Common centaury Erythraea Centaurium
Common centaury is a one-year or two-year herbaceous plant of the Cruciferae family. The root is slim, with many lingering roots. In the first year of the biennial plants only the rosette is formed. The stem is ruddy up to 40 cm high, branched only in the area of the inflorescence, naked. Branches are tight. The leaves are opposite, elliptical. The lower leaves are back ovoid, collected in a rosette. The flowers are small, numerous, pinkish red, located at the top of the branched stem in the form of a bunch. Blooms in the summer. The seeds ripen by September. The plant has a weak smell and a bitter taste.
In Bulgaria Common centaury is found in the meadows, dry and stony places, between the bushes and sometimes the crops as a weed.
The herbs (Herba Centauri minoris) are used. Picking time June to August, picking up the entire ground area at the beginning of the flowering along with the ground leaves while still green.
Contains bitter glycosides, of which genotypic, even erythrocentaurin, erythramine, etc., traces of nicotinic acid, some resinous substances and waxes.
In medicine Common centaury, it is used to excite appetite and improve digestion in stomach achilles, gastric catarrh, constipation flatulence, anemia. It is used externally in purulent wounds and boils.
A great application is also found in the brewing industry to obtain the necessary bitterness of the beer.