GENTIAN

GENTIAN:

Also Known As: Bitter Root, Bitterwort and Yellow Gentian

HISTORY:

The name moxie comes from a bitter soft drink made with gentian that is only available in New England. Gentian was used in beer brewing and is  still used in making liqueurs and vermouths today.

PREPARATION:

  • Decoction:

Boil 3 cups of water for 30 minutes with 1 teaspoon of powdered root. Cool the liquid. Take 1 tablespoon of liquid before meals. The taste will be very bitter. Add honey if needed.

  • Tincture:

Take 1/4 to 1 teaspoon before meals.

Gentian requires lots of water and shelter from the sun and excessive wind. To germinate, the seeds will need frost and it may take up to a year to see results. Use rich, slightly acidic and loamy soil. Harvest roots in late summer. Dry them and then reduce them to powder.

USE: (Grow Your Own)

Seeds should be sown into flats in the autumn. Mix seeds in a moist growing medium, place in a freezer bag, then stratify by refrigeration for two months. Afterwards, sink flats into the ground in a shady area. Close to a wall that faces north is preferred. Provide a plastic covering and make sure soil remains moist.

After a year’s growth transfer the seedlings to a peat pot. The final transfer should be done at the end of the second season of growth in the autumn. Transfer them to a dark area and keep the temperature at 70 to 75°F. Keep plants in full sunlight or partial shade. Water regularly but do not drench.