t color="#C85224" face="arial" size="+1">General Description
Distinguished by oval leaves and orange blooms, gentian is believed to act as a general tonic, relieving exhaustion and helping the body rebuild its natural defenses against illness. The root of this herb has been used in different cultures for about 3,000 years to treat digestive disorders and to stimulate the appetite. It was introduced to Western herbalists by Native Americans who used the plant to alleviate back pains. Today, gentian is prescribed in Western countries primarily as a digestive aid. Because of its bitter properties, it stimulates the secretion of stomach acid and produces saliva. For this reason, contemporary herbalists frequently recommend ingesting this herb before or with large meals. Its most common form is in liqueurs, vermouths and a variety of other bitter-tasting cocktails.
Over the counter:
Gentian is available in bulk as dried roots and in tincture.
Tea: 1 oz. gentian root boiled with 1 cup water for 15 to 20 minutes; consumed 15 to 30 minutes before eating to aid digestion.
Combinations: Used with ginger and cardamom for digestive disorders.