GENTIAN CROSS-LEAVED (cruciform)
Perennial herbaceous plant 20-70 cm high with a thick shortened brownish rhizome. It has several non-branching stems, straight or slightly ascending, densely leafy with a basal rosette of leaves. Leaves 5-8 obovate-lanceolate, reaching 3-8 cm long; stem leaves opposite, 4-10 pairs, sessile, ovate-lanceolate, fused in pairs into the vagina. The flowers are almost sessile, twisted in bunches in the axils of the upper leaves and at the top of the stems, forming 4-6 dense whorls. Calyx tubular, thinly membranous, whitish; corolla quadrangular, 20-25 mm long, sympetalous, blue inside, gray-green outside; there are four folds between the blades of the corolla limb. Pistil with an upper one-star ovary and with a 2-parted stigma. four stamens, attached at the bottom of the corolla tube. The fruit is an oblong, bivalve, multi-seeded box; seeds are brown, shiny, reticulate. Blossoms in June-August, the seeds ripen in September-October.
It grows in meadows, along forest edges, forest glades, in the mountains, and reaches alpine meadows. It is found in the middle zone of the European part of Russia, Western Siberia, Kazakhstan, and the Caucasus.
Medicinal raw materials are rhizomes with roots. They are harvested in the fall, in October, thoroughly cleaned of the ground and dried (finely chopped) in dryers at a temperature of 50-60 degrees to prevent inevitable fermentation (the exposed roots begin to turn black).
In the rhizome and roots, the alkaloid gentyamin, glycosides gentiopicrin and gentisin, gentionose trisaccharide, dyes, essential and fatty oils were found.
Ascorbic acid and bitter substances were found in the leaves.
Gentian preparations are recommended to improve appetite in case of indigestion, especially accompanied by achilia, to improve the functional activity of the digestive organs, and for constipation as a choleretic agent. The root of this plant prevents suppuration, helps with pale infirmity (in girls) and gout.
In folk medicine, in addition, gentian is prescribed as an anthelmintic, also for the treatment of gout, arthritis, it is especially useful for dyspepsia, it is used for achilia of the stomach, constipation, lack of appetite, increased acidity of the stomach and heartburn (tincture of wine or vodka). A decoction and tincture of the root are drunk for arthritis of rheumatic origin.
Externally, gentian cross-leaved in the form of a powder is used for purulent wounds (preferably in an equal mixture with powder from pharmaceutical chamomile), in the form of a hot decoction – for sweating feet (1 part of gentian cross-leaved in combination with 3 parts of oak bark, 1 tablespoon per a glass of boiling water). In a broth that has not yet cooled down, a cloth is soaked (preferably home-made) and every night they wrap their legs at night.
Decoction: 1 teaspoon of finely chopped root in a glass of boiling water, insist on fire for 7-10 minutes; drink 1 glass 3 times every day.
Vodka or wine tincture: two teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon) per glass of wine or vodka, insist for 3 weeks; take one glass or 2 tbsp. spoons 3 times every day at bedtime.
Root powder, crushed into flour, is consumed 1-2 pinches 3 times every day with water.