Gentiana scabra Bunge (Gentianaceae)
Gentiana buergeri Miq., G. fortunei Hook.
Chinese gentian, dancao, Japanese gentian, kudancao, longdan, longdancao, tourindou
A perennial herb. Roots white, 10–15 cm long, with numerous short branches.
Rhizomes rather short. Stems 20–100 cm long, with 10–20 pairs of
leaves. Leaves lanceolate to narrowly deltoid-ovate, 4–8 cm long, 1–3
cm wide, gradually acuminate, three-nerved, green above, paler beneath, usually
sessile, margin of upper leaves papillose. Flowers few to rather numerous, sessile,
4.5–6 cm long, purplish-blue; calyx tube 12–18 mm long, the lobes
rather unequal, linear-lanceolate; corolla plaits deltoid, often toothed. Capsules
stipitate, not exerted; seeds broadly lanceolate, short-caudate at both ends
Plant material used
dried roots and rhizomes
Contains not less than 1.0% gentiopicroside determined by highperformance liquid
Major chemical constituents
The major constituents are bitter secoiridoid monoterpenes including gentiopicroside
(gentiopicrin; 0.5–10%), swertiamarin and sweroside. Xanthones, the alkaloid
gentianine (0.05%) and gentianadine are other signifi cant constituents. The
bitter principle amarogentin found in Gentiana lutea is absent
Uses supported by clinical data
Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established
Symptomatic treatment of liver disorders, cholecystitis and lack of appetite.
Uses described in traditional medicine
Treatment of convulsions, eczema, fungal infections, hearing impairment, infl
ammation, leukorrhoea, otitis media, urinary tract infections, herpes zoster
and pruritus vulvae.
Proven pharmacological activity
Antihepatotoxic, Anti-infl ammatory, Antispasmodic, Sedative, Choleretic, Antimicrobial
No information available.
Radix Gentiana Scabrae may cause impairment of digestion and, occasionally,
headaches, flushing of the face and vertigo when taken after a meal
Owing to potential mutagenic effects, Radix Gentianae Scabrae should not be
used during pregnancy or nursing or in children under the age of 12 years. Radix
Gentianae Scabrae is contraindicated in stomach disorders and liver failure.
Overdose may lead to nausea or vomiting.
Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
An aqueous extract of the roots and rhizomes, 40.0 mg/plate or 50.0 mg/ disc,
was not mutagenic in the Salmonella/microsome assay using S. typhimurium strains
TA98 and TA100. In another investigation, an aqueous or methanol extract of
the roots and rhizomes, 100.0 mg/ml, was active in the Salmonella/microsome
assay and the Bacillus subtilis recombination assay. However, intraperitoneal
injection of an aqueous extract of the roots and rhizomes at doses 10–40
times those used in traditional medicine had no mutagenic effects in mice.
Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
No information available on general precautions or on precautions concerning
drug interactions; drug and laboratory test interactions; or teratogenic effects
Dried roots and rhizomes and dried extracts for infusions and decoction. Store
in a tightly sealed container away from heat and light.
(Unless otherwise indicated)
Average daily dose: roots and rhizomes 3–6 g per day as an infusion or