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Ginkgo biloba
Glycyrrhiza glabra
Gentiana lutea
Gentiana scabra
Guazuma ulmifolia


 

 

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Gentiana lutea L. (Gentianaceae)

Synonyms
Asterias lutea Borckh., Swertia lutea Vest

Local names
Bachaka, bachalchaka, balmoney, common gentian, daoua el hoya, esperou, European gentian, felwort, gall weed, gansona, ganssana, Gelber Enzian, genchiana, genciana, genciana amarilla, gentian, gentiana, genziana gialla, genziana maggiore, gentiane, gentiane jaune, grande gentiane, great yellow gentian, jintiana, juntiyana, kaf edheeb, kaf el arnab, kouchâd, kouched, pale gentian, tárnics, wild gentian

Description
A perennial herb up to 1.5 m high, with erect rhizomes. Stem thick, hollow, bearing large, opposite, ovate leaves with fi ve to seven nerves and axillary cymes of orange-yellow, open-stellate flowers. Roots beet-like, thickened and branched, starting from a short rhizome. Fruits ovate, capsules containing winged seeds

Plant material used
dried roots and rhizomes

Chemical assays
High-performance liquid chromatography for the presence of gentiopicroside and amarogentin

Major chemical constituents
The major constituents are bitter secoiridoid monoterpenes including gentiopicroside (gentiopicrin; 2–8%, sometimes up to almost 10%), swertiamarin, sweroside (0.05–0.08%) and its acylglucoside derivative, amarogentin (0.03–0.08%), which is the bitterest of all compounds in this material. Other constituents include xanthones (up to 0.1%), such as gentisin and isogentisin, gentianose (2.5–8.0%) and gentioside, the alkaloid gentianine, and traces of essential oil

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
None. For the results of three uncontrolled human studies, see Clinical pharmacology. Although the fi ndings suggest that Radix Gentianae Luteae may be of benefi t for the treatment of dyspepsia, data from controlled clinical trials are currently lacking.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Treatment of digestive complaints, such as loss of appetite, feeling of distension and flatulence. As an appetite stimulant during convalescence.

Uses described in traditional medicine
As a carminative, depurative, emmenagogue, febrifuge, tranquillizer and tonic, and to facilitate labour. Treatment of diabetes and dysmenorrhoea

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Antimicrobial, Antispasmodic, Choleretic, Secretoric

Human studies
Gastrointestinal tract disturbance

Adverse reactions
On rare occasions, headaches may occur

Contraindications
Owing to potential mutagenic activity, and its traditional use as an emmenagogue, Radix Gentianae Luteae should not be administered during pregnancy or nursing, or to small children. Radix Gentianae Luteae is contraindicated in gastric or duodenal ulcer, high blood pressure and hyperacidity

Warnings
No information available.

Precautions
General
If symptoms persist, consult a physician. Overdose may lead to nausea or vomiting.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
Intragastric administration of 1.6 ml/kg bw of a combination product containing a 40% ethanol extract of Radix Gentianae Luteae, chamomile and liquorice per day for 13 weeks produced no effects on reproduction, fertility or mating in female rats and rabbits The mutagenicity of a methanol extract of Radix Gentianae Luteae, and two isolated minor hydroxyxanthone constituents, gentisin and isogentisin, was assessed in vitro. The methanol extract was mutagenic in the Salmonella/microsome assay using S. typhimurium strain TA100 with metabolic activation with rat liver homogenate S9 enzyme mix. Gentisin and isogentisin, up to 50 µg/plate, were mutagenic after similar metabolic activation in S. typhimurium strains TA97, TA98, TA100 and TA2637

Pregnancy: teratogenic effects
Intragastric administration of 1.6 ml/kg bw of a combination product containing alcohol extracts of Radix Gentianae, chamomile and liquorice per day for 13 weeks had no teratogenic effects in rabbits.

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
See Contraindications.

Nursing mothers
See Contraindications.

Paediatric use
See Contraindications.

Other precautions
No information available on precautions concerning drug interactions; or drug and laboratory test interactions.

Dosage forms
Dried roots and rhizomes; dried extracts of the roots and rhizomes for infusions, elixir, extracts, fluid extracts, glycerinated elixir and tinctures. Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and light.

Posology
(Unless otherwise indicated)
Average adult daily dose: 0.1–2 g of the roots and rhizomes in 150 ml of water as an infusion, decoction or maceration, up to three times per day; fluid extract, 2–4 g; tincture (1 part roots and rhizomes:5 parts ethanol 45–70 % v/v) 1 ml three times per day; hydroethanolic extracts with an equivalent bitterness value. To stimulate the appetite, administer a single dose of a Radix Gentianae Luteae preparation one hour prior to meals; for dyspepsia, a single dose after a meal

 

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