The health benefits of Centaury tea have been known for a long time within traditional herbal medicine. The centaury plant is touted to have potent diaphoretic, digestive, emetic, febrifuge, hepatic, homeopathic, poultice, stomachic, tonic, liver stimulating, and nervine properties.
The centaury is a flowering plant of the gentian family that is commonly found in Europe, northern Africa, western Asia and eastern Australia. Known by its official name of centaurium erythraea, the centaury is a biennial herb which, standing erect, reaches 0.5 meter in height. It boasts of a leafy, erect stem with branches. It is triangular-shaped leaves found on opposite sides of the stem. From June to September each year, pinkish flowers with yellow anthers bloom. The fruit takes the form of a cylindrical capsule.
Centaury has a very bitter taste and it is often used to flavor bitter liqueurs, and is an ingredient in vermouth.
The active constituents of centaury are secoiridoids, alkaloids, phenolic acids, triterpenes, xanthone derivatives and triterpenes. To make centaury tea, place 1 teaspoon of the dried herb in 1 cup of boiling water. Let the mix steep for up to 10 minutes. Due to its bitter taste, only ½ cup is to be taken.
The following are some health benefits attributed to centaury tea:
- May help in purifying the blood.
- May help in lowering blood pressure.
- May help in enhancing the digestive functions. It can be of use in fighting constipation, and gastritis.
- May help in fighting anemia.
- May help in the treatment of diabetes.
- May help in the treatment of various liver diseases.
- May be beneficial in the treatment of kidney diseases.
- May help stimulate the appetite if taken before meals. Centaury tea may help fight heartburn and dyspepsia if taken after meals.