Great yellow gentian

Great yellow gentian

A herbaceous perennial plant native to mountain regions grows alone or in a group, of a glaucous green that can reach a height of 2 metres. Its root is long and fleshy. It has upright stems, without branches. Its leaves are opposite, simple, lance-shaped, with petioles (lower leaves) or sessile attached to the stem (upper leaves) and with protruding longitudinal veins that converge at the top of the limb. Its flowers are golden yellow with an ovoid capsule enclosing a multitude of seeds.

Latin name

Gentiana lutea L.


France (Vosges, Alps, Massif Central, Pyrenees), Spain, the Balkan countries (most frequently between 1000 and 2500m altitude).

Used part

The root.

Active components

Secoiridoids (amarogentin, sweroside): these substances are responsible for the bitterness. They stimulate the production of gastric juices via the vagus nerve and, consequently, have a stimulant effect on the digestion. They protect the liver against the aggression of toxins.

Alkaloids (gentiannine, gentianidine): a bitter flavour, anti-inflammatory and calming action.

Flavonoids (isovitexin): antioxidant and calming action.


In the past, gentian root was used as a flavouring in the production of beer, before the use of hops became common. Gentian was also used in the Middle Ages as an antidote to certain poisons. Gentian root has a long history of use as a bitter tonic in the treatment of digestive disorders and other conditions. For example, liver problems, indigestion, gastric infections and loss of appetite. Today, it is a principal ingredient in numerous bitter aperitifs, liqueurs and carbonated drinks. Gentian root extract improves digestive comfort after a heavy meal. It promotes digestion and combats digestive disorders such as a loss of appetite, fullness and flatulence. It has stimulating and toning properties that contribute to the resistance against mental and physical fatigue.1-11

Bibliographical references

The health claims that feature on our website in relation to the plants contained in our products are compliant with the list of health claims awaiting final assessment by the Community authorities (cf. website of the European Commission: However, they may be subject to modification following their assessment by the national competent authorities.

The health claims relating to other nutrients or substances contained in our products that feature on our site are compliant with Regulation No. 432/2012 of the Commission of 16 May 2012 which establishes a list of authorised health claims authorised in relation to food products, other than those in reference to the reduction of the risk of disease as well as community-based development and child health (cf. website of the European Commission: