A plant that gives its name to a family gathering more than eight hundred species usually develop in temperate countries. Specifically, gentian - that is the plant that concerns us here, can reach almost two meters high, has a fleshy root, with branches, thick, yellowish, through which maintains the vitality of this plant during the winters, where the rest of the plant re-dried to revive again in spring.
The leaves are opposite each other, their size is exceptionally large, may reach up to forty inches, and its shape is oval, in union with the latter embracing the stem, forming a kind of sheath.
Flowering occurs in June and August, with the appearance of flowers in the conjunction of the leaves of the upper stem, leading to the formation of bunches of flowers in varying numbers but not more than ten. They have a yellow corolla, which is unique, but with a fairly deep dentitions are more than five false petals, which coincides with the number of stamens.
For collecting them is to wait for late summer and autumn, proceeding to collect the root. For the process to take place in good conditions you should clean the land properly adhering to the root, cutting it into slices and extending in a thin surface layer, thus accelerating the drying process and prevent fermentation giving a reddish color to the product, in which case it is useless for further use.
It is stored in tightly closed containers in a dry place, as due to its high hygroscopicity easily deteriorate if there is moisture.
The root contains bitter principles as gancriopicrina, which acts as an aperitif and digestive system, it is able to facilitate gastric motility and stimulate the secretions of the stomach and liver. Its use is appreciated in cases of poor appetite and slow digestion.
It contains alkaloids such as genciamina, important antipyretic used to fight fevers.
You also have lipids with anti-inflammatory and healing, as wounds and applies in situations that present with high levels of uric acid (gout) and rheumatism.
In convalescence process is also used for their ability to increase the number of white blood cells.
Their use in case of lactating mothers should be avoided, because the bitter principles pass into breast milk.
Gentian wine. He added an ounce of gentian root to a pint of white wine, letting it macerate for ten days. La posología es de una copita antes de las comidas, lo que facilita la digestión lenta y mejora la inapetencia.
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