Genepì is an aromatic plant that grows in the Alpine and Apennine areas. It includes several species belonging to the Artemisia genus. Among the best known varieties we remember the black genepì, whose botanical name is Artemisia genepì, is the white genepì, botanically identified as Artemisia mutellina. Both varieties appear as a bush, the black genepì 20 centimeters and the white genepì 15 centimeters. The stems are simple, with creeping or erect branches, the basal leaves are slightly petiolate, while those of the upper part, called flower heads, are arranged like spikes. Each flower head is made up of about twenty golden yellow flowers. The flowers can be both male and female. The former are more aromatic than the latter. The major aromatic essences are found in the black genepì, while in the white genepì they are present only in the aerial parts. The genepì grows at altitudes between 1500 and three thousand meters. The region that boasts the greatest production of genepì is Piedmont which began to cultivate the plant starting from the 1960s to meet the strong demand for liqueurs (from genepì, in fact, a liqueur of the same name is obtained) and to make up for the lack of spontaneous plantations. The genepì blooms between July and September. This plant is used to produce the aforementioned liqueur, but also to prepare herbal remedies. The parts used are the flowering tops, including the flowers themselves, collected at the beginning of flowering and dried in the shade and in a well-ventilated place, and the root collected in summer.
The properties of genepì are linked to its bitter principles that allow it to produce a renowned liqueur with digestive effects. This plant contains, in fact, essential oils, including a very rare component in other plant species, cineole, terpenic oxide which is useful for stimulating digestion. Genepì is also tonic, stimulating, antispasmodic, expectorant, balsamic and healing. Its extracts are useful for calming intestinal spasms, for soothing wounds, for coughs and other respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. With genepì extracts you will find relief in case of slow and difficult digestion and flatulence. Its extracts are also used to increase sweating and lower fever. In the kitchen, genepì extracts are used to prepare liqueurs and aperitifs. The mountaineers added the genepì liqueur to the grappa to alleviate the so-called "altitude sickness" that is a slowdown in digestion caused by excessive altitudes and cold.
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The main uses of genepì, or rather of the male flowers of genepì, are in phytotherapy and in industry or rather in the craft of liqueurs. Genepì liqueur is prepared using the dried leaves. The extraction of the active ingredients of the plant can take place by infusion or suspension. The first treatment consists in leaving the parts of the plant to infuse for 45 days in a hydroalcoholic solution. After this period of time, the infusion is pressed and mixed with water and sugar to lower the alcohol content. The liqueur thus obtained is left to mature to allow the sedimentation of the insoluble parts which are filtered in order to obtain a pure and brilliant product, with a straw color with a tendency towards pale green. The suspension method requires the seedlings to be placed on grids that are suspended on the alcoholic solution, inside airtight containers. Inside them, the alcohol will evaporate, retaining only the aromatic components of the plant and not the colored ones. After evaporation, a mixture of water and sugar is added. The suspension procedure lasts about 90 days, at the end the liqueur will undergo a seasoning of 150 days. With this method, a colorless liqueur with an alcohol content of about 40 degrees is obtained, called brandy. With the genepì it is also possible to prepare infusions, mother tinctures and vinous tinctures. The infusion is prepared with 3 grams of flowered tops in 100 ml of water. The recommended dose is one cup after meals or as needed. The mother tincture is obtained by macerating 20 grams of flowering tops in 100 ml of alcohol at 60 ° for 5 days. The recommended dose is half a teaspoon after meals. The vinous tincture is obtained by macerating the same amount of plant and for the same period in white wine. The recommended dose is one small glass as needed.
Genepi: Cost of products
The mother tinctures of genepì, like other mother tinctures, in bottles of 50 ml, cost about 10 euros. The cost of the filters for infusion is more contained, ranging between 4 and six euros. The cost of liqueurs and bitters based on genepì which can be found in distilleries and shops specialized in the sale of alcoholic beverages is higher. These products are also found on e-commerce sites at prices ranging from 7 euros for 200ml bottles to 20 euros for 700ml bottles. However, it is always better to check the quality of the product before proceeding with the purchase.