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Centory - Background & Uses:

Indigenous to Europe and North Africa, Centory is an annual herb with a subtle odor that fades once the plant has been dried. [1]

The leaves of the centory plant are said to have been used medicinally to purify the blood, and as a tonic for the liver and kidneys. The dried herb has a history of use as "Centuary Tea" a concoctions designed to stimulate digestion and relieve heartburn. As per historical documents, Centuary Tea might have been used to treat cases of rheumatism. [1]

Centory - Scientific studies:

Chemical constituents of Centory include the bitter principle erythrocentaurin, valeric acid, and the bitter glucoside erytaurin [1]

Centory in old Herbals & Pharmocopœia:

Elizabeth Blackwell's "A Curious Herbal" (1751): 1. The stalks grow to be five or six foot high, the leaves are a light green and the flowers purplish. 2. It grows wild in Italy, but is planted here in Gardens and flowers in July. 3. The Root is accounted drying, binding, good for all kinds of Fluxes, stopping bleeding at the nose, mouth or any other part - It is also esteemed good to heal wounds, taking its name as Pliny says from the Centaur Chiron, who cured himself of a wound he received by one of the Arrows of Hercules, by the use of this plant.

Centory Illustration


Other names for Centory, past or present:

English - Centaury, Filwort, Feverwort, Christ's Ladder
Latin - Centaurium magnum
German - Reupontict
French - Rhepontico
Spanish - Ruipontic
Italian - Centaurea maggiore


[1] Grieve, Maude. A Modern Herbal: the medicinal, culinary, cosmetic and economic properties, cultivation and folk-lore of herbs, grasses, fungi, shrubs, & trees with all their modern scientific uses. 1971. Courier Dover Publications.

Main article researched and created by Kelsey Wambold, © 2013

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