The main uses of cornflower flowers are as a colouring ingredient in herbal teas and traditionally as a lotion to soothe irritation of the eyes. A wide range of traditional uses have been recorded, including the use of infusions to improve digestion, regulate the gallbladder, liver and kidneys, menstrual disorders, and to help increase resistance to infections. Externally, it can be used to clean infected wounds and as a hair wash. Leaf decoctions were once used to help support joint pain.
Blue Cornflower Centaurea cyanus L.
Other Names: Bleuet (French); Kornblume (German); fioraliso (Italian); azulejo (Spanish).
Description: An annual, widely branched herb of up to 0.5 m in height and width. The lower leaves are lobed and stalked; the upper ones simple, oblong to linear and sessile. The attractive flower heads are usually bright blue, but white, purple or pink forms (mainly ornamental varieties) also occur.
Origin: Europe and the Near East. It is well known as a weed of cornfields (introduced with cereal seeds around the world) but is no longer common as a result of modern weed control methods. Plants are collected in the wild.
Parts Used: The flowers; the pharmacopoeas distinguish between products prepared from ligulate flowers and those with complete flowers (Cyani flos), rarely the leaves. When produced for use as a natural colorant, the flower heads should be dried in the dark to help avoid fading.
Therapeutic Category: General tonic, stomachic, diuretic.
Active Ingredients: The active ingredients are thought to be anthocyanins (anthocyanidin glycosides), and sesquiterpene lactones, including cnicin. Also present are polyacetylenes and flavonoids.
Health Effects: The anthocyanins are mainly used as natural colorants but are known to have some antibacterial and antioxidant effects. There is no documented scientific support for the various traditional uses. See also Centaurea benedicta.
Notes: One of the most common purple pigments in flowers is called cyanidin because it was first extracted from the flowers of Centaurea cyanus.
Status: Traditional health.
Preparation and Dosage: Infusions of one or two teaspoons (1 g) in a cup of boiling water are taken or applied externally. Dried flowers are incorporated in herbal teas.
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Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Use 1 heaping teaspoon of cornflower petals for each cup, and place into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes. Pour into your cup; add milk and sugar to taste.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 tea bags into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea itself. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the serving pitcher straining the tea bags. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
Shipping Port: Rotterdam
Cup Characteristics: Lovely blue petals carry a neutral flavor. (Commonly used to provide color in tea blends)
Infusion: Tending blue infusion
ZooScape is proud to be the exclusive distributor of TerraVita teas, herbs and supplements in the United States, Canada and around the world. Please direct all wholesale and bulk inquiries to Simona Heather at 1-844-449-0444.
End of More Photographs - Cornflower Petals Tea (Loose)
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."