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Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

Alternate Title

  • Centaurea cyanus

Related Terms

  • Asteraceae (Family), bachelor’s button, basket flower, bluebottle, bluebow, blue cap, blue cornflower, bluet (French), boutonniere flower, Centaurea cyanus, Centaurea montana, Centaurea scabopsa L., eau de Casselunettes (French), hurt sickle, hurtsickle, protocyanin, scaly cornflower.

Background

  • Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) is native to Europe, where it is considered a weed in fields. However, it is also used as an ornamental flower because of its intense blue flowers, and has become naturalized in North America and Australia. Blue cornflower has been used to flavor teas and to reduce ocular inflammation. Some preliminary studies indicate that cornflower may have anti-inflammatory properties, and blue cornflower did reduce the recurrence of urinary tract stones in one clinical trial. However, high-quality clinical studies need to be conducted before blue cornflower can be recommended for any use.
  • In European phytotherapy, Centaurea cyanus flower heads are used to treat minor ocular (eye) inflammations.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

    U – U


    C C – C

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (18 years and older):

    • There is no safe or proven effective dose for cornflower.
  • Children (younger than 18 years):

    • There is no safe or proven effective dose for cornflower in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), its constituents, or members of the Asteraceae/Compositae family, such as dandelion, goldenrod, ragweed, sunflower, and daisies.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • There is no safety information currently available for blue cornflower. Cornflower is likely safe when used as a flavoring or in traditional medicinal amounts.
    • Use cautiously in patients taking anti-inflammatory agents.
    • Use cautiously in patients in treatment for urinary tract stones.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Cornflower is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Cornflower flowers may have anti-inflammatory properties and caution is advised when taking cornflower with other anti-inflammatory agents.
    • Flowers of the blue cornflower may prevent the recurrence of urolithiasis (urinary tract stones). Caution is advised when taking drugs used to treat urolithiasis.
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Cornflower flowers may have anti-inflammatory properties and caution is advised when taking cornflower with other anti-inflammatory herbs or supplements.
    • Flowers of the blue cornflower may prevent the recurrence of urolithiasis (urinary tract stones). Caution is advised when taking other herbs and supplements used to treat urolithiasis.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • Bablumian IuA. [Antirelapse action of the flowers of the blue cornflower in urolithiasis]. Zh.Eksp.Klin.Med. 1978;18(6):110-114.
    View Abstract
  • Garbacki N, Gloaguen V, Damas J, et al. Anti-inflammatory and immunological effects of Centaurea cyanus flower-heads. J Ethnopharmacol 12-15-1999;68(1-3):235-241.
    View Abstract
  • Sarker SD, Laird A, Nahar L, et al. Indole alkaloids from the seeds of Centaurea cyanus (Asteraceae). Phytochemistry 2001;57(8):1273-1276.
    View Abstract
  • Shiono M, Matsugaki N, Takeda K. Phytochemistry: structure of the blue cornflower pigment. Nature 8-11-2005;436(7052):791.
    View Abstract
  • Takeda K, Osakabe A, Saito S, et al. Components of protocyanin, a blue pigment from the blue flowers of Centaurea cyanus. Phytochemistry 2005;66(13):1607-1613.
    View Abstract