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Gentian - Uses and Benefits

Botanical Classification

Scientific Name: Gentiana lutea L. Stemless gentian is derived from G.acaulis L.

Family: Gentianaceae

Common Name: Gentian, stem less gentian, yellow gentian, bitter root, pale , olltian, gall weed

Gentian is useful as a blood-builder and has been popular to use during convalescence. Gentian strengthens the entire system even when given in moderate doses. One way it does this is by stimulating general circulation. Gentian is also high in simple energy producing sugars. It has been found that Gentian root increases the activities of many glands and organs.

Gentian stimulates the appetite and can be given for anorexia and exhaustion. It strengthens the digestive organs while improving the vascular system to that the digestive tract receives a rich supply of blood and the digested nutrients are all absorbed. It also appears to have a mildly cleansing effect on the bowels.

This plant has a thick, branching, yellowish-brown root that produces a hollow, erect stem reaching four feet in height. The stem bears opposite obovate leaves which are bright green, sessile, and have five prominent veins. Lower leaves are also present and emerge from the root. Large, orange-yellow flowers bloom from July to August, appearing in the upper leaf axils, growing in whorls of 3 to 10 blossoms. The fruit is an obovate capsule.

Uses of Gentian:-

The important uses are as:-

  • Gentian is used as a liver tonic, to treat loss of appetite, digestive problems, flatulence and insufficient production of gastric juices and saliva. 

  • It stimulates the taste buds and promotes the flow of saliva, gastric juices and bile as a reflex via the nervous vagus.

  • Furthermore it can be used in cases of anorexia and is also an ingredient of homeopathic medicine.

  • It is used in the making of liquors and schnapps and is a key ingredient of Angostura bitters.

 

Gentian is believed to be useful in the treatment of exhaustion from chronic disease and in cases of general debility as well. They view it as a strengthener of the human system-in other words, as a tonic. Gentian is also said to be useful as a febrifuge (reduces fever ), emmenagogue (stimulates the menstrual flow), anthelmintic (expels intestinal worms ), and antiseptic. In their view, it is helpful in treating hysteria and, in combination with other medications, malaria. Gentian is usually consumed in the form of a tea or as one of the commercially available alcoholic extracts.

Dosage

Gelatin (hydrolysates) is available in powder form, usually in combination with other supplements, such as vitamin C and calcium. Gelatin hydrolysates are also available in capsules, usually in combination with other supplements such as glucosamine, curcumin, chondroitin sulfate, and willow bark. An average dose of a gelatin supplement is 10 grams daily.

Side Effects of Angelica

Furanocoumarins in the plant may cause photodermatitis. Poisoning has been reported with high doses of angelica oils.

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