What are the health benefits of knapweed?

The small centaury is a plant widespread in almost all the surface of the globe. It belongs to the Gentianaceae family and is commonly referred to as fever grass, bitter grass or little gentian. Its scientific name is Centaurium erythraea. In the past, it was considered a magical plant because of its medicinal properties. It is mainly made up of flavonoids, bitter principles, phenol acids, terpene derivatives, sterols and gentianin.

Indications in natural medicine

The small centaury is famous for its action on the digestive system. It has, in fact, the ability to stimulate the appetite while improving digestive comfort. It allows, for example, to treat cases of indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps and dyspepsia. In convalescents and people with anorexia, it helps to fight lack of appetite and promotes weight gain.

I’bitter grass, by its cholagogue and choleretic property, also improves hepatic comfort. It promotes the excretion of bile and stimulates bile secretion.

In addition, this plant acts as a general tonic on the body. It is particularly indicated in case of temporary fatigue.

It is also indicated for:

  • Treat skin problems: wounds and eczema
  • Treat hair problems: hair loss and lice
  • Bring down the fever
  • Drive away migraines
  • Fight against intestinal parasites
  • Prevent gallstones

Dosage forms

In herbal medicine, the flowering aerial parts are the most used. The small centaury is mainly used in the form of herbal tea, decoction, lotion, mother tincture, powder and capsules.

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Instructions for use and recommended dosage

Centaury can be used both internally and externally. In both cases, the dosage varies depending on the desired result and the form used.

  • Tisane : In a cup of boiling water, add a teaspoon of dry extracts. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes then filter. Sweetened with honey, this preparation stimulates the appetite if taken before a meal. Taken after the meal, it helps to prevent digestive disorders. It is advisable to drink 2 to 3 cups spread over the day.
  • Mother tincture: The dose is fixed at 20 drops of tinctures to be diluted in a little water, to be taken 3 times a day.
  • Decoction: In a liter of water, add 50 to 60 g of dry extracts. Bring the mixture to a boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Once cooled, this preparation can be applied to the skin to treat skin conditions. It can also be used as a hair care product.
  • Capsules: The daily intake is 3 to 6 capsules.


Centaury is not recommended for people suffering from inflammation of the digestive tract such as duodenal or gastric ulcers. Note that prolonged use and high doses can lead to irritation of the gastrointestinal mucosa. It is also contraindicated for pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under 18.


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