Centaury herb or (Erythraea entaurium) grows in the wild in Europe and parts of western Asia and northern Africa. It has also been cultivated in parts of North America and throughout eastern Australia. The plant is an erect biennial herb which grows to half a meter in height. It has triangular shaped leaves decorated with many flowers. Each small flower is pinkish-lavender and about a centimeter across. The fruit has a shape of a cylindrical capsule.
Medicinal Properties: Tonic, stomachic, aromatic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive aid, febrifuge and emetic.
Centaury herb can be used for most any medical problem. It is a good tonic and digestive aid for the body and is most commonly used for gas, colic, bloating, heartburn, dyspepsia and constipation. Too much will cause vomiting.
Lotions prepared with centaury have proven useful in removing various skin blemishes.
Recommended usage as a tea: Two teaspoonfuls to a cup of boiling water. Steep 20 to 30 minutes. One cup per day.
Other common names include: Erythraea centaurium, starweed, starwort, satin flower, Adder’s mouth, Indian chickweed, star chickweed, tongue grass, winter weed and stitchwort.