Gentian cross-leaved (Gentiana cruciata L)

Gentian cross -leaved – Herbaceous perennial representing the Gentian family. Other names: cruciform gentian, falcon flight, cruciform gentian


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 of gentian cross-leaved 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, interpetalous, blue inside, gray-green outside; there are four folds between the blades of the corolla limb. Pistil with upper one-star ovary and with 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. Gentian cross-leaved blooms in June-August, the seeds ripen in September-October. Gentian cross-leaved grows in meadows, along edges, forest glades, in the mountains, 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 and roots of gentian cross-leaved. They are harvested in autumn, in October, thoroughly cleaned of the ground and dried (finely chopped) in dryers at a temperature of 50-60 degrees to prevent inevitable fermentation (exposed roots begin to turn black).

Contains active substances:

The gentian alkaloid gentiamin, glucosides gentiopicrin and gentisin, gentionose trisaccharide, dyes, essential and fatty oils were found in the rhizome and roots of the cross-leaved gentian. Ascorbic acid and bitter substances were found in the leaves.

Medicinal use:

Preparations of gentian cross-leaved are recommended to improve appetite in case of indigestion, especially accompanied by achilia, improve the functional activity of the digestive organs, with constipation as a choleretic agent. The root of this plant interferes with suppuration, helps with pale infirmity (in girls) and gout. In folk medicine, in addition, cross-leaved 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.

Preparation of gentian cross-leaved:

Externally , cross-leaved gentian 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 cross-leaved gentian in combination with 3 parts of oak bark, 1 tablespoon per glass of boiling water ). In a broth that has not yet cooled down, a cloth is soaked (preferably home-made) and every day at night they wrap their legs. 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.Gentian root powder , crushed into flour, is consumed 1-2 pinches 3 times every day with water.

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