver.

When food is eaten that is old and dead or full of chemicals, the amount of waste products created by the liver may be more than the usable portion of the food. These often chemically charged waste materials (amavisha) build up faster than the liver can get rid of them causing a backlog of waste in the liver and the gall bladder, eventually spilling toxins over into the bloodstream.

Over time, this buildup of waste weakens the liver and prevents it from doing its job properly—creating a vicious circle of higher and higher toxic load inside the liver and increasing weakness of the liver.

Katuka supports and stimulates all five agnis (burners) of the liver to become stronger. It also has a bhedana (scraping) effect on the liver to remove deeply seated toxins that have built up there.

The problem comes when you try to use katuka to soon, or too aggressively. Because katuka squeezes and scrapes the liver, if there are a lot of toxins sitting inside, they will be dumped all at once into the intestines, where they can cause irritable bowl syndrome, or worse yet get reabsorbed into the bloodstream. The liver was protecting the body from these reactive toxins for years. If you dump them back into the system, they can travel anywhere and cause serious problems in the heart, brain or wherever the weak spot in your body may be.

The advice, then, is to use this herb with extreme care. First, the channels have to be unblocked and become more alkaline so they can handle the extremely acidic toxins when they come through on their way out of the body. Second, gentler herbs such as coriander must be used first to clean up the superficial toxins floating in the blood before resorting to katuka.

Third, katuka must be given in tiny doses in the beginning and be given in combination with other herbs to prevent a detox crisis (rash on the skin, irritable bowl syndrome, diarrhea, or relocation of the toxins to the brain other parts of the body). Finally, proper binders (okra, tapioca, taro root, barley, etc) must be used in conjunction with katuka so that the toxins released from the liver are absorbed by them and moved quickly out of the body.

Even with all these precautions, it is possible to over-stimulate the liver and create problems. This herb should always be used under the direct supervision of a Shaka Vansya Ayurvedic practitioner.

What You Will Learn in This Section of the Course

In this 21 minute audio lecture, you will learn the physical qualities of katuka that help it to stimulate the liver, as well as a list of conditions described by the Sanskrit texts to improve when the blood becomes less toxic as the liver is purified.

Katuka In Our Herbal Products

Katuka is available in Herbal Memory Nectar form as a part of Vaidya Mishra’s HP line (for health practitioners only).  It is also the main ingredient in Vaidya Mishra’s Liver-Pro formulations.

Katuka Herbal Memory Nectar

  • Is a safer delivery method than the crude herb.
  • Stimulates the liver very gently from the vibrational level.  Over time, this allows the liver to gradually throw off its physical toxins as it becomes stronger.
  • Bypasses the digestive system, which may be weak, to deliver the vibration of the herb directly to the agnis (flames) of the liver.
  • Should be added to 1 to 2 liters of cool water and sipped throughout the day.
  • May be purchased only from a Shaka Vansya Ayurveda practitioner for use under his or her direct supervision.

Liver-Pro Herbal Memory Nectar

  • Balances the liver-stimulating effect of katuka with other herbs to more gently stimulate the liver, as compared to katuka alone.
  • Is a safer delivery method than the crude herb.
  • Stimulates the liver on the vibrational level, which allows the liver to gradually throw off its physical toxins as it becomes stronger.
  • Bypasses a weakened digestive system to deliver the usable vibration of the herbs to the agnis (flames) of the liver.
  • Should be added to 1 to 2 liters of cool water and sipped throughout the day.
  • Should be used under the guidance of a Shaka Vansya Ayurveda practitioner.

Liver-Pro Tablets

  • Is a powerful liver stimulant (contains the physical herb katuka and four other herbs in tablet form).
  • Should be used only when the body and the liver have been properly prepared.
  • Should be started gradually, for example using a quarter tablet in the beginning.
  • Gives the the body the physical properties of the herb, which act more on the physical liver to remove the physical toxins.
  • Should be used under the guidance of a Shaka Vansya Ayurveda practitioner.


How to Use the Course Materials

When you download the zip file for this section of the course (and unzip it using a free unzip program like 7-Zip), you will find a PDF file (which can be opened with the free Adobe Reader) and an MP3 file (which can be played on any MP3 player such as iPod or iTunes).  You can listen to the audio alone, but for the first time through (at least), we recommend that you follow along with the PDF document to make sure that all of the concepts are clear.  The PDF’s sometimes contain visual diagrams in addition to the Sanskrit verses.  If you learn visually, reading along with the PDF will be helpful.

We also recommend reviewing the PDF, and re-listening to the MP3 file many times, so that you begin to recognize the knowledge and own it.  These MP3 files are especially good to put on your MP3 player so you can listen in the car.  Just as it is easy to remember songs you hear over and over on the radio, you will find that the knowledge in these lectures will stick to you with no effort when you hear them over and over.  You will also find that your understanding of the material deepens each time you hear them.


This product and statements have not been evaluated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and are not intended to be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All of the information above is intended for educational purposes only and may not be used to replace or compliment medical advice.


The sole purpose of this blog is to provide information about the alternative healing modalities of Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda (SVA) as practiced in Vaidya Mishra's ancestral family tradition. The information contained herein is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a licensed health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Otherwise, for more information, you may call Vaidya Mishra's Prana Center toll free in the USA at 1.888.3CHANDI (888.324.2634). or 1.818.709.1005 globally, or email us at: info@prana-center.com. You may also visit: www.vaidyamishra.com, or www.chandika.com

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