Medicinal Plants appear quite often on stamps, usually as sets displaying a few native to the country of issue. Show yours here, and let us know any additional information you might have about them or their usage.
I'll start things off with Gentiana Lutea.
Gentiana Lutea, or Yellow Gentian is native to the mountainous regions of Europe. The genus is named for Gentius, a king of Illyria in the 2nd century BC, though medicinal use of gentians actually dates from a thousand years earlier in Thebes. There are many other gentian species, all of which are extremely bitter. It contains a chemical called amarogentin which is used as a standard for bitterness and is possibly the most bitter substance on the planet! Tinctures of the root are are used to stimulate not only saliva, but also gastric juices, gallbladder and liver. It is commonly a principal ingredient in aperitif mixtures such as Angostura bitters taken about a half hour before a heavy meal (not to be confused with Jägermeister, which is usually taken after a meal). Gentian is useful in almost any condition where the digestive system needs to be toned up. It is often taken as a digestive tonic in old age........I guess I should be taking it!
Quite a few stamps have been issued showing this plant. Here are some images I pulled off the web; only the last two are from my collection.
Bulgaria issued the first stamp in 1953, Scott Nr. 835.
Weird, after posting that Danish postcard piece received at Rutgers Research Center, I realized I had encountered Rutgers before, at the "Stamps with gentians" site from which I had been shamelessly pilfering images. gentian.rutgers.edu/ethno_stamps.htm
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