Name: Gentiana lutea
Names: Gentian, bitterroot, bitterwort, gentian root, yellow gentian, pale gentian, felwort
Gentian contains some of the most bitter substances known, particularly the glycosides gentiopicrin and amarogentin. The taste of these can be detected even when diluted 50,000 times.
Besides stimulating secretion of saliva in the mouth and hydrochloric acid in the stomach, gentiopicrin may protect the liver.
Gentian root and other highly bitter plants have been used for centuries in Europe as digestive aids (the well-known Swedish bitters often contain gentian).
Other folk uses included topical use on skin tumors, decreasing fevers, and treatment of diarrhea.1 Its ability to increase digestive function, including production of stomach acid, has since been validated in modern times.
Stomachic, tonic, anthelmintic, antibilious
Purifies blood, good for liver complaints, dysentery, jaundice, excellent for spleen, improves appetite an strengthen digestive organs. Also used for gastritis, indigestion, heartburn,
stomach aches; it increases circulation, benefit the female organs, and invigorates the entire system.
Useful for fevers, colds, gout, convulsions, scrofula, and dyspepsia as well as for suppressed menstruation and scanty urine.
This plant comes from meadows in Europe and Turkey. It is also cultivated in North America. The root is used medicinally. Several other similar species can be used interchangeably.
Up to 20 drops of gentian tincture dissolved in a small glass of water should be sipped, at least fifteen minutes before meals.
Gentian should not be used by people suffering from excessive stomach acid, heartburn, stomach ulcers, or gastritis.
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