It has a cooling effect and is used as a cardiotonic, antipyretic, anthelmintic and laxative. It is also used to alleviate stomachache, and is believed to promote appetite. Kutki is useful in Kapha, billow fever, urinary discharge, hiccup, blood troubles, burning sensations, leucoderma, and jaundice.
Protective and therapeutic effects against liver damage have been shown by many investigators in diverse models of liver injury in animals. The crude extract as well as the active principles have been shown to protect the liver from injury due to carbon tetrachloride, paracetamol, galactosamine and alcohol. Marked bile- promoting action has been shown in dogs. The general pharmacology of the plant has been well studied. Anti-inflammatory action and reduction in mast cell degranplation have also been demonstrated.
The standard ayurvedic references describe its usefulness as a laxative, liver-stimulant, improving lactation, appetite stimulant, febrifuge and as beneficial in bronchial asthma. The plant and its formulations are widely used in therapy of epidemic jaundice. Clinical studies including double-blind trials have been carried out with the root powder of the plant in patients with viral hepatitis with significant improvement in symptoms like anorexia, nausea and vomiting. There was a concurrent improvement in liver functions. Open trials in bronchial asthma have given encouraging prophylactic response with prolonged administration.