herbals gentian

RECND357

Gentian

Scientific:Gentiana lutea
Other:Gentian

Indications

One of the most bitter herbs and a long-time patron of the liquor industry.

Gastrointestinal
• atonic digestive complaints
- dyspepsia
- hypochlorhydria
- pancreatic insufficiency
- colic
• gastric esophageal reflux disease (GERD)†

Hepatobiliary
• biliary insufficiency
- cholestasis
- cholelithiasis (gallstones)
- jaundice
- biliary dyskinesia

Dermatologic
acne rosacea

Actions

bitter
stomachic
hepatic
cholagogue
choleretic
sialogogue
antimicrobial
antifungal
antiparasitic
• antileishmanial
antiinflammatory
• laxative (mild)
emmenagogue

Constituents

• Secoiridoid glycosides (e.g. amarogentin)
• Xanthones
• Alkaloids

Posology

• 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).

Safety

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.

References

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Barnes J, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines, 3rd ed. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 2007.

Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2000.

Bone K. A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs: Herbal Formulations for the Individual Patient. St Louis, MO: Churchill Livingstone, 2003.

Brinker F. The Toxicology of Botanical Medicines, 3rd ed. Sandy, Oregon: Eclectic Medical Publications, 2000.

Felter HW, Lloyd JU. King's American Dispensatory. 1898. http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/eclectic/kings/main.html. Accessed: August 19, 2006.

Hoffman D. Medical Herbalism. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1988.

Williamson EM, ed. Major Herbs of Ayurveda. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2002

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