Gentian - Gentiana lutea (in the Gentianaceae or Gentian family)
Parts used: Root.
Taste/smell: Sweet odor and sweet upon initially tasting, but strongly bitter afterwards.
Tendencies: Cooling and drying.
Dosage: Decoction: 1/4 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:4 dry liquid extract: 1-30 drops 1-4 times per day in a little water. Best taken prior to meals.
Mental picture and specific indications: Gentian is indicated with lazy digestion with gastric pain, tendency toward depression and exhaustion. It may have a picture of vertigo that is worse with motion and better in open air. Patients doubt their ability to make decisions or make correct choices in their lives.
Use: (a) Stimulating bitter, (b) Cholagogue, (c) Anti-inflammatory, (d) Stimulates the digestive organs, mucous membranes, and portal circulation.
It is indicated for atonic and sub-acid states. Gentian gently promotes peristalsis and facilitates absorption of nutrients. It can be used in smaller doses prior to meals for digestive stimulation. Gentian stimulates the activity of the stomach but not the emptying time.
Contraindications: Large doses for long periods of time can harm digestion and induce frontal headaches. Use cautiously with pregnancy. Although useful in preventing gastric ulcers, it is contraindicated if there is acute gastric inflammation and irritation.