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Health Benefits of Gentian Root

Anuya Waghmare
The gentian root is beneficial in treating digestion problems, strengthening immunity, and acts as a natural remedy to treat many other ailments and diseases. This HolisticZine article lists the benefits of this traditional medicine.

The Bitter Truth!

Botanists consider gentian as one of the most bitter substances in nature, which is why, it is used as the base while measuring bitterness. Nevertheless, it is this taste which is used to treat digestion problems, wounds, stimulating appetite, and reduce fever, inflammation, and allergies.
Gentian root is a herb which is native to Europe. Its scientific name is Gentiana lutea, belonging to the plant family Gentianaceae. The underground parts of this herb have the highest medicinal value, and have been used since ancient times as a natural herbal remedy to treat stomach problems and enhance digestion.
The root supplements are available in extract, powder, tea and tincture forms. Gentian root is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals like manganese, iron, niacin, vitamin B, zinc, and many other micronutrients. These nutrients, coupled with its bitter taste, make it possible for gentian to provide various health benefits, which are described below.

Gentian Root Health Benefits

» The gentian root has excellent laxative properties which works wonders to improve the digestive system. It has been used to combat stomach upsets, heartburn, indigestion, flatulence, and other gastrointestinal problems, since ancient times.
» This root is used to treat parasitic worms in the intestine, as well as stop cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

» It improves your appetite by easing the digestive process. It has been used to treat patients suffering from anorexia. The root also possesses antiseptic properties that help get rid of certain harmful micro-organisms in the digestive system.
» It helps in detoxification, by aiding in the elimination of various harmful substances from the body. It therefore helps in improving the overall health of the kidneys.
» Gentian has certain hepatic properties that alleviate liver functioning by improving the secretion of digestive juices, saliva, and bile. Traditional Chinese medicine uses gentian to treat gallbladder inflammations that cause intense pain and discomfort.
» Gentian ameliorates blood circulation in the human body. Thus, an overall improvement in the cardiovascular health of the individual is seen after consuming gentian root.

» The gentian root is a known herbal remedy for cold, fever, and other symptoms associated with these problems. It can also be used to provide relief from a sore throat.
» Gentian roots are rich in antioxidants and several nutrients that make them an excellent immunity booster. This root increases the energy levels and sets off the smooth-functioning of various systems in the human body, that aid in recovering faster after a bout of illness.
» Traditional herbal medicine uses gentian root as a cure for physical and mental exhaustion.

» Gentian can also be used as a remedy to cure muscle spasms, headaches, convulsions, and delirium.
» Traditional Chinese medicines use gentian root as a treatment for wounds and cancer. However, research is still being done to study these benefits in more detail.

» The gentian root is used as a flavoring agent in the soft drink – Moxie.
Be Warned: Though the health benefits of gentian root are many, it's overuse may cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, irritation in the stomach and may raise blood pressure and blood sugar.
Pregnant women and patients suffering from intense heartburn and indigestion should consume it after consulting a doctor. People suffering from ulcers are advised against the use of gentian root.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only. Consult your physician/dietitian before incorporating any food item/supplement into your diet.