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Great yellow gentian

Great yellow gentian

Gentiana lutea – Great yellow gentian

Gentianaceae family

The raw material is the gentian root – Gentianae radix, harvested in the autumn from 3-4-year-old plants.
The roots are cleaned, comminuted into 10- to 20-cm pieces, and swiftly dried in drying rooms in max. 50° C.

Great yellow gentian – appearance and origin:

It is found in mountainous regions of Central and Southern Europe, in Asia Minor; protected in Poland, grown in high mountain meadows in Tatry and Carpathian mountains. A blue-green perennial, seed-propagated. The rhizome is thick and straight, reaching 100-140 cm. The leaves are ovate, acuminate, reaching around the stem, placed in whorls in the upper parts. The flowers are yellow, forming groups of 3-10 (corymbothyrsus) in the angles of upper leaves and at the tip of the stem on hairy pedicels. The petals form a star shape, the pistil is large and protruding. It blooms in July and August.

Great yellow gentian – effects and use:

The gentian root contains bitter compounds called secoiridoids (mainly gentiopicroside, amarogentin, amarosverin, amaropenin), xanthone derivatives (gentisin, isogentisin, gentiobiose). The alkaloid compounds (gentianine and gentialutine) are possibly secondary products of the isolation of the raw material. It initially tastes sweet, but then the taste becomes burning and spicy.

Great yellow gentian use:

– Choleretic, in digestive disorders;

because of the active substances contained in gentian, it stimulates the secretion of saliva, gastric juice and bile and also improves the appetite, therefore it helps in digestive disorders, accompanied by pain, heartburn, lack of appetite, indigestion, flatulence and churning stomach. Gentian is also administered to patients recovering from serious diseases and surgeries as a stomach medication, choleretic and for overall strengthening of the body.

– For a nervous stomach (with other herbs);

– Sedative for the reproductive organs and the so called night pollutions in men;

– Less known for its antibacterial, antipyrretic and slightly analgesic activity.

For elderly people weakened by disease, it benefits not only the digestive system, but also the entire nervous system, improving one's mood.

The gentian root was used in the past to treat malaria, but since the efficacy of the China bark and quinine was discovered, such use of gentian has been forgotten.