This is the year… your garden will be perfect. It will put all your other efforts to shame and bring you daily joy as you eat from it, bring its wonderful smells inside, enjoy its beauty… and perhaps even use its natural powers to benefit your health! After all, it’s all in what you plant, and this is your canvas. This year, we’re thinking your canvas needs some BLUE. Blue, as in the vibrant, bell-shaped blossoms of the gentian flower.
What is a Gentian Flower?
Never heard of the gentian flower? You’re not alone. Many gardeners are unaware of this spectacular bloom (which also show up sometimes as yellow, white, and even red depending on the species you get). They are naturally found in mountainous regions at a high altitude. In fact, you can find them growing on the slopes of Mt. Everest at an altitude of 18,000 feet! But, if climbing Everest isn’t on your bucket list, no worries – you can still plant this beautiful perennial wherever your garden may be.
How to Plant the Gentian Flower
The gentian flower prefers a place where it can get full sun and partial shade. It blooms in mid-summer (depending on where you live) and will continue to flower through summer and early fall. The plant is very hardy and will come back year after year if you leave it alone and let it do its thing. Some varieties of gentian flower can be picky about their soil (most prefer a gritty soil that drains well, yet maintains moisture), so make sure you read up on the best soil for the species you’ve chosen and follow the directions.
Spectacular blooms aren’t the only reason to plant the gentian flower. For centuries, the root of the gentian flower has been used in herbal medicine for a variety of reasons.
A few potential health benefits of gentian root include:
- Supporting a healthy appetite
- Promoting healthy digestion
- Providing liver function support
- Aiding in healthy blood circulation
Harvesting Gentian Root
After enjoying the blooms of the gentian flower for several years (at least three is recommended), the root of your gentian plant are ready to be harvested if you wish to do so. Dig them out of the ground in the fall after your blooms have fallen. The roots will then need to be cleaned thoroughly, sliced, and left to dry out completely. When finished, they can be used to make your own herbal tea or tonic.
**Warning: The highly toxic white hellebore (Veratrum album) can be misidentified as gentian and has caused accidental poisoning when used in homemade preparations.
Gentian, The Easy Way
Look, no one is going to blame you if you want to get all the health benefits of gentian root, without all the work. That’s why safe and natural supplements are available from Natural Healthy Concepts! Plus, shopping with us will keep you from having to dig up that beautiful gentian flower that’s making your garden look so spectacular!
Do you plant and harvest gentian flower in your garden? Tell us how it’s worked for you in the comments below!