COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)
Large Gentian Root (Qinjiao)
Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae
The most historically-common and more recently-proven medicinal benefits of gentiana supplementation, alone, include the treatment of a wide variety of gastrointestinal distresses and discomforts. These include inflammation, gastric infection and indigestion, and appetite loss as well as heartburn and indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, and aspergillus- and candida-caused ulcers, pain, and bleeding within the digestive tract. This is likely because nearly all of the active compounds found in gentiana derivatives have anti-inflammatory and inflammation-inhibition properties, and each of these conditions can be caused by, exacerbated by, or result in inflammation along the GI tract. What’s more, these same bioactive compounds have notable antioxidant effects and also may help strengthen immune responses, which are especially important within the digestive system.
Other recent research suggests that gentiana supplementation may have anti-diabetic effects, though this benefit needs much more research before it is either confirmed or well understood.
Large gentian root is classified in Chinese Medicine as an herb that dispels wind-dampness which largely means arthritis that is worse with humidity. It is classified as bitter, acrid and slightly cold, affecting the Gallbladder, Liver and Stomach channels.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
The hairy root structures of genitana plants are the most-often used part of this plant in both traditional and contemporary medicinal applications. There are numerous acceptable varieties of gentiana plants, including Gentiana loureiroi and Gentiana scabra, as well as Gentiana tibetica (among others). The medicinal effects of these different varieties are near-indistinguishable. However, it seems the specific preparation of the hairy root structures significantly alters the potential therapeutic benefits and indications for best use. Consequently, the benefits and side-effects of specific gentiana root extracts and decoctions (and combinations with other herbs) should be considered prior to use.
Moreover, the plant age and growing conditions dramatically impact the concentrations of active components in the hairy root structures, making consistent dosage and usage of gentiana supplements a challenge.
As with other herbal supplements, you should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking gentiana. If you have any significant health concerns or pre-existing conditions, you should make special note of this when speaking with your doctor prior to using gentiana supplements. Some studies suggest that some gentiana supplements may impact blood pressure, so people with a history of high or low blood pressure, who are taking blood pressure medications, or who are preparing to undergo surgery should avoid using gentiana supplements of any kind. Similarly, people who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding should not use gentiana supplements, since their effects on pregnancy, fetal development, and infants are unknown.