The Cornflower or scientifically called (Centaurea cyanus) are extremely extremely colourful hardy annuals, have light green branching stems topped by deep blue floral centers that are ringed evenly by pointed florets of the same intense blue hue.
The Centaurea cyanus can grow to 30 inches in height with a radius of 12 inches.
Cornflower is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs).
Types of Cornflowers
Does Cornflower have any medicinal use?
YES. A flower with great qualities, one of them as medicinal treatment, they also can be used as home remedies. Its great benefits are used both internally as well as externally in the human body. These benefits can help many people.
Internal medicinal uses
- The plant’s medicinal value lies primarily in its anti-inflammatory properties. Taken internally as an herbal tea, it is thought to aid in soothing stomach ulcers, while rinsing with the tea is used to speed the healing of sores or bleeding gums in the mouth.
- The tea can also be good for improving digestion, and the herb’s high antioxidant content aids in detoxifying the liver.
- Stronger infusions of the flower buds have been used to treat urinary tract infections, as the properties of the plant include antibiotic and antiseptic qualities.
- Taken internally as a tea, the flowers can also impart their antibiotic and antioxidant properties as a preventative for warding off illnesses like the common cold.
- An infusion of the seeds has been used historically in Europe for treating constipation. A gentle infusion of the petals is also said to treat yeast infections in women when applied internally.
- Cornflowers are also thought to stimulate the appetite when taken as a tea.
External medicinal uses
- The natural tannin found in the plant helps to bind proteins, which makes its use as a wound treatment particularly effective. It can assist in stopping bleeding in open wounds and bleeding gums.
- The addition, the phytochemical coumarin acts as an anticoagulant by crushing the leaves and applying their juice directly to a wound. The plant also has a beneficial effect when the flower heads and crushed leaves are applied as a poultice to bruises, aching muscles, and inflamed joints, due to its anti-inflammatory qualities.
- A highly concentrated infusion of the flower heads, either fresh or dried, can be used as a wash on the scalp to get rid of dandruff. Furthermore, the herb can be used to sooth eczema flare-ups.
- Historically, cornflower is renowned for its use as a soothing eyewash, especially in France. With its anti-inflammatory qualities paired alongside its antiseptic properties, the herb is believed to be an effective eyewash when treating conjunctivitis.
- Due to the plant’s astringent qualities, it is also useful in treating puffy eyes or the dark circles that can accompany other eye complaints.
Cornflower dosage and administration
When added to herbal teas, one gram of the crushed flowers per cup of water is an appropriate strength.
To make an herbal infusion of the flower heads for use as an eyewash, take two teaspoons of the dried petals and add to a steaming cup of water. Allow to cool and then strain the infusion before using as a refreshing wash for tired eyes or splashing on irritated skin.
For flaky scalp or other skin ailments, a stronger infusion of the petals can be made, applying a poultice of the flower heads directly onto affected areas. A warm poultice is also useful for aching joints. Several tablespoons of the dried or fresh flower heads can be mashed and steeped in steaming water for 15 minutes before applying.
Possible side effects and interactions of Cornflower
Therapeutically, it can be used both internally as well as externally without the risk of any major side effects.
Those with a known allergic sensitivity to ragweed, daisies, dandelions or sunflowers will need to avoid cornflowers, due to the possibility of a similar allergic reaction. Those who are pregnant or nursing should consult a physician before ingesting any tinctures or infusions.
As cornflowers have an anti-inflammatory characteristic, their use in conjunction with other anti-inflammatory drugs should be carefully monitored. Those who are being treated for urinary tract stones should also avoid large quantities of infusions of the flower heads, as its diuretic properties will act in addition to the treatment already applied by other medications.
The German Commission E does not indicate any risks or side effects associated with a moderate use of cornflower.
Is the Cornflower edible?
Cornflowers make a beautiful addition to fresh salads, where their nutritional value adds calcium, mineral salts, folate and vitamin C to the diet.
The powdered florets can also be added to sugar when making colored cake frosting or other confectionery.
Cornflower has a use of colorant and dye
As an addition to the herb’s medicinal uses or as an ingredient in black tea blends, the cornflower can be used for a splash of color as well as for its slightly astringent flavor.
- Steeping the blooms in clear alcohols like vodka also produces a deeply-hued blue tincture that has an aesthetic use as a component in cocktails and may have beneficial medicinal uses, although using the herb in the form of tea or infusion is more practical.
- Adding cornflowers to alum water and boiling the mixture creates a pleasing blue hue that can be used to dye linen or wool yarn. Historically, cornflowers have also been used to produce ink colors and watercolor washes.
- Added to potpourris, the petals provide a spot of bright blue as well as a delicate scent.
How to plant Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower)
Sow seeds from March to May outdoors for flowers from June to September, or sow during August and September to flower slightly earlier the following year.
Sow seeds thinly in finely raked, moist soil where you want the plants to flower, at a depth of 13mm (½in) covering the seeds lightly with soil. Water the soil during dry periods.
Thin the seedlings in stages to 15-23cm (6-9in) apart when they’re large enough to handle.
You can buy young plants from garden centres, nurseries or mail order suppliers for planting in spring.
Dig over the planting area, incorporating lots of organic matter – such as compost or planting compost, especially if the soil is heavy clay or light, well-drained sandy soil. Dig a good sized hole big enough to easily accommodate the rootball.
Place the rootball in the planting hole and adjust the planting depth so that the crown of leaves is at soil level.
Mix in more organic matter with the excavated soil and fill in the planting hole. Apply a general granular food over the soil around the plants and water in well.
Suggested Planting Locations and Gardens Types: Flower borders and beds, patios, containers, city and courtyard gardens, cottage and informal gardens, cut flower garden.
How to grow cornflower?
Soil: Any good garden soil.
Sunlight: Full sun.
Frost tolerant: Young cornflower seedlings can tolerate freezing temperatures, so seeds can be planted in early spring, or in the fall where winters are mild.
Feeding: Fast growth is encouraged by mixing a balanced organic fertilizer into the soil before planting.
Companions: Wheat, Oats and Crimson Clover. Cornflowers have an upright posture that helps them fit in tight spaces. Intersperse throughout the garden, as cornflower nectar is unusually sweet, and thus a preferred food source for many beneficial insects.
- Single plants: 7 “(20 cm) each way (minimum)
- Rows: 7 ″ (20 cm) with 7 “(20 cm) row gap (minimum)
Rice-size cornflower seeds are much loved by goldfinches and other small seed-eating birds..
Harvesting: Cornflowers make good cut flowers. Pull up the plants in mid to late summer, when they no longer look attractive.
Troubleshooting: Cornflowers may be nibbled by rabbits, especially in early spring when other food is scarce.