Gentian (Gentiana lutea) is indigenous to the mountainous parts of Middle and Southern Europe, being found in the Pyrenees, the Islands of Sardinia and Corsica, the Alps, and elsewhere. It is riot, however, found in the British Islands. It is mentioned by both Pliny (514) and Dioscorides (194), its name being derived from Gentius, a king of Illyria, B. C. 180. Throughout the Middle Ages gentian was used as a domestic medicine and to antidote poisons, and in recent times it has been commended as an antidote or substitute for tobacco. Tragus (650) employed the root A. D. 1552 for the purpose of dilating wounds.
History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.