, also known as Centaury Gentian, Red Centaury, Filwort, Centory, Christ's Ladder
, is native to western Asia, Europe and Northern Africa.
is named after the centaur Chiron (famous in Greek mythology for his skill in medicinal herbs) who treated himself with it after he had been wounded with an arrow. Some of the Celtic people consider this herb to be a lucky plant.
The Saxon herbalists prescribed Centaury
largely for snake-bites and other poisons, and it was long celebrated for the cure of intermittent fevers, hence its name of Feverwort
The herb formed the basis of the once famous "Portland Powder", which was said to be a effective in the treatment of gout.
When given with Barberry bark, Centaury
is used for the treatment of jaundice. It has also been much employed as a vermifuge, and a decoction of the plant is said to destroy body vermin.
Widely grown in the middle ages, Centaury
is still used today to stimulate the appetite and as a digestive aid. A tea made from Centaury
is usually used for anemia, irregular monthlies, colic, and heartburn. In case of prolonged use this herb is helpful in weight loss.
The leaves of this unique plant are pale green, smooth and shiny. The Christ's Ladder
plant is crowned with rose colored, star-like flowers.The flowers open only in nice weather and not after mid-day: Gerard chronicles their love of light, saying that they 'in the day-time and after the sun is up, do open themselves and towards evening do shut up again.'
Dried Barberry Root Bark