Gentian is a herb. The root of the plant and, less commonly, the bark are used to make medicine.



  • Gentian is used for digestion problems such as loss of appetite, fullness, intestinal gas, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, and vomiting.
  • It is also used for fever, hysteria, and high blood pressure.
  • Some people use gentian to prevent muscle spasms, treat parasitic worms, start menstrual periods, and as a germ killer.
  • Gentian is applied to the skin for treating wounds and cancer.
  • It is used in combination with other products for malaria.
  • In foods and beverages, gentian is used as an ingredient.
  • In manufacturing, gentian is used in cosmetics.


  • Gentian herb has been used in European and Eastern herbal medicine throughout the 3,000 years since its discovery to treat gallbladder problems and as a bitter tonic to improve digestion.
  • Gentian root is used as one of the primary herbs to make the famous Swedish Bitters tonic.
  • Bitter herbs such as gentian increase gastric secretions and promote digestion as well as add support for a  sluggish liver. This speeds up the digestion of fat and protein, which increases the energy we get from food; many people report feeling less fatigued after continued use of bitters.
  • Gentian is also useful for gastro-intestinal inflammation (one of its alkaloids, gentianine, has been shown to be anti-inflammatory). Gentian can also be used in formulas to treat parasitic infestations.


  • There is not enough information to know if gentian is safe when used in medicinal amounts other than as part of the combination product. The combination product can cause digestive system upset and occasionally allergic skin rash.
  • There isn’t enough information about the safety of applying gentian to the skin.
  • The highly toxic white hellebore (Veratrum album) can be mistaken for gentian and has caused accidental poisoning when used in homemade preparations.


  • Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with GENTIAN
    Theoretically, gentian might decrease blood pressure. Taking gentian along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

Other Names

Bitter Root, Bitterwort, Gall Weed, Geneciana, Gentiana acaulis, Gentiana kochiana, Gentiana lutea, Gentianae Radix, Gentiane, Gentiane Acaule, Gentiane Jaune, Gentiane Pâle, Gentiane Sans Tige, Gentiane Sauvage, Grande Gentiane, Pale Gentian, Racine Amère, Stemless Gentian, Yellow Gentian, Wild Gentian.


Source: WebMD,




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