Gentian has a long standing herbal reputation as a digestive tonic and stimulant, and is an ingredient in a number of European apperitifs.
The herb has been used for treating wounds and as a natural antidote for various types of poisons.
The intensely bitter taste is the main cause of its beneficial effects. Stimulation of bitter taste receptors results in the secretion of digestive juices, including stomach acid, bile and pancreatic enzymes.
It is used specifically to protect the liver, stimulate its function, help regenerate its cells, and increase the flow of bile. It is also known to inhibit the development of viruses that affect the liver.
It is commonly used for
- Poor appetite, anorexia nervosa, to restore digestive strength after long periods of illness or fever
- Indigestion, bloating, flatulence, food and alcohol indulgence
- As part of a treatment regime to reduce food allergy reactions, as part of an anti-infective intestinal program (prevention and treatment)
- Liver, gallbladder, pancreatic and intestinal disorders
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