Gentianella nitida is a species of plant in the Gentianaceae family. It is one of two types of hercampuri, which is traditionally used in herbal medicine as an infusion, the other type of hercampuri being Gentianella alborosea. Gentianella nitida has been used in Peruvian folk medicine since before the time of the Incas. These small shrubs are native to the high Andes of Peru. The Junin Province is a region of Peru that grows hercampuri.
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The whole plant is used as an infusion. The roots are thin and yellow in color and the infusion of hercampuri also has a yellow color. Traditional uses of hercampuri include:
- treatment of hepatitis
- treatment of varicose veins
- reduction of blood cholesterol
- treatment of hypertension
The infusion of hercampuri is one of the most bitter flavors of all herbs. The chemical compounds that give hercampuri its unique taste contribute to the bitterness of the infusion. Chemical constituents isolated from Gentianella nitida include amaronitidin and nitiol.
- Nobuo Kawahara; Kazuo Masuda; Setsuko Sekita; Motoyoshi Satake (2001). "A new secoiridoid glucoside, amaronitidin, from the Peruvian folk medicine "hercampuri" (Gentianella nitida)". Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 49 (6): 771–772. doi:10.1248/cpb.49.771. PMID 11411536.
- Nobuo Kawahara; Masato Nozawa; Atsuyo Kurata; Takashi Hakamatsuka; Setsuko Sekita; Motoyoshi Satake (1999). "A novel sesterterpenoid, nitiol, as a potent enhancer of IL-2 gene expression in a human T cell line, from the Peruvian folk medicine "hercumpuri" (Gentianella nitida)" (PDF). Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 47 (9): 1344–1345. PMID 10517015.