Erythraea centaurium or Centaurea umbellatum or C. vulgare. Compositae Found in fields and hilly places, and on sea cliffs. Leaves are tiny and narrow, slender and smooth, the lower ones in a rosette; flowers are in panicles, star-shaped and pale pink, occasionally red. The whole plant is very bitter.
Treatment for jaundice, enlarged liver, biliousness. Blood impurities, eczema. It is one of the best of the bitter tonics, sharing the fame of Gentian, and is highly prized by the American Indians. A remedy for all ailments of blood and liver, Centaury is also famed as a female remedy in all faintness following birth or birth infections. A vermifuge, including a liver fluke remedy.
As a lotion for all types of sores and wounds, and to cleanse sore mouths and to cool inflamed gums. Externally it is used for wound treatment and to deter mosquitoes. Dose: Of a standard brew of the whole herb, two tablespoons before meals, for liver flukes, make pills of one ounce Centaury minced into balls with fat and flour. As a birth remedy, make pills the same way but use honey instead of fat.
Externally: Use the brew freely, pouring onto wounds, and as a rinse for mouth and gums.