European centaury or common centaury is a member of the Gentianaceae family. It contains essentially the same phytochemicals as its cousin yellow gentian and thus can be used interchangeably in practice as a digestive bitter. German Commission E approved centaury to loss of appetite & peptic discomfort. No published clinical trials could be found for this herb.
Related to gentian with identical indications.
• atonic digestive complaints
• pancreatic insufficiency
• gastric esophageal reflux disease (GERD)†
• biliary insufficiency
• cholelithiasis (gallstones)
• biliary dyskinesia
• Secoiridoid Glycosides (E.g. Amarogentin)
• Infusion (dried root): 1 tsp/cup tid, ac
• Tincture (1:5 in 25% EtOH): 1-2 ml tid, ac
Contraindications: Pregnancy and lactation (uterine stimulant).
†Caution: Gastritis, hiatal hernia, peptic ulcers. May aggravate heartburn as bitters increase gastric secretions; however, may also benefit patients with GERD where LES tone is the cause, not hyperacidity. Discontinue use if if pain is burning in epigastric region.
Note: Concomitant ingestion of demulcent herbs can help prevent an aggravation.
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