Blue cornflower. Blue cornflower fruits
Specification & Spread
Blue cornflower flowers — flores centaureae cyani
Blue cornflower — centaurea cyanus l.
Composite family – asteraceae (compositae)
Other names: cornflower, basilisk, knapweed, blueflower, centaury.
It is an annual or biennial herb with a thin taproot and branching thin stem 30-80 cm tall.
The leaves are alternate, the lower - petiolate, trifoliate or pinnatilobate, the upper - linear-lanceolate, large-toothed or entire, sessile. Like the stem, the leaves are slightly cobweb-felt, grey-green. The flower baskets are single, large, on long peduncles located at the ends of stems, with a cover of tiled-like membranous leaves.
The marginal flowers are blue, funnel-shaped, asexual, uneven five-pronged; the middle - purple, tubular, bisexual. The median flowers are 2 times more than marginal. The fruit is an elongated grey seed with a short, easily breaking off tuft.
It blooms in June - July, the fruits ripen in August.
The plant easily tolerates autumn frosts.
Spreading. It is field weed, widespread in the European part of the country, except for the Far North and arid southern regions. In Western Siberia is found only in the southern regions. There are winter and spring forms.
Habitat. It grows in crops of rye, wheat and other grain crops, it is sometimes found in pairs, young fallow lands, garbage places.
The main active ingredients of blue cornflower flowers are
- anthocyanins: cyanine - cyanidin diglucoside, pelargonidin glycosides,
- as well as flavonoids, represented by derivatives of apigenin, luteolin, quercetin and kaempferol.
In addition, there are
- coumarins (cicornina),
- some essential oil
- bitter glycosides.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting. For medical purposes, use only marginal and partially median tubular flowers without baskets. The raw materials are collected immediately after the blooming of flowers in a basket. At a later harvesting, the flowers turn white. The quality of raw materials depends not only on the time of collection, but also on the methods of drying. When harvesting, tear off the baskets of cornflower or cut off, and pull out the edge flowers. The receptacle and the wrapper are discarded.
Drying. It is dried in rooms with good ventilation, laying flowers in a thin layer (1-2 cm) on paper. It is better to dry quickly in artificial dryers at a temperature of 50-60 °C.
Storage. It is stored in a dry, well-ventilated area and in a dark place.
External signs of raw materials
Blue cornflower flowers
A mixture of marginal and median flowers.
The marginal flowers are asexual, irregular, with a funnel-shaped corolla up to 2 cm long, with 5-8 deeply incised lanceolate lobes of the limb and a tubular base up to 6 mm long. The median ones are bisexual, with a tubular 5-toothed rim about 1 cm long, sharply narrowed from the middle to the base.
There are 5 stamens, with loose woolly threads and fused anthers.
The pistil is with a lower ovary.
The colour of the marginal flowers is blue, colorless at the base; the median - blue-violet.
The smell is weak. The taste is slightly spicy.
Properties and application
The pharmacological properties of blue cornflower
Blue cornflower flowers in the form of infusion:
- increase diuresis,
- have a choleretic effect,
- have antimicrobial properties,
- have an antispasmodic effect.
In clinical studies on patients with urolithiasis, it was found that extracts of blue cornflower flowers:
- increase diuresis,
- lower blood concentration of substances involved in stone formation (calcium, inorganic phosphorus, uric acid),
- increase the clearance of phosphorus in the urine,
- reduce the level of uricemia and uric acid in the urine.
Application of blue cornflower
Blue cornflower flowers are used:
- with edema in patients with heart disease as a diuretic;
- as a diuretic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases,
- the kidneys,
- urinary tract (pyelonephritis, cystitis, urethritis),
- prostate gland,
- in patients with impaired salt metabolism (urolithiasis, gallstone disease) as a means of diuretic and regulating salt metabolism.
The bitterness found in the plant improves digestive function.
Choleretic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties of blue cornflower flowers are used for:
- biliary dyskinesia,
It is contradicted with uterine bleeding and during pregnancy.