Centaurium cachanlahuen

Centaurium cachanlahuen

Cachalangua (Centaurium cachanlahuen (Molina) BLRob.) Is a herbaceous species belonging to the Gentianaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Domain Eukaryota,
Kingdom Plantae,
Division Magnoliophyta,
Class Magnoliopsida,
Order Gentianales,
Gentianaceae family,
Genus Centaurium,
C. cachanlahuen species.
The terms are synonymous:
– Centaurium chilense (Willd.) Druce;
– Centaurium chilense var. humble (Phil.) Druce;
– Centaurium chilense var. paposanum (Phil.) Druce;
– Chironia chilensis Willd .;
– Erythraea cachanlahuen (Molina) Roem. & Schult .;
– Erythraea chilensis (Willd.) Pers .;
– Erythraea pallida Willd .;
– Erythraea pallida Willd. ex Griseb .;
– Gentiana cachanlahuen Molina;
– Gentiana canchalagua Palau;
– Gentiana Peruviana Lam .;
– Hippion cachalahuan F.W.Schmidt;
– Hippion cachanlahuen (Molina) F.W.Schmidt.

Etymology –
The term Centaurium has a contrasting etymology whose common basis is the Latin centaurus, Greek κένταυρος céntauros centaur, mythological figure half man and half horse; according to some from the cantauria grass, cited by Lucretius, Virgil and Pliny; for others it comes from κενταύριον centaúrion name used by Hippocrates and Theophrastus for a plant whose medical properties were discovered by the mythical centaur Chiron; finally, according to others, from κενταύριον centaúrion, the name used by Dioscorides for a plant with red flowers.
The specific epithet cachanlahuen is an alteration of the cachanlaguen that comes from cachan, voice of the Spanish verb which means to capture + lahuen, medicinal herb.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Centaurium cachanlahuen is a species native to an area ranging from Peru to southern South America to Chile.

Description –
Centaurium cachanlahuen is an annual erabcean species growing from 15 to 40 cm in height.
It has a taproot with short secondary roots.
The leaves are oval, opposite and light green.
The flowers are formed by five petals of lilac color and carried at the end of short light green stems.

Cultivation –
Centaurium cachanlahuen is a plant that grows spontaneously in habitats at the edge of the woods or in the prairies of South America.

Customs and Traditions –
Cachalangua, known by the names of Cachanlahue, Cachen, Kachan-l-awen is a herb used, especially by the populations of South America and Chile for medicinal uses.
This plant has found use for fever, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus; it is considered a blood purifier in rheumatic conditions, circulatory and hepatic disorders. It also stimulates appetite and promotes digestion.
There is some scientific evidence on the febrifugal and antihypertensive effects.
Precautions for use are recommended not to administer the high-concentration infusion to those who are taking hypoglycaemic and antihypertensive drugs, as it can boost the effects of these drugs. These products have the character of symptomatic auxiliaries and do not replace what is indicated by the doctor in the treatment of a disease. Avoiding its preparation in aluminum utensils.

Preparation Method –
Green parts of the plant and flowers are used of the Centaurium cachanlahuen.
An infusion can be prepared using a teaspoon of herb for each cup boiled: it is recommended to drink one cup a day.
The preparation can also be done using infusion bags, letting it rest for 2-3 minutes, covering the cup; a sachet is used in freshly boiled water.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and Experiences with Medicinal Herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.




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