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Drugs and Health Products

Monograph: Gentian

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Date: 2019-06-30


Gentiana lutea (Germplasm Resources Information Network Taxonomy)

Proper Name(s)

Gentiana lutea ( USDA 2008 )

Common Name(s)

Source Material

Root ( Blumenthal et al. 2000 )

Route Of Administration


Dosage Form(s)

Those suited to the allowable route(s) of administration. This monograph is not intended to include food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:



Dose(s): 1 Day per day

Directions For Use: Take 15 - 60 minutes before meals.

See Appendix 1 for examples of appropriate dosage preparations and frequencies of use, according to cited references. The purpose of Appendix 1 is to provide guidance to industry.

Duration of use

No statement is required

Risk Information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s):
  • Consult a health care practitioner/health care provider/health care professional/doctor/ physician if symptoms persist or worsen.
  • Consult a health care practitioner/health care provider/health care professional/doctor/ physician prior to use if you are breastfeeding.

Do not use this product if you are pregnant or have acute stomach irritation, inflammation and stomach or duodenal ulcers.  (ESCOP 2003, Brinker 2001, Bradley 1992)

Known Adverse Reaction(s):
Some people may experience headaches.  (ESCOP 2003, Hoffmann 2003, Blumenthal et al. 2000)

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the NHPD Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID).
  • The medicinal ingredient may comply with the specifications outlined in the Gentian Monograph published in the British Pharmacopoeia or the Gentian Root Monograph published in the European Pharmacopoeia.

References cited

  • Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
  • Bradley PR, editor. 1992. British Herbal Compendium: A Handbook of Scientific Information on Widely Used Plant Drugs, Volume 1. Bournemouth (GB): British Herbal Medicine Association.
  • Brinker F. 2001. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications.
  • ESCOP 2003: ESCOP Monographs: The Scientific Foundation for Herbal Medicinal Products, 2nd edition. Exeter (UK): European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy and Thieme; 2003.
  • Felter HW, Lloyd JU. King's American Dispensatory, Volume 1, 18th edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications; 1983 [Reprint of 1898 original].
  • Grieve M. 1971. A Modern Herbal, Volume 1. New York (NY): Dover Publications [Reprint of 1931 Harcourt, Brace & Company publication].
  • Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
  • McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO, editors. 2000. Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Austin(TX): American Herbal Products Association.
  • Mills S, Bone K. 2005. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis (MO): Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
  • Morimoto I, Nozaka T, Watanabe F, Ishino M, Hirose Y, Okitsu T. Mutagenic activities of gentisin and isogentisin from Gentianae radix (Gentianaceae). Mutation Research 1983;116(2):103-117.
  • USDA 2008: ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville (MD). [Accessed 2008-01-21]. Available at
  • Wichtl M, editor. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis, 3rd edition. Stuttgart (D): Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers; 2004.
  • Wiersema J, León B. 1999. World Economic Plants: A Standard Reference. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press LLC.
  • Williamson EM, Evans FJ, Wren RC. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Saffron Walden (GB): C.W. Daniel Company Limited; 1988.

References reviewed

  • Barnes J, Anderson LA, Philipson JD. 2007. Herbal Medicines, 3rd edition. London (GB): Pharmaceutical Press.
  • BHP 1983: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Cowling (GB): British Herbal Medical Association; 1983.

Appendix 1: Examples of appropriate dosage preparations, frequencies of use and directions for use

Dried root:

  • 1.8-6 g, per day (Mills and Bone 2005)
  • 2-4 g, per day (Blumenthal et al. 2000)

Infusion or decoction:

  • 1.8-6 g dried root, per day (Mills and Bone 2005)
  • 0.1-2 g dried root, 1-3 times per day (ESCOP 2003)
  • 1-2 g dried root, 2-3 times per day (Blumenthal et al. 2000)
  • 0.6-2 g dried root, 3 times per day (Bradley 1992)

Directions for use (infusion):

Pour 150 ml of boiling water (Blumenthal et al. 2000) over dried root, steep for 5 minutes and strain (Wichtl 2004).


  • 2-4 g dried equivalent, per day
    (1:1, 2-4 ml) (Blumenthal et al. 2000)
  • 1-2 g dried equivalent, 2-3 times per day
    (1:1, 1-2 ml) (Blumenthal et al. 2000)


  • 0.35-1 g dried equivalent, per day
    (1:2, 0.7-2 ml) (Mills and Bone 2005)
  • 0.6-2.4 g dried equivalent, per day
    (1:5, 3-12 ml) (Mills and Bone 2005)
  • 0.2 g dried equivalent, 1-3 times per day
    (1:5, 45-70% ethanol, 1 ml) (ESCOP 2003)
  • 0.2-0.4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    (1:5, 40% alcohol, 1-2 ml) (Hoffmann 2003)
  • 1-3 g dried equivalent, per day (Blumenthal et al. 2000)
  • 0.2-0.8 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    (1:5, 45% ethanol, 1-4 ml) (Bradley 1992)

Solid extract:

0.2-0.4 g dried equivalent, 2-3 times per day
(3.5-4.5:1) (Blumenthal et al. 2000)