One of the most bitter herbs and a long-time patron of the liquor industry.
• atonic digestive complaints
- pancreatic insufficiency
• gastric esophageal reflux disease (GERD)†
• biliary insufficiency
- cholelithiasis (gallstones)
- biliary dyskinesia
• acne rosacea
• Secoiridoid glycosides (e.g. amarogentin)
• Decoction (dried root): 0.6-2g tid, ac
• Tincture (1:5 in 45% EtOH): 1-4 ml tid, ac
Note: because of its strong bitter nature, 5-10 gtt may be added to water and consumed ideally, shortly before meals (or after a meal if indigestion is experienced acutely).
Contraindications: Pregnancy and lactation (uterine stimulant).
†Caution: Gastritis, hiatal hernia, peptic ulcers. May aggravate as bitters increase gastric secretions; however, may also benefit patients with GERD where LES tone is the cause, not hyperacidity. Discontinue use if if pain is burning in epigastric region.
Note: Concomitant ingestion of demulcent herbs can help prevent an aggravation.
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Williamson EM, ed. Major Herbs of Ayurveda. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2002
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