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Centaurium erythraea

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Centaurium erythraea, as depicted in 6th-century Leiden manuscript of Pseudo-Apuleius' Herbarius

Centaurium erythraea is a species of flowering plant in the gentian family known by the common names common centaury and European centaury.

Description

This is an erect biennial herb which reaches half a meter in height. It grows from a small basal rosette and bolts a leafy, erect stem which may branch. The triangular leaves are arranged oppositely on the stem and the erect inflorescences emerge from the stem and grow parallel to it, sometimes tangling with the foliage. Each inflorescence may contain many flowers. The petite flower is pinkish-lavender and about a centimeter across, flat-faced with yellow anthers. The fruit is a cylindrical capsule.

It flowers from June until September.

Distribution

This centaury is a widespread plant of Europe (including Scotland, Sweden and Mediterranean countries,<ref name= academia>Template:Cite journal</ref>) and parts of western Asia and northern Africa. It has also naturalised in parts of North America,<ref name= academia/> and throughout eastern Australia, where it is an introduced species.

Taxonomy

It is also commonly known as “feverfoullie”, “gentian” or “centaury”.<ref name= academia/>

Uses

The European centaury is used as a medical herb in many parts of Europe.The herb, mainly prepared as tea, is thoughtTemplate:By whom to possess medical properties beneficial for patients with gastric and liver diseases.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Chemical constituents

Antioxidant ingredients of the centaury are mainly phenolic acids<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> Including ferulic and sinapic acids. The plant also contains amounts of sterols as brassicasterol and stigmasterol.<ref>http://www.mendeley.com/research/chemical-composition-and-biological-properties-of-erythraea-centaurium-rafn/Template:Dead link</ref> It also contains two secoiridoid glycosides, swertiamarin and sweroside.<ref name= academia/>

References

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External links

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