Picrorhiza kurrooa Royle ex Benth (family Scrophulariaceae), commonly known as Kutki,
is a medicinally revered herb which grows in the Himalayan region at elevation ranged from 3000-
5000m.Its rhizomes are used extensively in traditional medicinal systems. P. kurrooa also constitutes
an important group of medicinal plants used by different community in Nepal. Consequent upon over
harvesting of wild stock and shortage of natural populations, P. kurrooa is listed as threatened
medicinal plant species of Nepal. Picroside-I and kutkosideare the bioactive marker metabolites of
kutki. 27 Accessions of P. kurrooa growing at different altitudes (3829-4295m) in Western Development Region and
Central Development Region of Nepal were screened for picroside-I and kutkoside content. The rhizomes were
shade dried, milled, defatted, and extracted with hot methanol. The extracts for picroside-I and kutkoside content were
analyzed by HPTLC method validated for linearity, precision, specificity and accuracy according to ICH, 1995 guidelines.
Separation and quantification of picroside-I Rf (0.55) and kutkosideRf (0.41) were achieved on precoated silica gel
60F254 aluminium plates using mobile phase chloroform-methanol (75:25, v/v)in a twin trough chamber saturated for
20 minutes. Kutkin content was observed to be varied with the altitude. Picroside-I and kutkoside ranged 0.61-5.28%
and 0.79-9.47%, respectively. ANOVA analysis revealed significant variation in the content of picroside-I with altitude.
However, no significant variation in the content of kutkoside and content of kutkin with the altitude was observed. Seven
chemically superior accessions of P. kurrooa containing high kutkin content were identified for their conservation and