The lesser centaury is a biennial herb that sprout the second year. Its stem is simple and straight, travel to and fro by two pairs of narrow wings alternating clear that going from one to another internode. The lower leaves are ovate and elliptical shape between and form a rosette at the base of the plant, whereas those born in the stem without stem and are narrower and shorter. The flowers are terminal clusters, supported by some very short tails.
One grows in moist soils, in lowland and in heights up to 1,500 m. You find it almost everywhere in the country, being more abundant presence north.
The cornflower blossoms from June to September. Mainly interested in harvesting the flowering tops or about to bloom, are uprooted, taking care not to take the whole plant-and are dried quickly in the shade or in dryer. Once dried, are kept in bags or sealed bags. To see if we are drying properly conducted, we have to see the flowers, which should not have lost its pink color.
In the composition of this herb are bitter glycosides, traces of alkaloids, potassium salts, magnesium and tannins. Among the pharmacological actions include the more obvious it is a good snack because it contains a bitter principle in pure form. In fact, once this species was known as "gall of the earth", alluding to the bitterness that produces its intake. Plant is also a diuretic, carminative, hypoglycemic, stimulating digestive secretions and antipyretic. Externally can be used as vulnerary and anti-inflammatory. All these actions make the cornflower pharmacological child is especially useful in slow digestion, bloating, cold, fever, hipercolestemia, lack of appetite, diabetes and rheumatism. In external use is effective for skin ulcers and wounds, and some even apply it in cases of alopecia, although I must say that you do not get very good results.
Infusion for internal use. Prepared with 30 gr. The tops of cornflower in a quart of boiling water. As of unbearable bitterness, it is almost impossible to cover it up with sugar, so you should add some honey and a dash of anise. This infusion is taken three cups a day, half an hour before meals.
Powder. The plant reduced to powder may be administered at a rate of 2-4 g / day in capsules of 0.25 gr., Taken before main meals.
Decoction for external use. Used at a rate of 60-80 deg. Plant per liter of water, letting it boil for 10 minutes. It should be applied as a wash or compress on wounds or skin ulcers. Those who want to experience this decoction in the fight against baldness, may apply in the form of friction on the scalp.
HABITAT: Wet ground
PART USED: Sumidad florida
CASTILIAN: Hiel de la tierra
CATALAN: Herba centaura
GALICIAN: Herba da fel
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