Gentian details

Latin Name: Gentiana amarella

Group: The First Twelve

Emotional Group: Uncertainty

Failing: Discontented

Personality: Dispirited

Virtue: Understanding

Method: Sun


Those who are easily discouraged. They may be progressing well in illness or in the affairs of their daily life, but any small delay or hindrance to progress causes doubt and soon disheartens them. [Bach: Twelve Healers and Other Remedies 1936]


The little Gentian of our hilly pastures will help you to keep your firmness of purpose, and a happier and more hopeful outlook even when the sky is over-cast. It will bring you encouragement at all times, and the understanding that there is no failure when you are doing your utmost, whatever the apparent result. [Bach]

State of Being

For those who are faltering or are despondent. Look on the dark side and are pessimistic. In convalescence when they think they have come to a standstill; really doing well but tend to be discouraged and doubt that they are making progress. This is for those who feel as if the difficulties before them are too big to be overcome and temporarily lose heart. In this state they only want a little encouragement which this remedy will give them and they will do well. [Bach]



Gentian is in Exam combination.



Gentian grows on predominantly calcareous (lime) soils on dry, hilly pastures where grass is short, in many parts of Europe. It will not tolerate farm chemicals and like so many plants, it is, consequently, in retreat.

G. amarella is one of only a few species of Gentian that occur in Britain. G. amarella (felwort) is a small biannual species growing on chalky or calcareous hills.

Gentian - Form and Function

This new remedy, Gentian, was given the qualities of Doubt and Understanding. These people doubt their abilities, doubt that they will ever succeed and yet come to the understanding that everything in life is gain, even if we cannot always directly perceive the benefits: 
'The understanding that there is no failure when you are doing
your utmost, whatever the apparent result'. [Edward Bach]
The key phrase there, perhaps, is ‘doing your utmost’, with the inference that these are souls who know what they are to do in life, who find it easy to apply themselves but subsequently become discouraged.

Gentian is Gentiana amarella, the autumn felwort. It flowers, as the common name suggests, in August and September. Centaury is also in the same Gentian family and they hold in common certain aspects in the pattern of growth. As biennials they have been delayed, as it were, in the journey to flowering. But the Gentian delays for longer and chooses conditions that are more difficult. It is altogether a smaller plant and more vulnerable, less able to assert itself in the face of competition. That is why it keeps to the downland where dry, thin calcareous soils (chalk and limestone) make for short grass. On germination the seedling puts most of its effort into growing a root; during the first year it forms a few pairs of leaves that die back in the autumn. The small, swollen, yellow root cannot be seen but it will produce new leaves in the spring. The root contains a mildly bitter principle used in herbal medicine (more usually taken from the related species Gentiana lutea). The accumulation of life experience may be stored in the root this bitterness suggests the disappointment of being let down by life. We find the same bitterness with Chicory which feels let down by others and with Willow.