(Gentiana lutea) The large rhizomes (they can weigh as much as 25 Kg) were used for the production of alcoholic drinks, mainly in German-speaking Alpine country, where the drink is called Edelanzian (Enzian is German for gentian), but these days the alcohol is usually only flavoured with gentian, which has a characteristic bitter principle (Brouk). This is the species that provides the tincture known as Gentian Violet (A W Hatfield), much used since medieval times, when the plant was in general use in domestic medicine, and as an antidote to poison. Now it is in common use as a bitter tonic, Gentian Bitters, in fact, good in cases of jaundice, and useful for toning up the system generally (Brownlow).
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