Gentiana Lutea Root

by Dr. Fareen

Gentiana Lutea is a bitter herb that has a long history of use in traditional herbal medicines. The plant has beautiful yellow flowers but it is the root that is bitter in taste and has a priming action on the digestive tract. Gentian root is viewed as being cleansing in its role in clearing the liver and also clearing the mind to prepare the body to eat.

Gentiana Lutea has recently become one of my favorite herbs for its function in improving digestive health. So many of us today are well fed but undernourished, nutrient deficient and depleted. We are not digesting and absorbing well the foods that we do eat. Gentian is often taken just before a meal to help activate the digestive system and to support the body in assimilating nutrients. This is likely mediated via a nerve reflex from bitter receptors on taste buds that cause an increase in vagal stimulation. The vagus nerve stimulates the parasympathetic response relaxing the body and priming it for proper digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. Bitters are best dosed 15-30 mins before meals and sipped slowly in warm water.

Posted by Dr. Fareen

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