Yellow gentian (Gentiana lutea L.)

Gentian yellow is a perennial herbaceous plant from the Gentian family.


Perennial herbaceous plant up to 1.2 m high. The root is cylindrical, long, slightly branched, eventually replaced by adventitious roots. Stem one (or several) erect, cylindrical, glabrous. The leaves are opposite, fused at their bases in pairs, semi-amplex, broadly ovate, simple, entire, with strongly prominent 5-7 veins. Basal leaves are elliptical, short-petiolate, semi-amplexive. The flowers of the gentian are yellow, collected in bunches in the axils of the stem leaves. Stamens 5-6, pistil one. The fruit is a single-celled bivalve box. Yellow gentian blooms in July-August. Yellow gentian is common in the Transcarpathian regions of Ukraine.


Medicinal raw materials are adventitious roots and rhizomes of yellow gentian, collected in early spring or autumn, they are carefully cleaned from the ground, cut into pieces and quickly dried at a temperature of 50-60 degrees (in dryers) or in the shade in the air to prevent fermentation At the roots weak, aromatic, honey smell and very bitter taste. The finished raw material is reddish-brown in color, roots up to 60 cm long, brittle, the fracture is smooth, radiant, yellow. Raw materials are stored in boxes due to their hygroscopicity.

Contains active substances:

The roots and rhizomes of yellow gentian contain a very bitter glycoside gentiopecrin (passing during long storage and fermentation into chenciamyrin), alkaloid gentianin, gentisin, sucrose, a special trisaccharide that breaks down into 1 part fructose and 2 parts glucose, fatty oil (up to 6%) and a lot of pectins, resin and mucus.

Medicinal use:

Gentian yellow is used as bitterness, as an appetite stimulant, digestive aid. Gentian also has tonic and antipyretic properties and is a better remedy than centaury. Gentian is used more often in the form of a 10% alcohol tincture, 20 drops 15-30 minutes before meals. In folk medicine, a decoction of the roots and rhizomes of yellow gentian is used in the absence of appetite , lethargy of the intestines, constipation, gout, arthritis, for general strengthening of the body, with all kinds of diseases of the stomach, it also helps with diseases of the spleen and liver, scrofula, jaundice, cough, fever, dysentery, relieves persistent heartburn and increases appetite. Gentian yellow has also been used in brewing industry to give some sorts of beer a peculiar bitter taste and in the alcoholic beverage industry.

Recipes for cooking gentian yellow:

A hot strong decoction prepared from a mixture of 1 part gentian roots and rhizomes and 3 parts oak bark is considered a good remedy for fetid sweating of the feet. In this decoction, it is recommended to soar the legs before going to bed. The broth is recommended to be prepared in small portions, because it easily deteriorates. A decoction is prepared at the rate of 15-20 g of roots and rhizomes per 1 liter of water (boiling water), take 1 tbsp. spoon 3 times every day; or 20 g per 200 ml or 1 part of the roots and rhizomes per 10 parts of boiling water, take 1 tbsp. spoon 3 times every day for half an hour before meals. Vodka tincture: 50 g of grass per 0.5 l of vodka, insist for 8 days (on wine – 21 days), take 30-40 drops per 6 tablespoons of water 3 times every day Powder:sprinkle festering wounds with a mixture of powders of gentian and chamomile flowers, taken equally.

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