History: The Gentian herbs are an extensive group of about 180 different plants. They grow throughout all climates including, though they prefer temperate regions and high mountains. In South America and New Zealand, the prevailing color of the flower is red. In Europe the color of the flower is predominantly blue, although it can also be yellow or white The name of the genus is derived from Gentius, an ancient King of Illyria, who, according to Pliny and Dioscorides, discovered the medicinal value of these plants. Native Americans used Blue Gentian as an infusion, applied externally, to relieve back pain.
Uses: tonic and blood purifier, liver complaints, dysentery, jaundice, hepatitis, enlargement of liver and spleen, rheumatism, appetite improver, gastritis, indigestion heartburn, and stomach aches.
Active Ingredients: Bitter principles including gentiopicrin and amarogentine, pectin, tannin, mucilage, sugar
Actions: Bitter, gastric stimulant, sialagogue, cholagogue, anti-microbial, emmenagogue, hepatic, tonic
Complementary Herbs: ginger, cardamon