by in Plants from A to Z 1 April 2019


The yellow Gentian is a plant that grows in a variety of mainly European mountain ranges. In France, the gentian is present mainly in the Massif Central, the Alps and the Pyrenees. It presents large yellow flowers grouped in floors along the stem and tightened at the base of the leaves that are opposite. It can be confused with the white Vératre (Veratrum album) whose leaves are alternated and which leads to formidable intoxication.

Scientific name: Gentiana lutea L.

Common names: Yellow Gentian, Great gentian.

Botanical family: Gentianacées.

Used part: Root.

Active molecules: Seco-iridoîdes of the gentipicrosides type.

Properties: aperitive, digestive, bitter tonic.

Therapeutic Indications.

The roots of the yellow gentian are traditionally used in cases of loss of appetite, difficult digestion and/or gastrointestinal disorders. They promote gastric secretion and motility as well as bile secretion. These different processes facilitate and accelerate digestion. This causes a digestive comfort but also a feeling of hunger.

How to use the yellow Gentian?

Gentian roots can be used in the form of herbal teas. Infuse for 10 minutes, 1 to 2 g of roots in a cup of boiling water at a rate of 1 to 4 cups/day. It is also possible to use it as a dry extract at the rate of 120mg, 1 to 3 t/d. The treatment should not exceed 2 weeks although the results may appear from the first take.

Some precaution for its use.

The yellow Gentian is contraindicated in patients with peptic ulcers. It is not recommended in children under the age of 18 and in breastfeeding women (bitter principles pass into milk). There are no reported accidents in the pregnant woman, although there is a lack of data.

The roots of yellow gentian are very bitter and their taste is not very pleasant. So, if the brew is not “your cup of tea”, opt for powder capsules or dry extract of yellow gentian root.