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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Common Centaury

(Centaurium Erythraea)

"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.

  • Centaury Herbal Description
  • Centaury Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Centaury Dosage Information
  • Centaury Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Centaury Supplements & Products

  • centaury plant


    Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) is also known as Centaurium erythrae, Bluebottle, Bluet, Cornflower, Common Centaury, Feverwort, European Centaury, Bitter Herb, Lesser Centaury, Mad Dog's Herb, Dog Bite Herb, Stand Up and Go Away, Centre Of The Sun, Centaury Gentian, Christ's ladder, Bitter Bloom, Bitter Clover, Bitter-Rose, Centory, Chironia, Fel Terrae, Steps of Christ, Thousand Golden Leaves, Wild Succory, Herba Centaurii.

    centaury flowers

    Centaury is a member of the gentian family and has bitter constituents like gentian. This herb is native to Europe, Western Asia, North Africa, and is naturalized in North America. In folk medicine, Centaury was used as a tonic to the upper digestive tract, and to treat fevers. The European Centaury is an annual or biennial plant found all over Europe. Found in damp meadows, forest clearings and sandy soils. The stem is 6 to18 inches high and the stem is hollow when older. This herb branches near the top and has oval leaves that grow in a rosette. The leaves of the stem are a little different being oval and oblong. The rose-red, funnel-shaped flowers grow in June to September.



    Centaury has an interesting history of uses, and according to legend was named because of the mythical centaur Chironia who cured a poison arrow wound with the herb. Because it is so bitter, the ancient Romans called it the 'bile of the earth' (fel terraae.) Centaury herb, or Centaurium erythraea, is among those bulk organic herbs about which many claims are made. It is known for its stomachic properties. In Europe, where the Centaurium erythraea is indigenous, dried centaury herb is made into a decoction or tea and drunk as a "tonic."

    Ground erythraea is also known to gourmands and cooks throughout the Western World as an aromatic spice; therefore, you will often find Centaury herb with bulk dried herbs for sale. If you are looking for a new way to season a dish, the next time you buy organic bulk herbs you may wish to consider adding Centaurium erythraea to your order.

    Today, the German Commission E recommends Centaury to stimulate appetite, eliminate indigestion, and increase the absorption of nutrients. This herb purifies the blood and is an excellent tonic. It can be used to treat muscular rheumatism and can strengthen bladder control in elderly people. Some say this herb can help prevent bed-wetting and regulate the gall bladder as well.

    Centaury has been used as a tonic for the gastrointestinal tract that helps to expel excess gas and relieve bloating, heartburn, dyspepsia, poor appetite, constipation and colic. It stimulates gastric secretions and is an aromatic stomachic that is used to strengthen stomach function. Centaury is also believed to cleanse toxins from the liver, kidneys, and gallbladder and to purify the bloodstream.

    centaury flower essence remedy


    Centaury is associated with the legendary centaur Chiron. Chiron was the mentor of Jason, providing him with the training necessary for Jasonís quest to obtain the Golden Fleece. Apollo rescued Aesculapius when he was a boy after his father died and brought him to Chiron who would raise and educate the boy in the use of herbal remedies. Of all centaurs, Chiron has the most wide spread recognition and is later elevated to astral status within the constellation Sagittarius.

    In the medieval era Centaury was an important Magical Herb. Witches, who were said to mix it into their incenses, increasing their psychic powers and taking them into trance-like states, used it.

    Centaury Flower Essence Remedy gives "the doormat" or "pleaser" personality the strength of will to say no at the appropriate times. Releases the false illusion that servitude is the most beneficial avenue. This attitude is often at the cost of neglecting personal needs and depleting oneís own energy. Centaury flower has theses helpful positive qualities: strength of will, integrity, individuality, self-responsibility and discrimination to know when to serve.


    For best results, read and follow product label directions.

    Centaury constituents include Secoiridoids (bitter principles: gentiopicrin, centapicrin, sweitiamarin, gentioflavoside), Alkaloids (gentianine, gentianidine, gentioflavine), Phenolic acids, Triterpenes, Xanthone derivatives, phenolic acids, nicotinic acid compounds, traces of essential oil, oleanolic acid, triterpenes (beta-sitosterol, campesterol, brassicsterol, stigmasterol).

    Parts Used: The entire plant may be used.
    Typical preparations include infusions and tincture herbal extracts.
    Infusion: Infuse 1 teaspoon dried herb in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes, and drink 1/2 cup before meals.
    Tincture: Take 1 to 2 ml of the tincture three times per day.
    The German Commission E recommends taking 6 to 12 drops, 2 to 3 times daily or more for short durations.


    Precautions: None recorded.

    Centaury is generally regarded as safe when taken in the recommended doses; however, caution should be used for those with peptic ulcers, excess acid, and reflux. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known.


  • Centaury Herbal Products




    Mountain Rose Herbs: Centaury Herb, Certified Organic, Bulk Organic Herbs & Spices


    Starwest Botanicals: Centaury Herb, Cut & Sifted, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.


    HerbsPro: Centaury Flower Essence, Bach Flower Essences, 20 ml (34809)
    Centaury is for people who find it difficult to say 'no' to other people. They are kind, gentle souls and like to be of help to others. But sometimes other more ruthless people will take advantage of this, and instead of willing service the Centaury ends up the slave of another's wishes.The Centaury remedy does not harden the Centaury personality. Instead it supports the development of courage and self-determination so that Centaury people are better able to draw the line and make space where they can be themselves free of the desires and commands of others.Dr Bach's description Kind, quiet, gentle people who are over-anxious to serve others. They overtax their strength in their endeavours. Their wish so grows upon them that they become more servants than willing helpers. Their good nature leads them to do more than their own share of work, and in so doing they may neglect their own particular mission in life.


    Kalyx: Centaury Extract (Erythraea Centaurium), Health & Herbs, 2 fl oz: HH
    Kalyx: Centaury Extract (Erythraea Centaurium), Non-Alcoholic, Health & Herbs, 2 fl oz: HH
    Kalyx: Centaury Extract (Erythraea Centaurium), Health & Herbs, 8 fl oz: HH
    Kalyx: Centaury Extract (Erythraea Centaurium), Non-Alcoholic, Health & Herbs, 8 fl oz: HH
    Kalyx: Centaury Extract (Erythraea Centaurium), Health & Herbs, 16 fl oz: HH
    Kalyx: Centaury Extract (Erythraea Centaurium), Non-Alcoholic, Health & Herbs, 16 fl oz: HH
    Kalyx: Centaury Extract (Erythraea Centaurium), Health & Herbs, 32 fl oz: HH
    Kalyx: Centaury Herb (Erythraea Centaurium), Cut & Sifted, Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C


    Amazon: Centaury Herbal Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Centaury Herbal Information

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