For centuries, herbalists have relied on the medicinal powers of gentian root. Long ago, it was commonly used as an antidote to poison. Today, it’s effects are most often sought after to aid in healthy digestion. But, there are many other benefits to using gentian root for your everyday health. Read ahead to find out more!
What is Gentian Root?
Gentian is a wildflower. It was originally found in the mountainous areas of Europe and Turkey but is now commonly cultivated in North America. As with most wildflowers, there are many different varieties of gentian. The trumpet-shaped flowers are typically violet or vivid blue, but may also appear as yellow, white, red, or purple. Many gardeners often use the plant as a colorful ornamental in their flower beds. However, the use of its root as a medicinal “bitter herb” may be even more stunning!
* Warning: “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.”
Gentian Root Uses
The root of the gentian plant is full of wonderful vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamins B and F, but it also a rich source of minerals such as iron, zinc, niacin, manganese, and even sulphur. Its unique combination of ingredients makes it quite useful when looking for natural ways to address a variety of common ailments.
- Assists in Healthy Digestion – Gentian root is is thought to promote healthy digestion by stimulating the production of gastric juices and saliva that help break down food. When used before a meal, it’s recommended that you add a liquid gentian root extract, such as this one from Herb Pharm, to a glass of warm water. This trick may help keep you from developing heartburn or indigestion, and help facilitate natural digestion. Gentian root is also commonly used to help alleviate the discomforts associated with constipation and gas.
- Supports a Healthy Liver – Gentian root is thought to support healthy liver function by stimulating the production of bile and promoting a natural cleansing effect. Studies show that taking a daily supplement such as Gentian Root by Solaray, may also support the regeneration of healthy new cells in the liver.
- May Stimulate Appetite – Gentian root is often recommended for use in people who struggle with a poor appetite. This may be useful for those dealing with an illness that causes them to turn away food, even when the body needs it. Gentian root is thought to suppress the feeling of fullness we get while eating, allowing us to ingest more. On the flipside, it may also help alleviate the discomfort we feel after consuming a heavy meal.
- May Promote the Production of Red Blood Cells – Because gentian root is a rich source of iron, it may be beneficial for those who are prone to anemia. Herbalists believe the herb not only provides a source of iron, but may also boost the body’s ability to absorb it. Iron is essential to the production of red blood cells, which stimulates healthy blood flow and brings oxygen to your organs and tissues.
* Gentian root should not be used if you are pregnant. If you are being treated for an illness or disorder, talk to your doctor first before adding any new supplements to your routine.
Have you seen healthy progress while using a gentian root supplement? Tell us your story in the comments below!