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Gentian
shopping: one variety
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$5.60 
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per Pound
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$14.00 
Gentiana lutea

gentian

plant overview
a standard in herbal bitters

There are more than 150 species of gentians, the majority of which favor mountainous regions in various parts of the world. Gentiana lutea, more commonly referred to as yellow gentian, is specific to the Pyrenees and Alpines of Europe. The long, thick, yellow-brown root is harvested for its bitter principles. At one time, yellow gentian was used in beer brewing. Along with sweet flag, the root is a component of the famous Stockton herbal bitters. A simple, DIY formula consists of brandy infused with dried gentian root, orange peel and crushed cardamom pods.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Gentian
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about gentian

description
Gentiana lutea is a member of the Gentianaceae family. It is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 1–2 m tall, with broad lanceolate to elliptic leaves 10–30 cm long and 4–12 cm broad. The flowers are yellow, with the corolla separated nearly to the base into 5-7 narrow petals. The root is long and thick, generally about a foot long and an inch in diameter, but sometimes even a yard or more long and 2 inches in diameter, of a yellowish-brown color and a very bitter taste. The stem grows 3 or 4 feet high or more, with a pair of leaves opposite to one another, at each joint. The lowest leaves have short foot-stalks, but the upper ones are stalkless, their bases almost embracing the stem. They are yellowish-green in color, oblong in shape and pointed, rather stiff, with five prominent veins on the underside, and diminish gradually in size as they grow up the stem. The large flowers are in whorls in the axils of the uppermost few pairs of leaves, forming big orange-yellow clusters. The corollas are wheel-shaped, usually five-cleft, 2 inches across, sometimes marked with rows of small brown spots, giving a red tinge to the otherwise deep yellow. Seeds in abundance are produced by strong plants, and stock is easily raised from them.

common names & nomenclature
The name of the genus is derived from Gentius, an ancient King of Illyria (180-167 B.C.) who is believed to have used the herb as a tonic.

Also known as:
yellow gentian, great yellow gentian, wild gentian, bitter root, bitterwort, devil’s taint


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for gentian

Yellow Gentian is a native of the Alpine and sub-alpine pastures of central and southern Europe, frequent in the mountains of Spain and Portugal, the Pyrenees, Sardinia and Corsica, the Apennines, the Mountains of Auvergne, the Jura, the lower slopes of the Vosges, the Black Forest and throughout the chain of the Alps as far as Bosnia and the Balkan States.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting gentian

climate
Gentian grows in grassy alpine and sub-alpine pastures in full sun to part shade.

soil
Prefers lime soils that are moist and well-drained.

growing
Sow gentian seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or greenhouse. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light covering of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in a dark location. When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings to individual pots, plant out in the garden in the spring.

harvesting
Gentian root, which can be as thick as a person’s arm, is harvested in autumn, cut into smaller pieces and dried for later use.

preserving
Store dried gentian root in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of the Story
gentian history, folklore, literature & more

gentian for the gastrointestinal system
When it comes to stomach upset, most people reach for a bottle of pink liquid to relieve their symptoms. But there’s another way you can actually treat your upset stomach naturally. Gentian is an herb that’s native to Europe and Asia, but can be purchased anywhere in the world today.

It was once used by herbalists in Greece and the Middle East for stomach and liver problems. It was of particular use for killing off intestinal worms and parasites. Later it was used for a broader spectrum of things such as treating ulcers, reducing fevers, and disinfecting wounds.

While it was a popular herb all throughout the 1700s and 1800s, gentian isn’t quite as well used today. However, it remains an effective way to treat the problems you may be having with your stomach.

If you’re suffering from loss of appetite due to an illness, gentian may be exactly what you need to keep your appetite stimulated. You may also find that it can be useful if you have an upset stomach or even intestinal illness such as diarrhea and cramping. When your liver isn’t functioning at full par, you can also count on gentian to help detoxify the body and stimulate the liver.

If you have a fever, gentian can help to lower it and give you relief and comfort. In addition, gentian can also be used to treat anemia by stimulating red blood cell production. This is particularly good for someone suffering from a low red blood cell count. Gentian can help restore energy and vitality.

Gentian is thought to work so well because it is a bitter herb that stimulates the nervous system to produce saliva and gastric juices. This in turn actually helps to stimulate the appetite. It also promotes the normal function of the digestive system. When everything is moving properly, you’ll have fewer complaints.

You can take gentian several ways. It can be used as an infusion or a tincture, depending on what you need it to do. When taking gentian, follow the manufacturer’s instructions so that you don’t take too much or too little.

Gentian is like having a broad spectrum of stomach medicines in your cabinet. Make sure to keep a supply of it in your medicine cabinet for those times when your stomach doesn’t agree with what you’ve eaten or your appetite is diminished. And if you tend to have anemic blood, taking gentian regularly can prevent you from having fatigue.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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