Cornflower blue

Diseases and effects: kidney and bladder diseases, colds, malaria, conjunctivitis.

Active substances: glycosides cyanine, centaurin, chicoryin.

Collection time:  June – July

Asteraceae family – Compositae\r

An annual herbaceous grayish-green plant, reaching a height of 60-100 cm. The stems are erect, branching from the middle. The branches are thin, long, directed obliquely upwards. The leaves are lanceolate-linear, the lower ones are entire or pinnately lobed, the upper ones are entire. Basal leaves die off by the time of flowering. Blooms in June – July. Flower baskets solitary, with ovoid or oblong involucre. The median flowers are small, tubular, blue-violet, the marginal ones are larger, funnel-shaped, blue. The fruit is a smooth achene with a tuft, ripens in August.\r

Several substances have been found in cornflower flowers. The main ones are considered to be glycosides cyanine, centaurin and chicoryin. Cyanine, which has a blue color, provides the color of the flowers of the plant.\r

An infusion of cornflower flowers (10 g per glass of water) is taken one third – half a glass as a mild diuretic. In folk medicine, such an infusion is sometimes used in the treatment of diseases of the kidneys and bladder, with colds (as an antipyretic), malaria. There is evidence of its use also as a mild laxative. G.V. Krylov (1969) indicates that an infusion of flowers is used as a lotion for conjunctivitis, and crushed leaves of the plant are used as a local wound healing agent. Cornflower flowers are part of some diuretic preparations.\r

There is experimental evidence that a liquid extract and a decoction of cornflower flowers have a choleretic effect (Telyatyev, 1969).\r

Medicinal raw materials are the marginal flowers of flower baskets, harvested during full flowering. They are plucked by hand and dried in a warm, darkened room, spreading in a thin layer on sheets of clean paper. Dried flowers are stored in a tightly sealed container in a dark, dry place.

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