Weight loss, Stomach disorders, High blood pressure, Diarrhea, Fever, Heartburn, Vomiting, Menstrual disorders, Cancer, Sinus infection (sinusitis)
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King Gentius of Illyria (180-67 BC) is said to have done the initial introduction of gentian when he gave the herb, later named after him, to his army when it cured them of a mysterious fever. It has long been used as a bitter flavoring for alcoholic drinks, especially in Germany and Switzerland where Gentian flavored beer was drunk before the introduction of hops.
Gentian wine was also served as an aperitif at 18th century dinner parties to encourage the guest’s digestion following a meal. Gentian is found in many liquor stores as the chief flavor in vermouth, and in Stockton and Angostura bitters, both of which were originally used as digestive tonics. Angostura bitters was produced in Angostura, Argentina (now Ciudad Bolivar), by Dr. J.G.B. Siegart, who was the Chief Surgeon at the U.S. Military Hospital in 1824. The label describes it as a “pleasant and dependable stomachic” and suggests adding it to soups, stews, vegetables, ice cream, and just about every other food.
Today, extracts of gentian root can also be found in the American soft drink Moxie, and are attributed to its unique flavor.Gentian is an herb. The root of the plant and, less commonly, the bark are used to make medicine. Gentian is applied to the skin for treating wounds and cancer.
Gentian is used for digestion problems such as loss of appetite, bloating, diarrhea, and heartburn. It is also used for fever and to prevent muscle spasms.
Gentian is used in combination with European elderflower, verbena, cowslip flower, and sorrel for treating symptoms of sinus infections (sinusitis).
In foods and beverages, gentian is used as an ingredient.
In manufacturing, gentian is used in cosmetics.
Gentian root is not related to the gentian violet dye (methylrosaniline chloride).
If you plan to make your own gentian preparation, be sure you identify gentian correctly. The highly toxic white hellebore (Veratrum album) can be misidentified as gentian and has caused accidental poisoning when used in homemade preparations.
How does it work?
Gentian contains a chemical that might dilate blood vessels.
Possible side effects include:
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of gentian during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- Low blood pressure: There is a concern that using gentian might make low blood pressure worse or interfere with drug treatment to increase blood pressure.
- Surgery: Because gentian might affect blood pressure, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop using gentian at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.