Botanical Name(s): Erythraea centaurium (PERS.)
Popular Name(s): Centaury Gentian, Red Centaury, Feverwort
Parts Used: The whole herb
Habitat: Centaury is found widely in Europe and North Africa.
Description: Centaury has an erect and stiff stem which generally grows to 3 to 12 inches in height. The leaves of the plant are pale green in colour and are smooth and shiny. The lower leaves of the plant are broader than the upper ones. The flowers are generally rose-coloured and star-like with five-cleft corollas and open only in fine weather and not after mid-day.
Uses: Centaury is bitter in taste and is an excellent tonic. The herb acts on the liver and kidneys and purifies the blood. The dried herb is used extensively in dyspepsia and is used to cure indigestion with heartburn after food. The herb finds its wide application to cure muscular rheumatism.