Gentian, one of the “bitter” herbs, has been used by herbalists for over 2,000 years to help stimulate liver function. It was named as a tribute to Gentius, an Illyrian king who was believed to have discovered that the herb had tonic properties. He used the herb for treating wounds and as a natural antidote for various types of poisons. Traditional folk healers believed that gentian root could improve the digestive process by stimulating the flow of saliva, bile, and stomach acids if you took the herb before your meal. During the Middle Ages, it was used as an antidote to certain poisons.
Gentian Root for Overall Liver Health
Today, it is used specifically to protect the liver, stimulate its function, help regenerate its cells, and increase the flow of bile. It is also known to inhibit the development of viruses that affect the liver. This should come as no surprise to herbalists as studies have shown that gentian has antibacterial, antifungal, antitrypanosomal, antiviral, and anti-angiogenic properties. It has also been used for centuries to stimulate appetite, improve overall digestion, and treat a host of gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, heartburn, stomach aches, and vomiting. And studies have shown that it is liver protective. This is why you’ll find it as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Liver Tincture formula.
Gentian Root for Kidney Health
Genetian is also helpful in improving the overall health of the kidneys. It helps with the detoxification process by aiding in the elimination of harmful substances from the body. The root itself also has antiseptic properties which help with the removal of harmful microorganisms that can be found in the digestive system. In fact, the herb has even been used to help eliminate parasitic worms in the intestines.
Gentian Root for Anemia
The herb isn’t only considered helpful for digestive and liver issues either. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, gentian is often used in Europe to treat anemia by stimulating the digestive system to more easily absorb iron and other nutrients. According to A. Kusar's article in "Human and Experimental Toxology," gentian root also contains substantial antioxidant properties that can help your body fight off scavenging free radicals. In addition, the root has been used to speed up illness recovery time because of its ability to increase energy levels and help activate the function of many of the body’s systems.
Gentian Root for Cold, Fevers and More
The root is used to help treat cold and fever and provide sore throat relief. It can also be used to treat muscle spasms, headaches, convulsions and delirium. In traditional herbal medicine, it is used to treat physical and mental exhaustion.
Gentian Root for Circulation and Fatigue Issues
If you have issues with poor circulation, this herb may be helpful for you as well, as it can invigorate the blood and improve circulation to all parts of the body. It is also used to help with fatigue issues, with some people reporting that they feel less sluggish after use. Overall, gentian purifies and is said to strengthen the entire human system.
Other Uses for Gentian Root
Interestingly enough, gentian isn’t only a medicinal herb. You can find it in some foods and beverages, in some anti-smoking products, and also as an ingredient in cosmetics.
To summarize, gentian root has a variety of uses, including:
- a topical remedy for wounds
- a treatment for anorexia
- a remedy for relieving flatulence
- a remedy for relieving heartburn
- a remedy for relieving nausea
- a treatment for irritated gallbladder or liver
- a remedy to strengthen the entire cardiovascular system
- a remedy to stimulate metabolism
- a treatment to balance thyroidal hormones secretion
- a treatment for malaria
How to Take Gentian Root
Gentian root supplements can be found in tea, extract, tincture, and powder forms. However, it’s important to note that gentian is a "medicinal" herb and should not be used for longer than three weeks at a time, as it will eventually over-stimulate the body. A rest of two weeks is enough before it can be used again.
Learn more about how to do a liver detox and blood cleanse, here.