Feb 12, 2014
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GENTIANA KURROO

Written by

Royle.

Family ► Gentianaceae.

Habitat ► Kashmir and North-West Himalayas.

English ► Himalayan Gentian, Indian Gentian Root.

Ayurvedic ► Traayamaana, Traayanti, Traayanta, Traayantikaa, Neelkan- thi, Anujaa, Girijaa, Girishaanujaa, Balbhra, Paalani. (Paakhaanabheda is a wrong synonym)

Unani ► Ghaafis.

Action ► Sialagogue, digestant, appetite-stimulant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue. Used for alkalosis, feeble digestion in the elderly from gastric acid deficiency (increases gastric juices without altering PH); also used for jaundice, nausea, vomiting, travel sickness, diarrhoea, malaria and nervous exhaustion. (In Chinese medicine, Gentiana sp., known as Longdan, are used for jaundice, hepatitis, urinary tract infections, pruritis and eczema.)

Key application ► Gentiana lutea— internally, for digestive disorders, such as lack of appetite, fullness and flatulence (German Commission E, WHO), for anorexia following illness and dyspepsia (ESCOP). The British Herbal Compendium approves gentian for lack of appetite, anorexia, atonic dyspepsia, gastrointestinal atony, and as antiemetic. The British Herbal Pharmacopoia recognizes it as a bitter tonic.

The rhizome and roots of G. Kur- roo contain iridoid glycoside; major component was identified as 6′- cinnamoylcatalpol.

The rhizomes and roots of Picro- rhiza kurrooa Royle ex Benth., found in the Himalayas, have similar properties and uses and are mixed or substituted for those of G. kurroo.

Gentiana lutea (Yellow Gentian) is a native of Europe and Asia Minor and is imported into India. The most important constituents of the drug are secoiridoid bitter compounds, amaro- gentin and gentiopicroside, together with traces of swertiamarin and sweroside. The roots also contain alkaloids, gentianine and gentioflavine, xanthones, and bitter oligosaccharides, gentiobiose and gentianose.

Amarogentin, gentiopicrin, swer- tiamarin, sioeroside (iridoid monoter- penes) are toxic constituents.

Gentiana tenella Rottb., synonym Gentianella tenella H. Smith and G. decumbens Linn.f. occur at high altitudes in the Himalayas, and are used as substitutes for gentian. G. tenella is known as Kadu in Kashmir and Titaa in Punjab. The rhizome is used as Traayamaana in Ayurvedic medicine.

The flowering tops of G. olivieri Griseb., synonym G. dahurica Fisch., used in Unani medicine as Gul-e- Ghaafis, are imported into India from Persia.

Dosage ► Root—1-3 g powder. (CCRAS.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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