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Gentian Herb Health Benefits

Gentian is an herb. The root of the plant and, less commonly, the bark is used to make medicine. The trumpet-shaped flowers are usually deep blue or azure, but can be white, cream, yellow, or red.

 

Many species are polymorphic with respect to flower colour, bearing flowers of different colours.

 

Blue-flowered species predominate in the Northern Hemisphere, with red-flowered species dominant in the Andes, where bird pollination is probably more often favoured by natural selection.

 

This European native produces wrinkled, light to dark brown roots commonly used to make health supplements.

 

Gentian root supplements come in tea, extract, tincture and powder forms.

 

Traditional folk healers believe that consuming bitter herbs like gentian root before meals helps to improve your digestive process by stimulating the flow of saliva, bile and stomach acids.

 

The bitter taste of gentian is due to bitter iridoid glycosides; primarily gentiopicroside, swertiamarin, amarogentin and gentiopicrin.

 

Gentian contains several alkaloids, predominantly gentian and gentialutine.

 

Gentian, as with all bitters, is important in traditional herbal medicine as a remedy for physical and mental exhaustion.

 

Although gentian root offers you various health benefits, some people experience mild side effects, including nausea, vomiting and headaches.

 

Pregnant or lactating women should avoid using gentian root supplements, Consult your health care provider about the potential benefits and interactions of gentian root before taking this supplement.

 

It is traditionally used as an herbal treatment for wounds; animal studies have shown it to have a measurable anti-inflammatory and wound-healing effect.

 

The extracts are used in a variety of foods, cosmetics, and some antismoking products.

 

The plant has been used externally to treat wounds, and internally to treat sore throat, arthritic inflammation, and jaundice.

 

Gentian root is common beverage flavouring for bitters. The soft drink Moxie contains gentian root. The French liqueur Suze is made with gentian.

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