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Gentian.

Botanical name:

Gentiana.

A robust and handsome plant, native of Germany, and kept with us in gardens. It grows two feet and a half high. The leaves that rise from the root, are oblong, broad, of a yellowish green colour, and pointed at the ends. The stalk is thick, firm, upright, and brownish or yellowish. At every joint there stand two leaves like the others, only smaller; and towards the tops at every joint, also, there stand a number of flowers: these are small, yellow, with a great lump in the middle, which is the rudiment of the seed-vessel, and a great quantity of yellow threads about it. The root is large, long, and often divided. It is of a brownish colour on the outside, and yellow within, and is of a very bitter taste.

The root is used; our druggists keep it dry: it is the great bitter and stomachic of the modern practice. Gentian root, and the peel of Seville oranges, make the common bitter tinctures and infusions: beside strengthening the stomach, and creating an appetite, these open obstructions, and are good in most chronic disorders. The powder of gentian will cure ague.


The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.



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