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GENTIAN

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, R...
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GENTIAN Overview
GENTIAN Uses
GENTIAN Side Effects
GENTIAN Interactions
GENTIAN Dosing
GENTIAN Overview Information

Gentian is an 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.

Gentian is used in combination with European elderflower, verbena, cowslip flower, and sorrel for treating symptoms of sinus infections (sinusitis). 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 root is not related to the gentian violet dye (methylrosaniline chloride).

If you plan to make your own gentian preparation, be sure you identify gentian correctly. The highly toxic white hellebore (Veratrum album) can be misidentified as gentian and has caused accidental poisoning when used in homemade preparations.

How does it work?

Gentian contains a chemical that might dilate blood vessels.

GENTIAN Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Symptoms of sinus infection (sinusitis) when combined with other herbs including elderflower, verbena, cowslip flower, and sorrel. Research studies have used a product called Sinupret.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Stomach disorders.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fever.
  • Heartburn.
  • Vomiting.
  • Menstrual disorders.
  • Cancer.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of gentian for these uses.


GENTIAN Side Effects & Safety

Gentian seems to be safe for most people when taken by mouth in small amounts as part of a combination product containing gentian root, elderflower, verbena, and cowslip flower (SinuComp, Sinupret). There isn't 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.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of gentian during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Low blood pressure: There is a concern that using gentian might make low pressure worse or interfere with drug treatment to increase blood pressure.

Surgery: Because gentian might affect blood pressure, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop using gentian at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

GENTIAN Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • 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.


GENTIAN Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For new or ongoing swelling of the sinuses (sinusitis): A specific combination product containing 12 mg of gentian root and 36 mg each of European elder flower, verbena, sorrel, and cowslip flower three times daily.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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