MEDICINAL PART. The herb.
    Description. -- This plant has a yellow fibrous, biennial root, with an erect, smooth, quadrangular stem, with the angles winged, having many opposite branches, and growing from one to two feet in height. The leaves are opposite, fine-veined, smooth, entire, from one to five inches in length, and from half an inch to one and a half inches wide, clasping the stem. The flowers are numerous, from an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half in diameter, of a rich rose or carnation color, standing, as it were at the tops of one umbril or tuft, very like those of St. John's wort, opening themselves in the day-time and closing at night, after which come seed in little short husks, in forms like unto wheat corn. There are three varieties of the Centaury in England, one kind bearing white flowers, another yellow, and another red. All have medicinal properties, although the Americna variety is considered preferable to the European Centaury.
    History. -- This plant is common to most parts of the United States, growing in moist meadows, among high grass, on the prairies, and in damp, rich soils, flowering from June to September. The whole herb is used. It has a very bitter taste, and yields its virtues to water or alcohol. The best time for gathering it is during the flowering season. In England they use the red Centaury in diseases of the blood, the yellow in choleric diseases, and the white in those of phlegm and water.
    Properties and Uses. -- It is an excellent tonic. It is used in all fall periodic febrile diseases, both as a preventive and a remedy. It is also serviceable as a bitter tonic in dyspepsia and convalescence from fevers. When administered in warm infusion it is a domestic remedy for worms and so restore the menstrual secretion.
    Dose. -- Of the powder, from half a drachm to a drachm; of the cold infusion, a teacupful every two or three hours; of the tincture, a wineglassful; of the extract, from two to six grains.