Gentian or Gentiana lutea L is also known as Yellow Gentian, gall weed, or bitter root. This belongs to a large plant family known as Gentianaceae, which consists of about 180 species. This herb grows about two meters tall. It also has elliptic leaves with yellow flowers. The roots have a strong bitter taste but are commonly used as a medicinal tonic.
Gentian is an incredible herb that grows in the alpine regions of central Europe and provides a wide range of health and medicinal benefits. These herbs are lovely, and many people use them to highlight their gardens. Because of its incredible health benefits, they are transported to America and Asia. Both Western and Eastern are using gentian for medicinal purposes.
The roots and berries of gentian are packed with vitamin F, B, inositol, and other trace elements. These herb parts also contain gentiopicrin and amelogenin that produce bitter taste and properties for medical purposes to combat a wide range of diseases.
The roots of the gentian herb are rich in essential minerals such as manganese, sulfur, silicon, iron, and zinc, which provide antiseptic, antispasmodic, hepatic, blood purifying, and anti-inflammatory properties. Gentian also has effective bacteriostatic, cholagogue, anthelmintic, and choleretic properties that stimulate the glandular cells of the digestive organs.
This medicinal herb got its name after one of the known ancient herbal enthusiasts, Genius – the king of Illyria. According to history, he was one of the first men who used this herb for treating wounds and as an antidote for many types of poisons.
Traditional folk healers used gentian to improve digestion and stimulate the flow of bile, saliva, and stomach acids. They also used these herbs as a natural antidote to some types of poisons. It is also one of the effective natural tonics.
The Gentian herb provides a relaxing and soothing effect on the nervous system, which can calm people suffering from constant worry, hysteria, shock, and other stimulated illnesses. It was also found during ancient times that Gentian herbs can treat syndromes like Pudic eczema, Pruritus vulvae, and Leukorrhagia.
These herbs were also useful when combined with other herbs to clear dampness and heat attributes. When gentian is used with Bupleurum Root and Longdan Xiegan Tang, this can treat headaches, hypochondriac pain, conjunctival congestion, and the bitter taste of the mouth. The preparation is like the recipe used in normalizing and cleansing the gallbladder in treating jaundice.
The gentian herb is also used for treating febrile diseases from the excessive heat of the liver. It was also used for infantile convulsion, treatment for endogenic wind and fever.
16 Health Benefits of Gentian
The Gentian herbs have been used since the ancient times, and now it is gaining more popularity as many people acknowledge the benefits of this herb. It is used as a natural treatment for anorexia as well as exhaustion. It is also believed that the gentian herb effectively improves the whole body system by stimulating the digestive system, circulation, important organs, and many glands.
1. Antiseptic and Antispasmodic
Gentian herbs have antiseptic and antispasmodic properties that can relieve muscular cramps of women during menstruation. Because of the antiseptic properties present in this herb, it is also used in treating rashes, bruises, and wounds.
2. Healthy Liver
Gentian herbs can also make the liver healthier, stimulate liver function and assist in regenerating the cells while increasing bile flow. This herb is also effective in preventing the growth of viruses that can cause liver malfunction. This was not a surprise for herbalists as this herb has been used since ancient times to improve digestion and stimulate the appetite.
Gentian herbs can also be mixed with other depurative herbal tinctures for more effective anti-oxidants. This can eliminate harmful chemicals and excess uric acid, which can keep the liver and kidney healthy.
Gentian tinctures are also used for treating inflammation, diabetes, intestinal parasites, and infection of the pancreas. The tincture is diluted in water for gastric and hepatic illnesses. Gentian’s hepatic properties can assist in regenerating hepatic cells that enhance liver function.
3. Treats Diarrhea
Many people get diarrhea at least once a year. It usually lasts at least two days. Diarrhea is one of the acute problems that may lead to death if not treated right away. The symptoms include cramps, watery stools, nausea and throwing up, bloating, thin and loose stools, and an urgent feeling to have a bowel movement.
The serious symptoms include fever, weight loss, mucus, or blood in the stool. Gentian herb is used to treat diarrhea so it can rescue you right away during critical time. This herb is effective in preventing diarrhea as well as the symptoms associated with it.
4. Relieves Heartburn
Heartburn is the irritation of the esophagus due to stomach acid. The symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux are a chronic cough and chest pain. It creates a burning discomfort in the abdomen and below the breastbone.
Many factors can trigger heartburn, such as stress, obesity, certain medications, and specific foods. Gentian is one of the effective home remedies for the treatment of heartburn. Other ways to treat heartburn are changing lifestyle, diet, and medications.
5. Treats Anemia
Anemia is a health condition when one has insufficient levels of iron in the body. Not enough iron decreases the number of red blood cells, which means that the blood cannot transport enough oxygen to all organs and tissues.
Gentian assists in stimulating the growth of leucocytes and red blood cells in the body while improving the immune system. Gentian roots effectively stimulate the digestive system, which can make it easier for the body to absorb more iron. It is also important to take foods rich in iron while treating with gentian.
6. Eliminates Muscle Spasms
Spasms may affect different types of muscles, which leads to different symptoms. For instance, skeletal muscle spasms are caused by dehydration, overfatigue, and electrolyte abnormalities. Spasms can be painful and usually brief, and it is the common way of the body telling that the muscle cells need more water, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and glucose.
Many people also use gentian supplements to treat muscle spasms right away.
7. Prevents Cancer
Consuming the roots of gentian herbs can lower the risk of acquiring cancer cells. Because the gentian root is rich in important antioxidant properties, it can combat free radicals while protecting healthy cells. There is still a need to conduct more research about the effects of gentian roots on cancer patients.
8. Improves Blood Circulation
Gentian herbs have therapeutic and stimulating effects that can improve blood circulation. People who are too busy with office/school work or those who do not have enough time for a run can benefit from gentian roots for better blood circulation. It can energize the blood and circulate all parts of your body by strengthening the whole cardiovascular system.
This herb is also used to revitalize tired tissues, as many people reported feeling less lethargic after consuming gentian roots.
#9 Treats Fever
Another great benefit of gentian is its effectiveness in treating fever caused by weather changes. It is also effective for treating cough, colds, and other related symptoms. It provides the body the required antioxidants and nutrients to combat these issues.
#10 Prevents Hysteria
Hysteria is an uncontrollable emotion or disorder that arises from intense anxiety. A person suffering from hysteria loses control over emotions and is commonly accompanied by seizures of unconsciousness. Symptoms include clenched teeth, severe cramps, swelling of the neck, headache, crying, or laughing without reason.
The gentian roots are helpful in the treatment of hysteria and prevent it from occurring, which can also improve health conditions.
Being constipated means the bowel movements are hard or occurs less than normal. It happens to everyone at least once a year. Some can experience constipation for more than three days due to dehydration, certain medications, irritated bowel syndrome, too many dairy products, inactivity, and stress. Other causes are pregnancy, overuse of laxatives, colon cancer, change of usual diet, and hypothyroidism.
Gentian herbs are excellent for treating constipation and other digestive disorders such as upset stomach, flatulence, indigestion, and other gastrointestinal problems.
#12 Lowers High Blood Pressure
Another great health benefit of the gentian herb is its power to lower high blood pressure. Consuming this herb can lower the risk level of blood pressure while maintaining its proper level. This allows to body to steer clear of many health problems linked to high blood pressure, such as stroke, diabetes, and heart attack.
It is best to consult your doctor before consuming gentian herbs in the form of powder, tea, or tablet as there can be side effects for people suffering from high blood pressure.
#13 Increases Appetite
Loss of appetite has a great effect on the body. It can result in a deficiency of nutrients necessary to keep your body healthy and move. Lack of nutrition can make the body weak and lethargic. It can also lead to health problems if attention is not given right away.
People who are not able to eat properly can take gentian herbs to increase their appetite. It is believed that gentian is a natural herbal treatment for anorexia, exhaustion, and gaining weight. The bitter constituents of this herb stimulate the secretion of saliva and the production of gastric juice that increases appetite. This herb can improve the entire system and stimulate digestive functions.
All organs, cells, and all body tissues can acquire necessary nutrients for better functions with improved appetite. It also reduces the risk of acquiring health issues as it boosts the immune system.
#14 Digestive Disorders
The most common use of gentian herbs is for treating digestive disorders. This includes an upset stomach, gas formation, constipation, bloating, indigestion, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal problems. The ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians used gentian herbs as a digestive tonic. It is also used for treating intestinal worms.
A German herbalist, Rudolph Weiss, wrote that Gentian could make heavy foods easier to digest because it stimulates the secretion of gastric juice while improving the stomach’s muscle tone.
#15 Relieves Sinusitis
For people suffering from infections such as sinusitis, gentian herbs are proven to be beneficial. It can also be combined with other medicinal herbs such as elderflower, verbena, sorrel, and cowslip flower to make it more effective.
#16 Healthier Skin
Gentian herbs are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can make the body healthy. With the necessary nutrients and elimination of free radicals, the skin can become more radiant. Antioxidants are also helpful in keeping the skin young-looking and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This herb is also a natural treatment for wounds. According to studies, gentian has anti-inflammatory properties and a wound-healing effect. Apply gentian sponges over the wounds and cover them with a gauze dressing.
Other Benefits of Gentian
- Boosts energy and improves the functions of many organs in the body.
- Soothes irritated gallbladder while improving its function.
- By boosting the appetite and better absorption of the nutrients, your hair can be stronger and smoother. Gentian herbs are also able to make hair thicker and shinier.
- Treatment for malaria.
- Balances thyroidal hormone secretion.
Gentian herb is gaining popularity worldwide because of the benefits it can offer to the body. It is rich in important minerals such as iron and zinc. Recovering from various illnesses can be faster when taking gentian roots. It is also useful in boosting the metabolism while enhancing the entire cardiovascular system.
Although this medicinal herb offers various benefits for the body, some people may experience side effects such as headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Pregnant or nursing women should avoid taking gentian supplements. If you have high blood pressure or chronic gastrointestinal problems, make sure that you consult your doctor before taking gentian root supplements. People who have excess stomach acid should also avoid gentian roots.