Herb-Drug Interactions: Centaury

Centaurium erythraea Rafn. (Gentianaceae)

Synonym(s) and related species

Century, Common centaury, Feverwort.

Centaurium minus Auct. subsp. minus, Centaurium minus Moench, Centaurium umbellatum Gilib., Erythraea centaurium (L.) Pers.


Centaury (British Ph 2009, European Ph, 6th ed., 2008 and Supplements 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4).


The iridoids (bitters) are considered to be the main active constituents of centaury, and include gentiopicroside (about 2%), with centapicrin, gentioflavoside, sweroside and swertiamarin and m-hydroxybenzoylesters of sweroside, and catapicrin. Highly methylated xanthones, including eustomin and 8-demethyleustomin, have been found recently. Alkaloids of the pyridine type, including gentianine, gentianidine, gentioflavine, are also found in trace amounts. The triterpenoids alpha- and beta-amyrin, erythrodiol, crataegolic acid, oleanolic acid and sitosterol are also present

Use and indications

Centaury is used for disorders of the upper digestive tract, mainly dyspepsia. It is also used in anorexia and has reported anti-inflammatory activity. It should not be taken by patients with peptic ulceration.


No relevant pharmacokinetic data found.

Interactions overview

No interactions with centaury found.