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Forgotten herbs – European centaury (Tintaura in romanian language)

I found this plant in a glade in Bucegi

Centaurium erythraea is a species of flowering plant in the gentian family known by the common name European centaury. Each inflorescence may contain many flowers. The petite flower is pinkish-lavender and about a centimeter across, flat-faced with yellow anthers.

According to an ancient Greek legend, the wounds of the centaur Chiron healed using this plant, thus explaining the origin of the scientific name of the species, Centaurium erythraea. Centaury is a medicinal plant that was already known and used in antiquity and the Middle Ages.

As a herb it is frequently used to treat liver problems or to purify the blood. In folk medicine it is used to reduce fever, and against nervous exhaustion. In homeopathic treatments, fresh herbs are used to relieve stomach pain. It is also used to make bitters or spirits used to increase appetite. Not recommended for patients with gastric ulcer.

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Written by Ileana Calotescu

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