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Biological Name: Centaurium umbellatum, Erythraea centaurium, Centaurium erythraeaCentaury

Family: Gentianaceae

Other Names: European Centaury, Centaury, centaury, Century, lesser.centaury, Feverwort, common centaury, Bitter herb

Elements Applied: Each plant’s part except the root is applied in dried form.

Active Components:

  • Triterpenes; erythrodiol, a-and b-amyrin, stigmasterol, b-sitosterol, brassicsterol, campesterol;
  • Phenolic acids such as caffeic, ferulic, p-coumaric, syringic, vanillic, m- and p-hydroxbenzoic, and protocatechuic;
  • Xanthone derivates like l,8-dihydroxy-3,5,6,7-tetramethoxyxanthone;
  • Alkaloids: gentioflavine, gentianidine, gentianine;
  • Secoiridoids are glycosides which are also referred to as bitter compounds; they are represented by sweroside, swertiamarin, m-hydroxybenzoyl esters desacetylcentapicrin, centapicrin; gentiopicroside, and the co-related glucosides decentapicrin A, B, and C.

Used For: The herb is highly valued for its bitter taste due to which fact it’s applied to boost metabolic rates, stimulate the digestive system and increase the appetite. It is additionally applied to induce bile movement, treat liver conditions, cause vomiting, and reduce fevers.

The herb is prescribed in any case where gastrointestinal stimulation is necessary. Its main use consists in boosting appetite, especially when low appetite is triggered by liver dysfunction. Centaury is highly helpful in any diseases associated with digestive debility, for instance, dyspepsia.

European centaury has once been a cure-all remedy, which was prescribed for virtually any condition, except diarrhea. It triggers saliva secretion, stimulates stomach and bowels, being an effective remedy for flatulence and constipation. Its toning activity is commonly linked with other spheres of this plant’s application.

Tea made of the herb is usually used for anemia, irregular monthlies, colic, and heartburn. In case of prolonged use this herb is helpful in weight loss.

Concentrated decoction may induce vomiting; a concentrated infusion is believed to boost perspiration, and a mild infusion is applied to stimulate the digestive system.

European centaury lotion is applied topically for spots and freckles on the skin. Centaury is highly beneficial for hypodynamic people, who don’t move much.

Additional Info: The herb is indigenous to Europe, and even Great Britain, North Africa, Western Asia, and specially raised in North America.

European centaury grows annually across European damps, woods, and meadows. Its stem can reach only 10 inches in height, producing branches in its upper part. The leaves close to the ground are ovate, and those growing close to the top are oblong. The red-colored flowers blossom from summer to early autumn.

Preparation and Intake: For an infusion take 1 teaspoon of the herb extract and fill it up with a glass of boiling water. Let it stay for 10 minutes. Taken in a quantity of 1 cup 30 minutes before food intake.

In form of tincture the herb is applied in a quantity of 1-2 ml thrice a day.

Commonly mixed with: To fight dyspepsia the plant is mixed with Chamomile, Marshmallow Root, and Meadowsweet. To treat anorexia the herb is mixed with Chamomile or Burdock Root.

Safety: There is no data concerning the plant’s safety level. Still, there is a possibility of interaction with chemical drugs. Not recommended to use without medical consultation.