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Gentian lutea is a plant with yellow flowers that grows in Europe. The root has been used to treat digestive problems and lack of energy. It has also been used to make medicine, foods, and drinks. It can be taken as a pill, powder, extract, or made into a tea. It can also be applied to the skin.


There are no advised doses for gentian.

What Research Shows

There is not enough data to support that gentian is helpful in treating health problems. We will review future studies as they are published.

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Atherosclerosis A1
  • Skin disorders B1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe to take gentian orally or use gentian on the skin for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



A. Atherosclerosis

A1. Kesavan R, Chandel S, et al. Gentiana lutea exerts anti-atherosclerotic effects by preventing endothelial inflammation and smooth muscle cell migration. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2016 Apr;26(4):293-301.

B. Skin Disorders

B1. Wölfle U, Haarhaus B, et al. The Herbal Bitter Drug Gentiana lutea Modulates Lipid Synthesis in Human Keratinocytes In Vitro and In Vivo. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Aug 22;18(8). pii: E1814.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/6/2020