This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Centaurium Majus, five Rbapon-ticum vulgare officinarum, Pharm. Paris. Cen-taurium majus folio in plures lacinias diviso C. B. Centaurea Centaureum Linn. Great centaury: a large plant, with the leaves composed of oblong serrated segments set in pairs on a middle rib, which is edged, in the intermediate spaces, with a serrated margin: the stalk divides, towards the upper part, into several branches, bearing, on the tops, round soft scaly heads, from which come forth bluifh flofculi, followed by down inclosing the seeds. It is perennial, a native of the southern parts of Europe, and raised with us in gardens.
The root of this plant, of a dark blackish colour on the outside, is internally reddish, and yields, when fresh, a juice of a deep red. It has a flight smell, not disagreeable; and in chewing discovers a viscous sweetishness and roughness, with some degree of acrimony. It is reckoned aperient and corroborant, and sup-posed to be particularly useful in alvine fluxes; in which intention it has by some been greatly recommended, though apparently much in-feriour to the root whole place it was employed to supply, to wit, the true rhapontic. Among us it has long been discarded from practice, and is now dropt by the colleges both of London and Edinburgh.