Common centaury : Uses, medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Common centaury : Uses, medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

The plant is distributed in Europe, the Mediterranean, North America and western Asia. The drug comes mainly from imports from Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia and Hungary, and North African countries such as Morocco.

The dried aerial parts of the flowering plants (Centaurii herba) are mainly used as a drug.

Common centaury: Special Features

Centaury is an approximately 30-50 cm high biennial plant. The plant sprouts a basal rosette in the first year with elliptical leaves. In the second year, branched flower stalks appear with small, 5-petalled, pink-red flowers in flat umbels.

A species complex with over 12 subspecies is summarized under “Centaurium”.


Common centaury as a medicine

Dried centaury consists mainly of yellow, hollow stalks and reddish flowers up to 8 mm long. Yellowish capsules containing tiny seeds are less joint.

Centaury gives off a faint, somewhat peculiar smell. The taste of centaury is very bitter.

Common centaury – Application

Centaury is primarily used as a bitter tonic to treat acute and chronic digestive disorders (dyspeptic disorders). These include, for example, flatulence or a feeling of fullness.

Patients who suffer from loss of appetite can also use the herb. In the case of chronic digestive disorders and a general lack of digestive juices from the stomach and pancreas (achylia), however, centaury is less effective than comparable remedies such as gentian root.

Used in folk medicine and homeopathy

In folk medicine, centaury is used as a tonic or roborant (strengthening or tonic) and for the external treatment of wounds. Traditionally, the herb is also used for fever, liver problems, bile disorders, gastrointestinal complaints, and complaints in ​​the urinary organs.

Centaury is also contained in small doses as a bitter substance in food and drinks.

In homoeopathy, centaury is used for stomach problems.


Ingredients of centaury

Centaury contains very bitter aminoglycosides, the so-called secoiridoids (for example, swordiamarin and sweroside), as its main active ingredients. Some substances in this class, which occur in small quantities in the herb, are among the bitterest naturally occurring substances.

The drug also contains small amounts of flavonoids, phenylpropanes, triterpenes and sterols.

Common centaury: indication

Centaury is used medicinally in the following cases:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Digestive problems
  • Indigestion
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Flatulence
  • dyspeptic complaints
  • Gastrointestinal complaints
  • Fever
  • Liver disease
  • Bile disorders
  • Wounds

Common centaury – dosage

The crushed drug can be taken as infusions or other bitter-tasting preparations. The herb, extracts, or tinctures are also part of many medicines and food supplements.

Typical century – what dose?

Unless otherwise prescribed, the average daily dose for centuries is around 6 g. The average daily dose for herb extracts is reduced to 1-2 g.


Common centaury: preparation and storage

To make tea, pour boiling water over 2-3 g of the finely chopped drug (1 teaspoon equals about 1.8 g) and strain it through a tea strainer after 10 minutes. An extraction with cold water lasting several hours is also possible.

The drug should be stored dry and protected from light.


Milfoil should not be taken if you have existing stomach or duodenal ulcers.

Common centaury – synonyms

German plant name: Centaury

German synonyms of the plant: Real centaury, centaury, fever herb, bitter herb, gall herb, red aurin, laurin herb

Latin plant name: Centaurium erythraea RAFN s.l.

Latin synonyms of the plant: Centaurium erythraea Rafin, Centaurium minus, Centaurium Centaurium, Centaurium umbellatum, Centaurium erythraea, Centaurium latifolium

German drug name: Centaury

Latin drug name: Centauri herbaceous

Latin synonyms of the drug: Herb of Chironia, Herb of Felis earth, Herb of Centaurus, Herb of Erythraea centaurus, Centaurus tops

English name: Centaury herb, Bitter herb, Thousand guilder herb (Droge); Common centaury, Centaury, Lesser Centaury, Bitter Clover, Bitterbloom, European Centaury, Broad-leaved Centaury, Seaside Centaury Christ’s Ladder, Feverwort, Eyebright, Rose Pink, Wild Succory (Pflanze)

Plant family Latin: Gentianaceae

Plant family German: Gentian family


Common centaury – effect

The bitter aminoglycosides contained in centaury lead to increased salivation and secretion of digestive juices, which stimulates the appetite and is beneficial to Digestion works. Alcohol extracts of the drug have also been shown to have positive effects on the liver.

Other effects of the Millennial herb

Specific anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects have also been demonstrated in animal experiments. Swertiamarin and Sweroside also show antibacterial effects, but only against certain bacteria such as Bacillus cereus and Bacillus subtilis.


Common centaury: side effects

There are currently no known side effects or interactions with other drugs when taking centuries.

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