Centaurium erytheaea

Feverwort is an herbaceous plant that can grow up to 1 metre in height. It has a circle of packed leaves at its base, and opposing leaves along the stem. The flowers, with red petals, are clustered together at the terminal part of the plant.

It is a common species that grows well in open areas such as parks, household gardens, along roads and urban meadows.

The plant has a long tradition of therapeutic use in treating fever. Feverwort is also commonly referred to as Centaury.

Traditional uses
  • Internally Feverwort is used for its action as a general tonic to the body1
  • Traditionally, Feverwort has been used for lack of appetite, anorexia2 and indigestion1
  • Anglo-Saxon herbalists used centaury to treat fever, hence the name 'Feverwort'2,3
  • The whole extract of Feverwort herb increases gastric juice secretion7
  • The aerial part of the plant have been confirmed as a diuretic4(in vivo)
  • Feverwort has shown some anti-inflammatory and antipyretic2 effects(in vivo)
How it can be used
  • Feverwort is used to treat chronic digestive and gastrointestinal problems
  • Feverwort is also used to treat indigestion, upset stomach and appetite loss7,8
  • Do not use during pregnancy2 and while breast-feeding
The information provided here is only intended to augment people's awareness and knowledge of the properties and uses of some plants. This information is not intended to substitute advice from a physician and is not a substitute for professional medical care. The authors do not recommend collecting and using wild plants from an urban environment as these can be contaminated by several types of pollutants that are harmful to human health.

Although references are provided and information has been compiled with care, errors may be present. The remedies listed here should not be used without prior consultation with a qualified healthcare professional. The authors are not responsible for any adverse effect or consequences resulting from the use of the information published in this website.
  • In vitro evidence: evidence from studies using isolated components of living organisms such as cells or purified molecules
  • In vivo evidence: evidence from studies with whole living organisms
  • Clinical trial evidence: evidence from clinical trials conducted with humans
  1. Allen, D. E. & Hatfield, G. 2012. Medicinal Plants in Folk Tradition. (Timber Press, Incorporated.
  2. Newall C, et al. 1996. Herbal Medicines . London, England: Pharmaceutical Press; 67.
  3. Weiss R, et al. 2000 Herbal Medicine . 2d ed. New York, NY: Georg Theme Verlag. 52-54.
  4. Haloui M, Louedec L, Michel J, et al. 2000 Experimental diuretic effects of Rosmarinus officinalis and Centaurium erythraea . J Ethnopharmacol. 71:465-472.
  5. Schimmer O, Mauthner H. 1996. Polymethoxylated xanthones from the herb of Centaurium erythraea with strong antimutagenic properties in Salmonella typhimurium . Planta Med . 62:561-564.
  6. Sychev DA, Semenov AV, and Polyakova IP. 2011 A case of hepatic injury suspected to be caused by Canephron N, a Centaurium Hill containing phytotherapeutics International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 23: 5–6
  7. Blumenthal M, ed. 1998 The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Boston, MA: American Botanical Council.
  8. European Medicines Agency 2009. Assessment report on Centaurium erythrae rafn. S.L.  Including C. Majus Zeltner and C. Suffruticosum , Herba for the development of a community herbal monograph.
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