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    Gentian

    Gentiana lutea (Great Yellow Gentian) is a species of gentian native to the mountains of central and southern Europe. Other names include 'Yellow Gentian', 'Bitter Root', 'Bitterwort', 'Centiyane', and 'Genciana'. It is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 1-2 m tall, with broad lanceolate to elliptic leaves 10-30 cm long and 4-12 cm broad. The flowers are yellow, with the corolla separated nearly to the base into 5-7 narrow petals. It grows in grassy alpine and sub-alpine pastures, usually on calcareous soils. It was considered especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It was also considered one of the best fortifiers of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and was thought to be an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory,antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant and stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia. It should not be prescribed for patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers. The root, which can be over 5 cm thick and has few branches, is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal properties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentiana_lutea