Gentiana health benefits and therapeutic value

Yellow gentiana lutea flower

Gentiana (Gentiana lutea) is a herbaceous perennial plant native to the mountain regions of Europe and that belongs to the Gentianaceae family.

In the Alps and in the Pyrenees, it is a protected species and it is thus illegal to harvest them.

Herbalists know this plant very well and use it in herbal medicine since gentiana is a plant that delivers a great many health benefits.

Health benefits of gentiana

  • Gentiana is an effective tonic that helps address asthenia and has a purifying action on the body.
  • Thanks to the antioxidant properties of the flavonoids that it contains, gentiana seems to be effective in preventing ageing and maintaining the upkeep of the immune system.
  • Tonic and stimulating, gentiana infusions – 0.07 oz (2 g) of dried root in a mug of boiling water – are effective in case of difficult digestion or gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea, vomiting, gastritis and nausea).
  • Gentiana also helps to smoothly expel parasites and intestinal worms (pinworms).
  • In case of hepatic problems, gentiana helps decongest the liver and stimulates the gall bladder.
  • Then anti-inflammatory activity of gentiana is effective against ENT infections and pain due to rheumatism.
  • Topical use of gentiana treats cutaneous disorders (cutaneous or skin conditions, inflammations, wounds) and aids wound-healing.

Growing gentiana for its health benefits

  • Gentiana is a hardy plant which is nonetheless not always easy to grow. It requires full sun and neutral soil, especially well drained, even though it can still be poor.
  • Be careful, gentiana fears winter moisture.
  • Slugs and rust are the only true enemies of gentiana.

Use gentiana in your cooking for its health benefits

In the kitchen, gentiana is part of the preparation of a variety of appetizers, wines or liquors. Drink moderately, of course!

Gentiana can also flavor desserts: it is added to ice cream or pastries.

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY-SA 2.0: Joan Simon