Centaury is an annual plant with a yellow-colored, woody root and a stiff stem. The centaury plant grows up to 12 inches tall. It produces smooth, shiny leaves that are pale green in color. Its botanical name is Centaurium erythraea and it is native to southern Europe. Centaury is also found in Northern Africa and Western Asia and has been naturalized in North America. It was used in Ancient Greek culture for medicinal uses and healing purposes.1 As a natural remedy, the entire herb can be used and is often dried and turned into a powder, tea or tonic. Centaury is closely related to another herb, gentian, which is used in similar medicinal purposes as a cleansing tonic.2
There are no known centaury side effects or adverse reactions. There are also no known reports of toxicity caused by consuming centaury in high doses.4
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