THE GENTIANE (Gentiana lutea L.)
Where did she come from?
The therapeutic properties of gentian depend as much on the quality as on the amount of active ingredients present in the herbal product used. In order to obtain the integrity and completeness of these fragile molecules, it is necessary to carry out a double water extraction but also alcoholic to different degrees of dilution sheltered from the air, light and heat that guarantees their preservation.
The Latin name for the gentian comes from the words ”Gentius’, king of Illyria who would have discovered in the 2nd century BC.C., its properties and the word ”lutea” meaning ”yellow”. The gentian, the plant of the european mountains for many centuries, has been the object of many beliefs over time: it has been attributed in turn to healing, magical and ritual properties. It was considered from the Middle Ages to the 20th century as a panacea. It is also the basis of many appetizers.
The gentian violet is a purple dye, a mixture of purple methyl (Paris violet, methyl violet), used rather in microbiology in Gram coloring.
Common in central Europe, gentian grows on limestone land between 1000 and 2500 meters above sea level. The root is the part used for its therapeutic properties.
How can we describe it botanically?
Gentian, also known as a yellow or large gentian, is a perennial plant that grows at altitude and can grow to 1 metre in height. The brownish root is cylindrical, long, large and fleshy. The leaves are opposite and the flowers, visible from June to August, have a yellow star corolla. The fruit is an oval capsule containing seeds. It is different from the white Veratre with alternating leaves (Veratrum album) which is toxic.
What is it made of?
Gentian is composed of seridoids, iridooids, xanthones, phytosterols, phenol acids, oligosaccharides and pyridinic alkaloids.
What are its main pharmacological properties?
Bitter substances (sécoiridoids), including gentiopicrin and amarogentin (the most bitter substance known) are responsible for its pharmacological properties. They promote salivary and gastric secretions by stimulating the parasympathetic from taste receptors.
Gentiopicroside protects in vivo hepatocytes from damage induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCL4) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) / BCG . It decreases the production of liver aminotransfers and TNF- . In addition, gentian has an anti-oxidant activity in vitro by trapping free radicals.
Gentiopicroside decreases the contractions of the guinea pig’s ileum induced by histamine, acetylcholine and KCl. It would interfere with calcium flow into smooth muscle cells (an effect analogous to intestinal calcium inhibitors). It is a digestive enzyme stimulant under the influence of the pneumogastric nerve.
The tri-replaced xanthones would act as selective and reversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase type A, an enzyme that plays a key role in regulating the central nervous system.
What are the Gentiane’s indications?
- Difficult digestion due to lack of gastric juices, flatulence and liver and stomach atony
- Nervous depression
- Digestive disorders
- Motor dyspepsia: post-prandial bloating, feeling gastric fullness, excessive beling, nausea
- Periodontosis, halitosis
What are the job precautions?
- Rare cases of peptic ulcers
- Contra-indicated in pregnant or lactating women
- Contraindicated in case of evolving peptic ulcers
- Caution in case of hypersensitivity to active substances
- No drug interactions have been reported to date
How to take it and at what dosage?
In masterful preparation
Here is the dosage of Fluid Extracts of Fresh Plants Standardized in Glycere solution (EPS):
1 c. coffee morning and evening for 1 month, renewable 3 months, to dilute in a large glass of water
- Dyspepsia of the elderly: Gentiane – Mélisse
- Convalescence and post-infectious anorexia: Gentiane – Nettle (aerial parts)
- Food overload dyspepsia: Gentiane – Artichoke
- Hyposialorrhea following the use of xenobiotics: Gentiane – Black Radis
- Periodontosis: Gentiane – Echinacea
- Gastroesophageal reflux: Gentiane – Plantain launched