Gentian root is a kind of herb mainly used for medicinal purposes. It is generally grown in mountain climates of Europe, Asia, and America, and is part of a larger genus of plants. These are flowering plants and the genus they belong to is known as Gentiana. Gentian is used in foods and beverages as an ingredient, and also in the manufacturing of a lot of cosmetic products. It is also mixed with other items and consumed which enhances its properties.
The name gentian derives from the ancient Illyrian king Gentius, who comes from the ancient Illyrian king Gentius, who pin pointed out that this herb could be used as a tonic. It is the root of the gentian that is used for medicinal purposes. It can be dried and pills, extracts, etc. can be made from it. Traditionally, people usually mixed it with water and applied it topically or consumed it as a drink.
In this article, we will talk about the gentian root in detail, its uses, benefits, and everything you need to know. So, let’s get started!
Gentian root: Benefits
Gentian root has traditionally been used by people for various uses and benefits. However, there isn’t enough modern-day research to provide evidence or to back these purported benefits.
- Helps with arthritis:
The anti-inflammatory properties in gentian root might be of help for people suffering from arthritis. The iridoids present in the gentian root, particularly gentiopicroside, might help with rheumatoid arthritis. This iridoid has shown to be able to help prevent the formation of cells that break down bones, and therefore, help in fighting inflammation that is associated with arthritis. A study conducted on rats also found that gentiopicroside helped reduce the levels of inflammatory markers in the blood, as well as helped improve inflamed joints.
However, no studies for the subject have been conducted on humans yet. Also, it must be noted that according to research, gentiopicroside exists only in dried gentian root, and not in raw forms.
- Aids digestion:
The iridoids and secoiridoids present in gentian roots have useful compounds that might increase appetite, and also offer protection for the body’s digestive system. A study conducted on 50 children with anorexia found that the ones who took gentian root extract daily showed a significant increase in appetite, weight, and calorie intake.
Gentian roots might also help with problems of nausea, upset stomach, etc.
However, it is important to note that there has been no recent research to support these claims and there isn’t enough evidence to say with surety that gentian root would work for these problems.
- May help with sinus infections:
Sinupret, which is a herbal treatment for sinus infections, and has been successfully used for over 80 years now, contains gentian root as one of its prime ingredients.
While there have been studies that suggest that gentian root can prove helpful for people with sinus infections, researchers are still not sure of the properties that help in this regard.
One study conducted on some children with sinus infections revealed that the children showed significant improvements in nasal congestion, nasal discharge, and postnasal drip. Another study also suggested that the consumption of gentian root could help with mucus clearance.
The major problem with the research is that Sinupret also contains a lot of other herbs, elderflowers, verbena, etc., and that is why it is tough to say whether gentian root alone would also have such promising results. More research is still ongoing to find a conclusion for this.
- Other problems:
Other diseases that are claimed to be treated by gentian root, however, there is insufficient evidence for the same. These include:
- High blood pressure
- Vomiting and stomach issues
- Mental disorders
Gentian root is generally considered to be safe when consumed in small amounts through the mouth. It is usually consumed in combination products that contain elderflower, verbena, Sinupret, etc. along with gentian root. However, there is not enough information about the effects of medicinal amounts of gentian root in humans to support a standardized dosage. It depends on the preferred dosage as prescribed in gentian root supplements.
The combination products can help with stomach problems and skin rashes, etc. however, to consume gentian root in any way other than as a part of the combination product, more research is still needed. There is also not enough to say whether applying gentian root on the skin is safe.
In general, while gentian root might be helpful when consumed in small amounts in drinks or multi-ingredient products, taking supplements for the same might not be worth a shot. However, if you wish to take gentian root for some specific treatment, we recommend you to consult your doctor because there are chances that you might experience any kind of side effects or other issues.
Firstly, by now you must have gathered that there haven’t been a lot of researches for finding out the benefits of gentian root, and this is why there isn’t much evidence to support the claims of benefits. The limited studies that have been conducted on some people haven’t revealed any adverse reactions to the product.
Sinupret used to treat sinus infections, does mention some possible side effects like skin rashes and stomach problems. Other reactions might also be seen in extra sensitive people.
Since not much of the gentian root is known, pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised not to consume it. also, it might act negatively for people with low blood pressure levels or those who are already on any medications for blood pressure. Because of this, it must also be avoided at least 2 weeks before any kind of surgery, since a change in blood pressure levels at that time can be dangerous.
This is all about gentian roots. We hope you find this helpful if you’re considering taking any supplements for the same. We recommend you consult with your doctor before going for any kind of supplements. Side effects might be experienced in some cases.