Gentian yellow – gentiana iutea l.
Popular names: gentian, gorchanka.
Botanical characteristic. Gentian family. Perennial herbaceous plant, with a fleshy, thick, many-headed rhizome, from which several adventitious roots extend. Stem erect, unbranched, up to 1 m high.
In the first 2-3 years of life, the plant forms only a basal rosette of large leaves (within a length of 30 cm), and in the 3-4th year a stem appears with opposite elliptical leaves and large yellow flowers. They are collected in bunches in the axils of the stem leaves. Flowering in July-August, fruiting in September.
Spreading. It occurs in the wild at an altitude of 900-1000 m above sea level in the Carpathians, but sometimes in the European part of the USSR. It grows on gravelly slopes and mountain meadows, in young rare pine forests, between shrubs. Cultivated in the Leningrad region and near Moscow (VILR).
Medicinal raw materials. The root and rhizome are harvested, which are dug out with shovels or picks in the fall at the 4-5th year of the plant’s life. They are cleaned of earth and small roots. Cut off the remains of the stems with a knife and rinse in cold water. Dried roots are cut into pieces 20-50 cm long, and thick parts – lengthwise into two halves and dried in attics under an iron roof or in dryers at a temperature of 35-40 ° C. Dried roots are hygroscopic and should be stored in a well-closed container.
Chemical composition. The plant contains the glycosides gentiopicrin and amarogencin, which contribute to the bitter taste of its roots. In addition, the alkaloid gentianin, fatty oil (up to 6%), pectin substances, resins and mucus are found in the roots.
pharmacological properties. The bitter substances of the plant, especially gentiopicrin, reflexively increase the excitability of the food center to taste stimuli and thereby increase the secretory and motor activity of the stomach and intestines. This, in turn, increases appetite, improves digestion and assimilation of feed. Especially well this action is shown at the lowered secretory function of a stomach. In large doses, gentian inhibits the secretion of the stomach.
Under experimental conditions on laboratory animals, it was shown that gentian and its products increase the amplitude of pendulum contractions and increase the tone of an isolated segment of the intestine.
Application. The plant is used as bitterness in all kinds of digestive disorders, accompanied by dyspeptic symptoms, lack of appetite, especially in disorders of secretion. Assign inside in the form of cereals, infusions, decoctions, potions in doses: cattle 10-50 g, horses 10-30, small ruminants 5-10, pigs 2-4, chickens 0.1-1 g.