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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names:

Generic Name: gentian (Pronunciation: JEN shen)

What is gentian ()?

The use of gentian in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Gentian is also known as gentianine, seamless gentian, yellow gentian, bitter root, bitter wort, pale gentian, and gall weed.

The oral form of gentian has been used to improve appetite and digestion.

Gentian has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of gentian may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Gentian may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

What are the possible side effects of gentian ()?

Although uncommon, allergic reactions to gentian have been reported. Stop taking gentian and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Other less serious side effects have also been reported. Talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • stomach irritation,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting, or
  • changes in your menstrual cycle.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about gentian ()?

Do not take gentian without first talking to your doctor if you have a stomach disorder, a stomach ulcer, or high blood pressure.

Gentian has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of gentian may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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