Gentiana lutea

Gentiana lutea, “Great yellow gentian” in English and “Gentiane jaune” or “Grande gentiane” in French, belongs to the Gentianaceae botanical family. It is a herb that can grow to 2 m tall.

It is native to France, Spain and the Balkans. There are small-scale plantations in France, and Germany. Wild harvesting of Gentiana is more and more forbidden.

Gentiana lutea grows in alpine and mountainous meadows and woods.

Its bitter root is used to make beverages, among which a number of French liqueurs.

It is used medicinally as a strong bitter for stimulating the appetite, and also as a roborant and tonic; it also has a cholagogic effect.

Its main constituents are seco-iridoid bitter substances, mostly gentiopicroside, swertiamarin and sweroside. Because of its high bitterness value, the acylglycoside amarogentin is an essential component.

  • English name Yellow gentian
  • French name Gentiane jaune
Gentiana lutea