The herbaceous plant centaurium (Centaurium) is a member of the gentian family. This genus unites about 20 species. In natural conditions, representatives of this kind can be found in areas with a subtropical and temperate climate of Eurasia, Australia, as well as North and South America. On the territory of Russia, such a plant is popularly called the spool, thousandth, gold-thousander, spool grass and hearthorn. The centaury contains medicinal substances, thanks to which it is considered a medicinal plant.
Centaury is an annual or perennial herb, its stems can be branching or simple. Stem-embracing or sessile leaf plates are entire and opposite. The double-beam corymbose inflorescence consists of yellow, pink or white flowers. Flowering begins in June or August. The fruit is a bivalve box, which has one or two nests, and many seeds ripen in them.
Back in the 13th century, it became known about the medicinal properties of this plant. To date, the preparations of such a herbaceous plant are part of the pharmacological groups of appetite regulators, as well as antihelminthic and laxatives under the trade name "centaury grass".
Most often, as a medicinal plant, gardeners cultivate the common centaury species. For its cultivation, experts recommend choosing an open and well-lit area, and such grass can also be grown under trees in partial shade. The centaury plant grows best on sandy loam or loamy soil, while the groundwater must lie at a depth of at least 200-300 centimeters.
The seed, which must be harvested in nature, is combined with sand in a ratio of 1: 5. Sowing seeds is carried out in spring in dug, rolled and moistened soil to a depth of 0.5 to 1 centimeter. The row spacing can vary from 0.45 to 0.6 meters. For several days, the surface of the site must be covered with agrofibre or film, which will allow the seedlings to appear much faster than usual. After the first plants appear, the shelter should be removed. After they grow up a little, they must be thinned out.
Many gardeners cultivate this crop through seedlings and then transplant it outdoors. Sowing seeds for seedlings is carried out in the last days of February or the first in March. Planting seedlings in open ground must be carried out in the last days of May, while the distance between the bushes should be 5-10 centimeters.
Centaury needs the same care as many other garden crops. With prolonged drought, the bushes must be watered, they also need to ensure timely weeding and loosening of the soil surface between the rows. And if necessary, the centaury is protected from harmful insects and diseases.
Such grass is characterized by slow growth, in this regard, weeding is carried out more often than usual, otherwise the seedlings may be drowned out by weeds. In the first year of growth, only a small leaf rosette will form in the bushes. The collection of medicinal raw materials begins to be carried out from the second year of growth, while experienced gardeners recommend sowing this grass for 2 years in a row, however, different areas are used for this. In the first year, it will be necessary to collect medicinal raw materials from the first bed, and in the second - from the second site, next year - again from the first, and so on.
Centaury is very resistant to diseases and harmful insects. However, in some cases, pests from crops growing nearby can move to it. If it rains too often in the summer, then such a plant rots.
If, nevertheless, the bushes get sick, they must be treated, resorting exclusively to folk remedies, while using chemical preparations containing harmful substances in their composition is not recommended, since they can accumulate in the grass.
The centaury herb has medicinal properties. The collection of raw materials is carried out at the beginning of flowering, this must be done in time until the basal leaf rosette begins to turn yellow. Shoots must be cut at a height of 10 to 15 centimeters from the soil surface. The grass is tied in bunches, which must be dried by tying it under the roof of an attic or other room, which must be cool, shady and well ventilated. Drying of medicinal raw materials should not be carried out in direct sunlight, since because of this the grass burns out, and together with the presentation it loses some of its medicinal properties. For drying, the bunches need to be made small enough, since large ones dry for a very long time. Dried raw materials are stored for storage in cardboard boxes, paper bags or fabric bags, then they are put away in a cool, dark and dry place, where it can be stored for 1.5–2 years.
Or small centaury, or umbellate centaury, or centuria, or centauri, or seven-strong. This type is the most popular among gardeners. The height of the tetrahedral erect stem can vary from 0.1 to 0.5 m. In the upper part, it is branched. In the first year of growth, a basal rosette is formed at the bush, consisting of lanceolate leaf plates with short petioles. Crosswise opposite sessile leaf plates can have an oblong-ovate or lanceolate shape, and also longitudinal veins. Shield-shaped inflorescences consist of deep pink flowers. They include tubular cups, 5 sepals, and a corolla with an almost flat bend. Flowering is observed in June-September, while in August, fruits begin to ripen, which are capsules reaching 10 millimeters in length. The fruits contain brown small, round seeds.
This species is much less common in natural conditions. The height of such an annual plant is about 15 centimeters. In comparison with other species, the formation of a basal rosette does not occur in the bushes. Stem leaf plates are opposite. The five-membered flowers are pink in color, and in length they reach 0.8 centimeters, their disclosure occurs only in sunny weather. Flowering is observed in July – September. The fruit is a capsule that reaches 1.9 cm in length and contains very small dark brown seeds. This species was included in the Red Book of Latvia, as well as several regions of Russia and Ukraine. The aerial part of the bush (foliage, shoots and flowers) is used as a medicinal raw material.
The composition of the medicinal raw material of centaury includes alkaloids, essential oils, flavone glycosides, phytosterols, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, manganese, iron, resins, mucus, ascorbic acid and organic acids. Due to this composition, this plant has an anticancer, antispasmodic, hepatoprotective, antiviral, tonic, antiarrhythmic and laxative effect. This herb is recommended for non-healing wounds, inflammatory diseases, fragility of the walls of blood vessels, chronic sinusitis, and even with painful menstruation, toxicosis of the first half of pregnancy, uterine bleeding and for the recovery of the uterus after childbirth.
Infusion of centaury herb is used for heartburn, to improve digestion, with flatulence and other problems of the digestive system. To prepare it, you need to combine 10 grams of dry herb with 1 tbsp. freshly boiled water. When the mixture is infused, strain it. The remedy is drunk three times a day before meals, 1 tbsp. l.
The broth will help get rid of worms. To prepare it, you need to combine 1 gram of wormwood with the same amount of centaury herb and 1 tbsp. The mixture is heated in a water bath. The cooled broth is filtered and drunk in the morning on an empty stomach. You need to be treated for at least 7 days.
An alcoholic tincture of this herb is taken for poor digestion, diabetes, heartburn and constipation. To prepare it, you need to take 1 tbsp. l. dry herb, which should be crushed to a powdery state. Then the herb is combined with 30 milligrams of rubbing alcohol. The container must be tightly corked and removed for 1.5 weeks in a dark and cool place. The strained tincture should be drunk within 30 minutes. before a meal, 20-30 drops, which are combined with water.
Such a medicinal herb is contraindicated for those who have individual intolerance. It also cannot be used by people suffering from gastritis with highly acidic acidity, diarrhea, duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers. If the drug is taken for too long or in case of an overdose, poisoning and indigestion may develop. Centaury is not recommended for people with a tendency to obesity, as this plant stimulates the appetite.
Centaury medicinal properties
Hello, friends! Today I will tell you about a useful and beautiful plant: schisandra chinensis, the cultivation and care of which I consider an easy task, but still requires some knowledge. So if you are an inexperienced gardener and you don’t have schisandra, but you want to plant it in your garden, I think this note will be useful to you.
Lespedeza are perennial herbaceous plants, dwarf shrubs or deciduous shrubs. Shoots are creeping or hanging. The stem of some species is covered with short velvet hairs. Hanging inflorescences resemble brushes in shape. The fruit of the plant is a non-opening one-seeded pod, which is formed by the beginning of autumn. The plant is the basis of medicines, for example, from the shoots of Lespedeca bicolor, preparations are made that increase the rate of urine formation and relieve inflammation.
Iberis flowers are absolutely not capricious, they develop well for everyone who wants to plant them on their site. The main thing when planting and caring for Iberis is to follow some simple rules. An open, well-lit site is chosen for planting, since in partial shade the flowering becomes less luxurious. The plant does not particularly suffer from drafts and a slight cold snap. Water sparingly to prevent excess water at the roots. Complex mineral fertilizers and mullein are applied no more than three times a summer. The tops of the shoots are cut off after the end of flowering; at the end of summer, the stencil will probably re-please with flowering.
Perennial five-year-old representatives of the stennik need a transplant, otherwise their flowers become tiny, losing their former attractiveness.
After the flowers of Iberis wilt, the annual varieties of the crop are removed from the soil along with the root, and the perennial varieties are pruned. During this period, material is prepared for planting for the next year. They monitor the fading inflorescences, cut them off, dry them.
When cultivating variegated, as with growing any other plant, some difficulties may arise. The leaves of the plant may dry out, begin to crumble, the plant may stretch out and not bloom. All these difficulties are solved by regulating the growing conditions of the stennik, proper watering, and sufficient lighting.
Not everyone has the opportunity to regularly travel to the fields in order to harvest medicinal herbs, and having a forest pharmacy close by is both the desire and the opportunity. In this case, you can buy centaury seeds and grow it in the garden, like other vegetable and ornamental plants.
In this case, the main thing is to find a suitable place for a centaury - it should be open, located on the southern side of the garden, on a hill. The fact is that the grass loves the Sun and dryness (remember where it grows in nature: in the steppe and in the fields), and excess moisture is only a path to rot and disease.
The centaury seeds are small, so for sowing convenience they must be mixed with sand and planted shallowly, to a maximum of 5 mm (like carrot seeds). After sowing, the soil must be compacted with a roller and watered abundantly with warm water, and then covered with a film or agrospan so that the moisture does not evaporate too quickly.
With the seedling method of growing, seeds for seedlings should be planted in early March, and planted in open ground when the threat of recurrent frosts has passed. The distance between adjacent seedlings should be about 10 cm.
Caring for centaury is simple: watering, weeding and loosening the soil crust as needed. Weeding is most often required - centaury grows slowly and it is quickly clogged by "local" weeds.
The collection of medicinal raw materials is carried out in the second year plant life, therefore regular cultivation should alternate in two areas: on one - adolescents, on the second - commercial plants.
Usually pests bypass centaury, but if they did attack your plants, try to avoid chemical treatment, use all safe control methods. Remember that this herb will be used internally for the treatment of diseases, which means that we do not need chemistry.