Botanical Name: Gentiana kurroo
Common names: Himalayan Gentian, Indian gentian
* Hindi: chireta, kadu, karu, kore, kutki, trayaman *Kannada: karadihanni, kiriyatu * Malayalam: kiriyat, trayamana * Manipuri: kirayet * Sanskrit: Trayamana, Trayanthi, Girija, Anuja * Tamil: kampantirai, nilavempu, nilavimbu * Telugu: buroni, nelavemu * Urdu: Neel kanthi
Habitat : Gentiana kurroo is native to E. Asia – N.W. Himalayas. It grows on grassy slopes, 1800 – 2700 metres.
Gentiana kurroo is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in). It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies
The plant is a critically endangered plant of the Himalayas. Flowers are deep blue, paler in the throat and spotted with green and white, usually two or more on each stem, but sometimes solitary. Flowers are large, narrow funnel-shaped, up to 5 cm, with ovate pointed spreading petals, and small triangular “lobules”. Sepal cup is tubular, with narrow linear petals 0.8-1.2 cm, 1/2-2/3 times as long as the sepal tube. Leaves at the base are lanceshaped, ususally 10-12 cm. Stem leaves are 2-3 pairs. Stems are several, 5-30 cm long, unbranched, arising from a stout rootstock. Himalayan Gentian is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Uttarakhand, at altitudes of 1800-2700 m……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. This species requires a stony soil with perfect drainage. It is best given some protection from winter wet. This plant has a reputation for not being hardy in Britain, though this is more likely to be connected to excess moisture than to low temperatures. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March. Most members of this genus have either a single tap-root, or a compact root system united in a single root head, and are thus unsuitable for division. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring.
Medicinal uses: The root of this plant has a long history of use as a herbal bitter in the treatment of digestive disorders and is an ingredient of many proprietary medicines. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia
It contains some of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant, stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal properties.
Cautions: It should not be prescribed for patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.