Centaury umbrella

Name: Centaury umbrella

Other names: Small centaury, Centaury, Golden grass, Centuria, Centoria, Centauria, Self-powered, Hearth, Gorichka, Krasnotsvetnik, Beautiful centaury, Meyer’s centaury.

Diseases and effects: worms, gastritis, dyspepsia, flatulence, liver disease, gallbladder disease, kidney disease, gastric catarrh, constipation, anemia, asthenia.

Active substances: bitter glycosides, gentiopicrin, erytaurine, erythrocentaurin, alkaloids, gentianin, ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid, oleanolic acid, essential oil, mucus, resins.

Collection time:  July – July Botanical description \ rDistribution \ rChemical composition \ rPharmacological properties \ rUse in medicine \ rProcessing rules \ rRecommendations for growing in home gardens \ rDoses, dosage forms and method of application\r\r

Botanical description of centaury umbrella 


Centaury umbrella is a member of the gentian family (Gentianaceae). Biennial or annual plant up to 35 cm high.\r

The root is short, pivotal.\r

Basal leaves in a rosette, oblong-obovate, narrowed towards the base, short-petiolate, stem lanceolate, semi-amplex, glabrous.\r

The stems are simple, forked-branched at the top.\r

The flowers are small, collected at the ends of the stems in a dense corymbose inflorescence, the bracts are tightly adjacent to the base of the flowers. The calyx is green, half as long as the corolla tube, divided into 5 narrow lobes. Corolla bright pink-red, elongated. Stamens 5, with spirally coiled anthers. Pistil with short style and bifid stigma.\r

The fruits  are linear-cylindrical boxes with numerous rounded, small dark brown seeds.\r

Blossoms in July-August, fruits ripen in September.\r

It is allowed to harvest the grass of the centaury beautiful . It is distinguished by a number of morphological features.\r

The stem is tetrahedral, glabrous, no more than 5-15 cm, branched almost from the base with a sparse arrangement of leaves.\r

The basal rosette of leaves is missing.\r

The lower and middle leaves are oblong-ovate, the upper ones are sharp, glabrous.\r

The inflorescence is corymbose, the bracts are 2 mm or more distant from the flowers. The corolla tube is evenly thickened.\r

Close to the described species – Meyer centaury , distinguished by white flowers. Its raw materials are also used for medicinal purposes.\r

Other species of this genus are not medicinal.\r

Distribution of centaury umbrella 


Centaury umbrella grows in the middle and southern strip of the European part of the Russian Federation, in the Caucasus and Ukraine. Less common in Central Asia.\r

In Ukraine, the centaury umbrella is found almost everywhere. It grows in small clumps or in the form of individual specimens in Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk regions and the southeastern part of the Crimean peninsula. Thickets of different density and size are represented by centaury in the forest-steppe of the right- and left-bank parts of Ukraine. Grows along forest edges, glades, meadows, mountain slopes, banks of rivers, lakes, among bushes.\r

Now the reserves of the centaury are small and reduced to a minimum due to grazing, plowing and drainage of meadows. Since the centaury is not yet cultivated and the need for this raw material is met by collecting raw materials from its wild thickets, it will be necessary with special care to take care of its available stocks, which are declining every year.\r

The chemical composition of centaury umbrella 


Centaury grass contains bitter glycosides (gentiopicrin, erytaurin, erythrocentaurin, etc.), up to 1% alkaloids (the main one is gentianin), ascorbic, nicotinic and oleanolic acids, essential oil, mucus, resins, etc.\r

Pharmacological properties of centaury umbrella 


Centaury is used as a bitter to stimulate appetite and improve digestion. The plant stimulates the secretion of the digestive glands, increases the peristalsis of the intestinal organs and has some laxative effect.\r

In an experimental study, it was found that the alkaloid gentianine has an antihelminthic property.\r

Centaury preparations have a diuretic effect.\r

The use of centaury umbrella in medicine 


Centaury is one of the oldest medicinal plants. It has long been taken orally, also externally for eczema, ulcers and wounds.\r

Centaury herb is used as a decoction, infusion for gastritis with reduced secretion, for some dyspepsia, flatulence, for diseases of the liver, gallbladder and kidneys, sometimes as an antihelminthic.\r

Centaury herb is part of appetizing and gastric preparations, it is also used to prepare bitter tincture containing, in addition to centaury herb, marsh calamus rhizome, wormwood herb and three-leaf watch leaves. In large doses, centaury products can cause indigestion.\r

In folk medicine, the centaury umbrella is used for catarrh of the stomach, constipation, anemia, and asthenia. In this case, less concentrated infusions are prepared.\r

Rules for harvesting centaury umbrella 


In medicine, the dried aerial part of the centaury, collected at the beginning of flowering, is used. Grass is harvested by cutting plants at a height of 5-10 cm from the soil. Dry in the air, in the shade, in attics, in ventilated rooms or dryers at temperatures up to 45 ° C, hanging in bunches or laying out in a thin layer on a clean bedding.\r

The raw material consists of flowering leafy stems that have retained their natural color. The flowers are pinkish red. Stems 15-20 cm long and up to 5 mm thick with leaves up to 12 cm long. The smell is fragrant, the taste is very bitter. Humidity is not higher than 13%. In raw materials, no more than 3% of blackened and 2% of crushed parts are allowed, passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 2 mm; 1% organic and 1% mineral impurities.\r

Dry grass is packed in bags or bales. Store in dry, well-ventilated areas. Shelf life 3 years.\r

Recommendations for the cultivation of centaury umbrella in home gardens 


Due to the laboriousness of collecting the centaury, as well as the lack of a natural resource base, it is recommended to grow it in household plots. The centaury propagates by seeds. In the spring they are sown in the ground to a depth of 0.5-1.5 cm in holes or rows. The distance between the holes should be 20-40 cm, the row spacing should be 45-60 cm. The plant is not demanding on soils, however, friendly seedlings and their best development are noted on humus-rich soils that do not require drainage.\r

Doses, dosage forms and uses of Centaury Umbelliferae 


Bitter tincture (Tinctura amara). Obtained from 60 parts of centaury grass, 60 parts of trefoil leaves, 30 parts of calamus rhizome, 30 parts of wormwood grass, 15 parts of mandarin peel, 40% alcohol in sufficient quantity to make (percolation method) 1 liter of tincture. Transparent liquid of brownish color, bitter spicy taste, fragrant smell.\r

Assign inside 10-20 drops 2-3 times every day 15-20 minutes before meals to increase appetite and improve digestion.\r

Centaury herb infusion (Infusum herbae Centaurii): 10 g (2 tablespoons) of raw materials are placed in an enamel bowl, pour 200 ml (1 glass) of hot boiled water, cover with a lid and heat in boiling water (in a water bath) for 15 minutes, cool for 45 min at room temperature, filter, the remaining raw material is squeezed out. The volume of the resulting infusion is adjusted with boiled water to 200 ml. The prepared infusion is stored in a cool place for no more than 2 days.\r

Taken warmly, 1/2-1/3 cup 2-3 times every day 30 minutes before meals as a bitter taste to stimulate appetite and improve digestion with reduced function of the gastrointestinal tract.\r

Raw materials are produced in packs of 100 g. The grass is stored in a dry, cool place.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *