Centaurium erythraea


Centaurium erythraea


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.


  • 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.

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Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

Explore Wellness in 2021