Cornflower blue – blue cornflower

Name: Blue cornflower – blue cornflower

Blue cornflower (Centaurea cyanus); family of Asteraceae, or Compositae; Cornflower is blue


Nature often tells us exquisite combinations of colors. Walking past a field of rye or wheat, you can see bright blue islands among a sea of ​​golden ears. Extraordinary beauty!

This is a cornflower blue, one- or two-year plant 25-60 cm tall. The root is thin, rod-shaped, the leaves are linear-lanceolate, with cobweb pubescence. Flowers are collected in baskets,

the outermost flowers in the inflorescence are funnel-shaped, the middle ones are tubular. They bloom in July-September. Some time after flowering, the edges of the flowers turn pink, and then turn white – the anthocyanin pigments, which give the plant’s flowers their amazing color, are decomposed. Weeds are an unwelcome guest in the grain field of cornflowers. In addition to crops, it grows on dry meadows, grassy and weedy places almost throughout the middle strip of Russia and everywhere in Ukraine.

For the preparation of medicinal products, only the outermost flowers of the plant are collected during the period of full bloom. Dry quickly, in warm, well-ventilated rooms (with slow drying, the petals lose their color and become unusable).

Cornflower flowers contain a rich set of chemicals: glycosides, alkaloids, anthocyanin dyes, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), carotene (provitamin A) and many other complex organic compounds.

The plant has been known since ancient times. Not only because of its delicate beauty, but also because of its medicinal properties. According to legends, cornflower was used by the legendary centaur healer Chiron. She was also known to the outstanding doctor of the East, Avicenna. Its flowers are included in diuretic collections, which are especially effective in edema of renal and cardiac origin, they are used as a disinfectant, anti-inflammatory and mild choleretic agent, as well as to relieve spasms of smooth muscles in liver diseases (hepatic colic).

In traditional medicine, a decoction of cornflower flowers (sometimes mixed with other medicinal plants) is used for various inflammatory eye diseases, for example, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, as well as for visual fatigue and impaired vision. Lotions from the decoction are used for furunculosis, eczema, trophic ulcers, and alopecia areata. Infusions of cornflower flowers work well for diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract, they are used as an antipyretic for colds. The head is washed with the infusion to stimulate hair growth and treat dandruff, and the skin of the face is wiped with it if it is excessively oily.

Decoctions and infusions of plant flowers should be used internally with caution, as they have toxic properties. Any use of its products is contraindicated during pregnancy.

The usefulness of the plant is not limited to its medicinal value. Cornflower blue is a wonderful honey plant. Bees actively visit her flowers to collect nectar and pollen. The honey productivity of the plant is 30-40 kg per hectare. Cornflower honey is greenish-yellow, thick, with a pleasant almond smell and an original bitter taste.

In the old days, a wonderful blue dye was obtained from cornflowers, which resembled ultramarine. To do this, the middle flowers were taken, the juice was squeezed out of them in a marble mortar with a pestle, alum was added – and the paint was ready for use. Pale blue paint was made from the outermost flowers.

Infusion of petals. 1 tablespoon of petals per glass of boiling water. Insist for 10 minutes, filter. Take 1 tablespoon 3 times a day.

Infusion of petals (external). 1 tablespoon per glass of boiling water. Insist for 10 minutes, filter. For lotions for eye diseases.

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