is used for digestive disorders, such as loss of appetite,
fullness, flatulence, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, and
vomiting. It is used orally for fever; hysteria; hypertension;
and stimulating menstrual flow; and as an antispasmodic,
anthelmintic, and antiseptic.
gentian is used for treating wounds and cancer.In combination
with European elder flower, verbena, cowslip flower, and sorrel,
gentian is used orally for maintaining healthy sinuses and
treating sinusitis. It is used in combination with other products
foods and beverages, gentian is used as an ingredient.
manufacturing, gentian is used in cosmetics.
...when the root preparations are used in amounts commonly found
in foods. Gentian root has Generally Recognized As Safe status
(GRAS) for use in foods in the US (3).
...when gentian root is used orally in a specific combination
that contains gentian root, elderflower, verbena, cowslip flower,
Sinupret) (1, 2).
insufficient reliable information available about the safety of
the topical use of gentian.
LACTATION: There is insufficient reliable information available
about the safety of gentian in medicinal amounts during pregnancy
and lactation; avoid using.
Taking gentian orally in a specific combination product that also
contains elderflower, verbena, cowslip flower, and sorrel
(SinuComp, Sinupret) seems to help treat acute or chronic
sinusitis Clinical studies have used Sinupret (1, 2).
insufficient reliable information available about the
effectiveness of gentian for its other uses.
applicable parts of gentian are the root and bark. The root is
most commonly used. Gentian root contains triterpenoids,
xanthones, and other constituents (5, 6). Preliminary research
suggests gentian root has sedative effects. The xanthone
gentiacaulein seems to have antidepressant activity, possibly
through inhibition of monoamine oxidase (MAO)-A (6). Preliminary
research suggests that gentian bark extracts might have MAO-B
inhibitor effects (7).
has been used historically as an antihypertensive. Gentian root
extracts seem to have vasorelaxant properties (8, 10).
the xanthone constituents gentiacaulein and gentiakochianin may
be responsible for vasodilation by an unknown mechanism
root in combination with other herbs can cause gastrointestinal
adverse effects and allergic skin reactions (1, 2).
with Herbs & Supplements:
SUPPLEMENTS WITH HYPOTENSIVE EFFECTS: Gentian is thought to have
hypotensive effects. Theoretically, combining gentian with other
herbs and supplements with hypotensive effects might increase the
risk of hypotension. Some of these herbs and supplements include
andrographis, casein peptides, cat's claw, coenzyme Q-10, fish
oil, L-arginine, lycium, stinging nettle, theanine, and
DRUGS <<interacts with>> GENTIAN
Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Moderate • Occurrence = Possible • Level of Evidence = D
concurrent use might increase risk of hypotension with drugs that
lower blood pressure (8, 10). These include captopril (Capoten),
enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan),
diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide
(HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
with Lab Tests:
with Diseases or Conditions:
Theoretically, gentian use might worsen hypotension or interfere
with drug therapy to increase blood pressure (8, 10).
Gentian might affect blood pressure. Theoretically, gentian might
interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgical
discontinue gentian at least 2 weeks before elective surgical
ORAL: For acute
or sinusitis, a specific combination product (SinuComp
Phytopharmica) containing gentian root 12 mg and 36 mgeach of
verbena, sorrel, and cowslip flower has been used three times
daily (1, 2).
highly toxic white hellebore (Veratrum album) can be
misidentified as gentian and has caused accidental poisoning when
used in home-made preparations (4).
Gentian root is
unrelated to the gentian violet dye (methylrosaniline
Neubauer N, Marz RW. Placebo-controlled, randomized,double-blind,
clincal trial with Sinupret sugar coated tablets on the basis of
a therapy with antibiotics and decongestant nasal drops in acute
Marz RW, Ismail C, Popp MA. Action profile and efficacy of a
herbal combination preparation for the treatment of sinusitis.
Wien Med Wochenschr 1999;149:202-8.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 --
Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:
Zagler B, Zelger A, Salvatore C, et al. Dietary poisoning with
Veratrum album--a report of two cases. Wien Klin Wochenschr
Toriumi Y, Kakuda R, Kikuchi M, et al. New triterpenoids from
Gentiana lutea. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2003;51:89-91.
Tomic M, Tovilovic G, Butorovic B, et al. Neuropharmacological
evaluation of diethylether extract and xanthones of Gentiana
kochiana. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2005;81:535-42.
Haraguchi H, Tanaka Y, Kabbash A, et al. Monoamine oxidase
inhibitors from Gentiana lutea. Phytochemistry
Uncini Manganelli RE, Chericoni S, Baragatti B.
Ethnopharmacobotany in Tuscany: plants used as antihypertensives.
Chericoni S, Testai L, Calderone V, et al. The xanthones
gentiacaulein and gentiakochianin are responsible for the
vasodilator action of the roots of 144 Gentiana kochiana. Planta
B, Calderone V, Testai L, et al. Vasodilator activity of crude
methanolic extract of Gentiana kokiana Perr. et Song.
(Gentianaceae). J Ethnopharmacol 2002;79:369-72.