CENTAURY (Erythraea centaurium (L.) Pers. o Centaurium erythraea Rafn.)


This plant grows up to approximately 30 cm. It’s biennial and after the first year a basal rosette with elliptic and spatulate leaves springs. The root is fusiform, thick and white. The stem springs at the second year, cylindrical, hollow, from pale green to dark brown. It is branched only at the upper side and has longitudinal divisions. Leaves are sessile and entire, small caulinary and opposite, displayed in a decussate way. The limb is oval-shaped and lanceolate of up to 3 cm long. Both faces are glabrous green and brownish-green. Flowers are pink grouped in flat corymbose inflorescence. The green calyx is tubular and has five lanceolate and acuminate teeth. The corolla is formed by a whitish tube divided in five pink lobes, elongated and lanceolate of approximately 5 to 8 mm long. The five stamens are fastened to the uppermost part of the corolla tube. The ovary grows above the corolla and has a short style. The stigma is wide and bifid with many ovules film-like shape. There are often found cylindrical capsules of approximately 7 to 10 mm long with small, brown seeds very rugose. The fruit is in an oblong capsule. It’s sessile with two valves containing tiny seeds. It belongs to the Gentianaceae family.

This plant blooms in late spring and the flowers open only in fine weather and if the sun is shining. It is not very common in gardens and hills. It prefers deep soil. It’s harvested in October. The plant grows in almost all Europe, north of Africa and western Asia.

Part used
The apex is used.


Internal use
> Lack of appetite, anorexia.
> Digestive disorders: digestive atony, heavy digestions, flatulence, meteorism, spasms, dyspepsia, diarrhea, etc.
> Biliary dyskinesia, gallbladder disorders.
> Diabetes.
> Febrile diseases, common cold, flu, malaria.
> Nervous fatigue, convalescences.

External use
> Rheumatism, gout.
> Blepharoconjunctivitis.
> Skin disorders: wounds, lesions, sores, ulcers and eczemas.

Some authors recommend long term treatments with break periods.