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Centaury.

Botanical name:

[image:30769 align=left hspace=1] Erythraea centaurium.

Natural Order—Gentianaceae.

The stem of this plant is nearly simple, panicle forked, corymbose; leaves broadly lance-shaped; calyx half as long as the tube of corolla, its segments partly united by a membrane. The stem is about a foot high, and leafy; the flowers rose-coloured. Annual. It flowers in July and August. It grows in dry pastures. The whole plant is bitter to the taste.

Medicinal Properties: Stomachic, Bitter, Tonic.

It is valuable both in substance and infusion for creating an appetite and toning up the system. It has been used with great success for obstruction of the liver and for general malaise. In these conditions try the following:—Pour one quart of boiling water upon one ounce of Centaury; when cool, strain, and take a wine-glassful four times a day.

An excellent tonic for delicate and elderly people may be made as follows:—

Centaury, 1/2 oz.
Raspberry Leaves, 1/2 oz.

Infuse in one pint of boiling water. Take in wineglassful doses four times a day.

Centaury acts particularly upon the heart as a general strengthener.


Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.



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