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Scientific Name: Gentiana lutea

Constituents:

  • Iridoid glycosides (amarogentin & gentiopicrin: bitter principle)
  • Terpenoids
  • Sugars: saccharose, gentianose & gentiobiose (bitter)
  • Xanthone derivatives (gentisin, gentisein, isogentisin)
  • Pyridine alkaloids
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenolic acids

Medicinal actions:

  • Anti-microbial
  • Bitter
  • Cholagogue
  • Emmenagogue
  • Hepatic

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Iridoid glycosides, gentiopicrin & amarogentin stimulate bitter taste receptors (TAS2R1 and TAS2R38) in humans and reflexively causes vagal stimulation. Vagal stimulation causes the release of gastrin which in turn stimulates the release of HCl, increases gastric and intestinal mobility, and increases secretion of bile & pancreatic enzymes.

Pharmacy:

  • Decoction
  • Tincture

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • If given in large amounts can irritate the bowels, cause nausea/vomiting, and bounding pulse with headache.
  • Can aggravate situations of excess hydrochloric acid production and in those with weak constitutions with nervous system irritability.
  • Contraindicated in pregnancy & lactation due to unknown effects.

Interactions:

  • None known.

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