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                                                  Brand name:                          Centaury                                                   Latin name: Centaurium umbellatum                          Other names: Bitter Clover, Bitterbloom, Christ's Ladder, Feverwort, Wild                       Succory                                                   A Remedy For                                                             Appetite loss                                                 Although Centaury has been judged worthwhile only for poor appetite, it                                                 also has some effect against fever and is used for this purpose in                                                   homeopathic medicine. Other uses--all of doubtful effectiveness--include                       treatment of high blood pressure, kidney stones, diabetes, indigestion,                         and worms.                                                   What It Is; Why It Works                          This bitter-tasting plant is found in Mediterranean regions and as far north                       as Britain and Scandinavia. It is also cultivated in the United States. The                       medicinal parts of Centaury are the dried flowers, which grow purple to                         pink-red and occasionally white. A diminutive annual, the plant generally                         reaches a height of less than a foot.                                                   Centaury works by stimulating production of saliva and digestive juices. It                       also has some effect on inflammation and fever. In medieval times it was                         recommended for snake bite and poisoning. Its name stems from Greek                         mythology, in which the centaur, Chiron, was said to have cured his                         wounds with the plant.                                                   Avoid If...                          Because Centaury tends to increase stomach acids, you should avoid it if                         you have an ulcer.                                                   Special Cautions                          At customary dosage levels, Centaury poses no particular risks.                                                   Possible Drug Interactions                          No drug interactions have been reported.                                                 Special Information If You Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding                                                   No harmful effects are known.                                                   How to Prepare                          Centaury is available in crushed, powdered, and liquid extract form.                                                 To make a tea, pour 150 milliliters (5 ounces) of boiling water over 2 to 3                                                 grams (about one-half teaspoonful) of crushed Centaury, steep for 15                                                   minutes, and strain.                                                   Typical Dosage                          Crushed herb: 6 grams daily                          Liquid extract: 1 to 2 grams daily                                                   Tea: Half an hour before meals                                                 The strength of commercial preparations may vary. Follow the                                                 manufacturer's directions whenever available.                                                 Store away from light and moisture in a tightly sealed container.                                                   Overdosage                          No information on overdosage is available.