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H
erbal Medicine Materia Medica
 


Centaury

© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Centaurium erythraea

Gentianaceae

Names: Century, Feverwort.

Habitat: Native to Europe, including the British Isles, Western Asia, North Africa and naturalized in N. America.

Collection: The foliage should be collected at the time of flowering, which is from July to September. Dry it in the sun.

Part Used: Dried aerial parts.

Constituents:

  • Secoiridoids. These glycosides are the so-called "bitter principles" and include sweroside, its m-hydroxybenzoylesters centapicrin, desacetylcentapicrin, the related glucosides decentapicrin A, B & C, gentiopicroside (=gentiopicrin), swertiamarin.
  • Alkaloids: gentianine, gentianidine, gentioflavine
  • Xanthone derivatives such asl, [[alpha]]8-dihydroxy-3, 5, 6, 7-tetramethoxyxanthone
  • Phenolic acids including protocatechuic, m- andp-hydroxbenzoic, vanillic, syringic, p-coumaric, ferulicand caffeic
  • Triterpenes; [[beta]]-sitosterol, campesterol, brassicsterol, stigmasterol, [[alpha]]-and [[beta]]- amyrin, erythrodiol.
Actions: Bitter, hepatic.

Indications: It may be used whenever a digestive and gastric stimulantis required. It is indicated primarily in appetite loss (anorexia) when it is associated with liver weakness. Centaury is a useful herb in dyspepsia and in any condition where a sluggish digestion is involved.

Combinations: In dyspepsia it combines well with Meadowsweet, Marshmallow Root and Chamomile. In anorexia nervosa it is indicated with Burdock Root and Chamomile.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l teaspoonful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 5-l0 minutes. Drink one cup half an hour before meals. Tincture: take l-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.

About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary......more
 
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Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.