Centaury – ESCOP Herbal Monograph 2015

CentauryCentaurii herba
Centaurium erythraea Rafn. s.l
Published 2015

Price: €20
Format: PDF; Instant Download








The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies regarding efficacy, dosage and  safety supporting the therapeutic uses of centaury.

The botanical definition of the herbal drug is the whole or cut, dried flowering aerial parts of Centaurium erythraea Rafn. s.l. including C. majus Zeltner and C. suffruticosum (Griseb.) Ronniger [syn. Erythraea centaurium Pers., C. umbellatum Gilib., C. minus Garsault].

Studies with its main characteristic constituents, the secoiridoid glucosides, are included.

The therapeutic indications are dyspeptic complaints and lack of appetite. Administration of centaury addresses posology; its duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive; undesirable effects; overdose.

In vitro experiments with centaury demonstrate antioxidant, radical scavenging and antimicrobial activities as well as a-glucosidase and a-amylase inhibiting properties.

In vivo experiments in animals demonstrate anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective and hepatoprotective activities as well as effects on hyperglycaemia and lipid profiles.

Preclinical safety data for centaury were assessed in toxicity studies.

The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at compiling relevant information about the possible physiological roles of centaury and its major constituents. Examples are given below.


  • Centaurium erythraea; Centaurium majus; Centaurium suffruticosum; Erythraea centaurium, Centaurium umbellatum, Centaurium minus
  • Centaurii herba
  • Centaury
  • Dyspeptic complaints; Lack of appetite


– Aberham A, Pieri V, Croom EM Jr., Ellmerer E, Stuppner H. Analysis of iridoids, secoiridoids and xanthones in Centaurium erythraea, Frasera caroliniensis and Gentiana lutea using LC-MS and RP-HPLC. J Pharm Biomed Anal 2011;54:517-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2010.09.030
– Mroueh M, Saab Y, Rizkallah R. Hepatoprotective activity of Centaurium erythraea on acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Phytother Res 2004;18:431-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.1498
– Sefi M, Fetoui H, Lachkar N, Tahraoui A, Lyoussi B, Boudawara T, Zeghal N. Centaurium erythrea (Gentianaceae) leaf extract alleviates streptozotocin-induced oxidative stress and b-cell damage in rat pancreas. J Ethnopharmacol 2011;135:243-50. http://dx.doi. org/10.1016/j.jep.2011.02.029
– Stefkov G, Miova B, Dinevska-Kjovkarovska S, Petreska Stanoeva J, Stefova M, Petrusevska G, Kulevanova S. Chemical characterization of Centaurium erythrea L. and its effects on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in experimental diabetes. J Ethnopharmacol 2014;152:71-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2013.11.047
– Tuluce Y, Ozkol H, Koyuncu I, Ine H. Gastroprotective effect of small centaury (Centaurium erythraea L) on aspirin-induced gastric damage in rats. Toxicol Ind Health 2011;27:760-8. http://dx.doi. org/10.1177/0748233710397421  
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