(Medicinal Herbs) Centaury

| September 11, 2012 | 0 Comments | 13 views

Centaury Scientific Names and Common Names,Centaury Biochemical Information,Uses,Warning,Where Found,Parts Usually Used,Centaury Description of Plant(s) and Culture,Medicinal Properties.

(Medicinal Herbs)  Centaury


Common Names | Parts Usually Used | Plant(s) & Culture | Where Found | Medicinal Properties | Biochemical Information
Legends, Myths and Stories | Uses | Formulas or Dosages | Warning | Bibliography

Scientific Names


Erythraea centaurium L.Centaurii majorisSabbatia angularis, Pers.GentianaceaeGentian family

Common Names

American centaury
Bitter herb
Christ’s ladder
Common centaury
European centaury
Forking centaury
Greater centaury
Red centaury
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Parts Usually Used

Aerial portions
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

A small plant of the gentian family, with flat-clusters of red or rose flowers. The stem is four-cornered and grows to a height of 4-20 inches (10-50 cm). The leaves are decussate. The red, star-shaped flowers, which open only when the sun shines, are arranged in umbellike panicles.

Flower in July and seed within a month after.

The small or lesser centaury has yellow flowers. Used the same as greater centaury.

There is a centaury that has white flowers. Not found commonly in the wild.
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Where Found

Grows in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America. Found in damp meadows, pastures, and in thinly wooded areas.
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Medicinal Properties

Tonic, stomachic, aromatic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, febrifuge, emetic, stimulant
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Biochemical Information

Bitter principles, including gentiopicrine and erythrocentaurin, valeric acid, wax, etc.
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Remember the old saying “Medicine has to taste bitter; otherwise, it won’t do any good” ? That applies double to centaury.

Named after the Centaur, Chiron, who was said to have discovered medicinal properties of the plant.

Culpeper says of Centaury, “Tis very wholesome; but not very toothsome.”
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This is an herb that may be used for nearly any problem. A tonic for those who are unable to exercise in the open air. It is used for gas, colic, bloating, heartburn, dyspepsia, stimulate appetite, and constipation, and aids the proper assimilation and digestion of food. If taken in too concentrated an infusion, it will produce vomiting. Extract prepared with vodka is given for high blood pressure, liver and gall bladder problems. Lotions containing centaury have been used on the skin to remove different kinds of blemishes. It is used as a treatment for muscular rheumatism, gout, convulsions, tuberculosis, cramps, snakebites, helps vision. It kills worms as do most bitters.

Externally, the juice applied to the eyes will clear the vision, and applied to wounds, ulcers, old sores, bruises, will help promote healing. The decoction applied to the skin regularly will clear the skin of freckles and spots. In ancient times it was a primary cure for intermittent fevers and malaria, as well as a remedy for snake poison and other animal bites. A decoction externally applied also will destroy lice and other parasites in the hair.
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Formulas or Dosages

Use 2 tsp. of the herb to 1 cup of boiling water; let steep for 20-30 minutes, cool, and take a cupful every day, one swallow at a time.

Tincture: 1 tsp. taken before meals.
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Do not collect this medicinal plant yourself under any circumstances, as European centaury, like all other members of the gentian family, is on the list of protected plants!
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, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023, 1984

, edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

, by Mannfried Pahlow, Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppauge, NY 11788, 1992

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Category: Herbs

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