An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.


Gentian - Gentiana lutea - Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian Family).

This is a perennial plant that grows to about five feet high. It has large oval-to-elliptic-shaped leaves. In the summer it has clusters of star-shaped yellow flowers. The rhizome and roots are employed as one of the traditional European bitter herbs. They have been used as a remedy for heartburn and for the loss of appetite. Also traditionally used in Europe as a folk remedy for gall bladder problems. The roots are thought by some to be of use in anemia. Approved by the German Commission E as a remedy for indigestion and a poor appetite. Modern European folk use as a remedy for diabetes, hemorrhoids and tennis elbow. The roots have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a remedy for arthritis. Modern American folk use of roots as a remedy for anorexia and a poor appetite. Under the name of Trayamana, Gentian has been used in Ayurvedic herbal medicine. This herb has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in alcoholic beverages and in foods. It is used in Angostura bitters, in root beer and in other flavorings. Note: large quantities ingested may cause stomach upsets. Note: may cause headaches. Note: avoid if you have high blood pressure or if you suffer from ulcers or other stomach problems. Listed in the United States Pharmacopoeias from 1820 to 1950. Native to Europe. Cultivated as an ornamental in North America.



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Web page last updated on 21 May 2003.