Home Medicinal Plants Gentian: How healthy is gentian schnapps?

Gentian: How healthy is gentian schnapps?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 289 views

The gentian root is rich in bitter substances, which stimulate the appetite and are said to help with digestive problems such as flatulence and a feeling of fullness. Read more about the strictly protected yellow gentian, its medicinal properties and whether gentian schnapps is also healthy.

What effect does gentian have?

From a medical point of view, the most important representative of the species-rich gentian family (Gentianaceae) is the yellow gentian (Gentiana lutea). The gentian root is used: As the strongest native bitter substance, it helps against loss of appetite and functional digestive problems such as a feeling of fullness and flatulence.

The dried rhizome and roots of gentian contain two to three percent bitter substances, including gentiopicroside and the extremely bitter amarogentine. Other ingredients are mainly bitter-tasting disaccharides and small amounts of essential oil. These ingredients stimulate the taste buds on the one hand and the flow of saliva, gastric juice and bile on the other. For this reason, the gentian root was recognized as a traditional herbal medicine for the above-mentioned complaints.

Gentian in folk medicine

In folk medicine, the gentian root is also used for achylia (lack of gastric juice or pancreatic juice), muscle weakness, excess air in the gastrointestinal area and for the after-treatment of chemotherapy or radiation therapy patients.

After chemotherapy or radiation therapy, the digestive organs are usually affected – with symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite or disturbances in smell and taste perception. After an initial treatment with chemical pharmaceuticals (antiemetics), gentian preparations are sometimes used to alleviate these side effects.

How healthy is gentian schnapps?

Gentian has been used to make schnapps for centuries. During distillation, however, the effective bitter substances do not go into the distillate; gentian only gives the drink its characteristic aroma. The health benefit of the medicinal plant is therefore no longer available with gentian schnapps.

In contrast to distillates, alcoholic-aqueous extracts contain the medicinally active bitter substances. They are marketed as “stomach bitters” or “herb bitters”, which then often also contain extracts from other bitter plants that also stimulate gastric and bile secretion – such as Icelandic moss, wormwood , hops or aniseed.

How can you use gentian?

Only the dried rhizome and its roots may be used medicinally, as the fresh root can cause severe nausea and intoxicating states.

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