Gentian (Gentiana lutea) is an herb native to the Alps and the Himalayas. It has long been used as a bitter flavor for alcoholic beverages, especially in Germany and Switzerland where Gentian flavored beer was drunk before the introduction of hops. Gentian wine is also served as an aperitif in dinner parties from the 18th century to encourage guests’ post-meal digestion. Historically, they have also been used in herbal medicines, especially for treating stomach illness, liver disease, and helping digestion. Today, it is most widely grown in Europe, China, and parts of North America.
1. Gentian health benefits
1.1 Improve digestive function
✅ One of the most popular uses of this herb for centuries and today is still improving some aspects of digestive health. Traditionally, this herb has been used as a stomach stimulant for its effect on saliva, bile, and enzyme secretion. Gentiopicroside in Gentiana can stimulate the secretion of enzymes in the small intestine. At the same time, it increases stomach secretion, helps break down food, and absorb nutrients more easily. Gentiana or gentiopicroside may promote gastric juice and gastric acid secretion. In addition, Gentiana also protects the liver. Gentiopicroside has a protective effect on acute liver damage in mice due to carbon tetrachloride and D-galactose and may reduce the level of hepatic necrosis and hepatocellular damage resulting in impaired glycogen synthesis in liver cells. In fact, for centuries, Gentiana’s root has been known as a liver tonic and detox aid. The proof is its strong bitterness. Summary of some of Gentiana’s benefits to digestion include:
- Reduce nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, and general stomach.
- Improve saliva production by stimulating taste.
- Helps produce gastric juice and bile secretion.
- Supports liver and gallbladder function.
1.2 Against oxidative stress
✅ Gentian antioxidants like secoiridoidal, ridoid glycosides, gentiopicroside, xanthones, polyphenols, and flavones help protect cells from free radical damage (also known as oxidative stress). These compounds also have anti-inflammatory effects, which are beneficial for the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems. For example, isovitexin is a natural anti-atherosclerotic. This substance helps protect vascular smooth muscle tissue and increase the activity of nitric oxide (NO) of cells. This is beneficial for the prevention and treatment of arteriosclerosis and helps in lowering blood pressure effectively.
1.3 Helps reduce inflammation and pain
✅ The active compounds found in this herb have been shown to fight inflammation and actively regulate pain in the brain to reduce discomfort. Gentian root can also dilate blood vessels and help improve circulation, increasing the analgesic effect. In addition, a compound in Gentian called erythricine has been shown to have sedative and muscle relaxant properties, reducing spasms and cramps. This is why Gentian is sometimes used to treat migraines, dysmenorrhea, stomach pains, muscle spasms, and more.
✅ Gentian is applied to the skin to treat wounds and fungal infections. They have been shown to kill harmful bacteria. In addition, they help improve blood flow to the wound or damaged tissue. Several studies have found that it has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Gentian is combined with other immune-boosting herbs (including verbena and tamarind) in a recipe called Sinupret. Research shows that this formula helps treat the symptoms of sinus infection.
3. The notes on using Gentian
When using Gentian as a herbal extract or as a supplement to improve digestive issues, you should keep the following in mind:
- Gentian root can also lower blood pressure and affect blood sugar. This may result in dizziness or hypoglycemia. Be cautious if you are using blood pressure medications or other diabetes medications.
- This herb is often considered safe. However, some of the possible side effects include stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, skin irritation, and, at the same time, they increase the acidity and ulcer in the stomach.
- Pregnant and lactating women should use with caution.
4. Recommended for you :
🎁 Herb Pharm Certified Organic Gentian Liquid Extract for Digestive Support
✅ Support the healthy function of the digestive system with Gentian liquid extract from Herb Pharm. They prepare their Gentian Extract from the rhizome & roots of Gentiana lutea plants which are Certified Organically Grown. To assure optimal extraction of Gentian’s bioactive compounds, the rhizome & roots are hand-harvested only in the autumn, are carefully shade-dried, and are then thoroughly extracted. Directions: Shake well before using. Two or three times a day take 30 to 40 drops in a little water. Best taken 15 to 20 minutes before meals.