Natural Health Products

Non-traditional solutions to help boost your health and wellness.


General Information

Gentian is a flowering plant with over 400 species that can be found worldwide, including Europe, Asia, North and South America, and New Zealand. Only the species Gentiana lutea L. is used for its medicinal properties.

Common Name(s)
gentian, yellow gentian, bitter root, geneciana, bitterwort
Scientific Name(s)

Gentiana lutea

How is this product usually used?

The bitter root of gentian is used to make supplements that are taken orally. Gentian is available as dried root, fluid extracts, tinctures, infusions, or solid extracts.

The usual dose ranges from 0.1 g to 6 g per day of dried root. You should take gentian 15 to 60 minutes before meals.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Gentian has been used to help:

  • relieve symptoms of upset stomach and indigestion (e.g., bloating, feeling of fullness, stomach cramps, heartburn)
  • increase appetite
  • improve digestion by increasing bile flow (bile is a fluid produced by the liver that helps digest fat)
  • prevent nausea

There is insufficient evidence to suggest gentian is effective for these uses.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Gentian is generally well-tolerated when taken with other herbs and used in recommended amounts. However, some people may experience stomach discomfort and allergic skin reactions.

Gentian may increase the effect of drugs that lower blood pressure (e.g., captopril, valsartan, amlodipine).

Do not use gentian if you have a stomach or intestinal ulcer, stomach irritation, or inflammation.

If you have low blood pressure, talk to your health care provider before taking gentian. You should discontinue the use of gentian at least 2 weeks before surgery, due to its blood pressure effects.

Contact your health care provider if your symptoms persist or worsen.

Contact your doctor before using gentian if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

  1. Health Canada.  Licensed Natural Health Products Database. Gentian.
  2. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Gentian.

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