Gentian yellow – tirlich zhovtiy (harvesting and storage)

Name: Yellow gentian – tirlich zhovtiy (harvesting and storage)

Gentian yellow – Gentiana lutea. L. Ukrainian name – tirlich zhovtiy, popular names – ginzura, dzhendzhura; Gorchanka yellow, candlestick, etc.


Gentian family – Gentianaceae.

For medicinal purposes, rhizomes with roots are used.

It occurs only in the highlands of the Carpathians (on the ridges of Chernogora, Svidovets, Gorgany, etc.) at an altitude of 1200 to 2000 m. It grows on white-bearded and pike meadows, among sparse mountain shrubs of green alder, mountain pine, Siberian juniper and blueberry, lingonberries, blueberries, in spruce thickets. Quite an uncommon plant. There are individual specimens and groups, less often thickets with an area of ​​​​up to several hectares (Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk, very rarely Lviv and Chernivtsi regions).

There are no stocks of raw materials. The remaining thickets will need to be taken under protection and used as a seed base for introducing the plant into an industrial crop.

Included in the “Red Book” of the Soviet Union and the “Chervona Book” of Ukraine.

Gentian yellow is a perennial herbaceous plant with a thick, short, many-headed rhizome, on which ring marks of dead leaves are visible. The rhizome gradually turns into a root. Stem unbranched, cylindrical, hollow. The leaves are opposite, up to 3 cm long and up to 15 cm wide, leathery, glabrous. Flowers on long peduncles collected 3-11 in axillary semi-umbels. The fruits are multi-seeded elongated boxes. Seeds flat, winged, dark brown. Blooms in July-August. The fruits ripen in September – October.

Along with yellow gentian, it is allowed to use raw gentian point, which also grows in the Carpathians. The possibility of using gentian cross-leaved as a medicinal plant is still being studied. In the habitats of yellow gentian, poisonous white hellebore is found, which has similar leaves. These plants differ in a number of ways.

Harvest rhizomes with roots in the fall after the death of the aerial parts (September). They dig them up with shovels or picks, shaking off the ground, cut off the aerial parts with knives and quickly wash them in cold water. Then thick rhizomes and roots are cut into pieces and split lengthwise, rotten and damaged areas are also removed.

The raw materials are dried immediately in attics under an iron roof, spreading a thin layer (2-3 cm) on cloth or sieves, or better in dryers at a temperature of 50-60 °. When dried in a thick layer, the raw material easily rots.

According to GF-VIII Art. The raw material consists of pieces of rhizomes with roots 20-50 cm long and 2-4 cm thick, often cut lengthwise. In the upper part of the rhizomes are longitudinally wrinkled, brownish-gray outside, yellowish inside. The smell is weak, characteristic. The taste is very bitter and stays in the mouth for a long time. The ash content should not exceed 6%, other indicators are not standardized.

Pack raw materials in boxes. Store in dry, well-ventilated areas on pallets. It is very hygroscopic and moldy easily. Storage period up to 5 years.

The roots and rhizomes contain the bitter substance gentiopicrin, the alkaloid gentianin, pectin substances. It is used as bitterness to stimulate appetite and improve the activity of the digestive organs, as well as a choleretic agent. Used in brewing.

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