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Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

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Also listed as: Centaurea cyanus
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

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

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. GRADE *


Cornflower flowers may be helpful in preventing the recurrence of urinary tract stones. However, more studies are needed in this area to confirm these results.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

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.

  • Anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue (promotes menstruation), eye disorders (inflammation), food uses, stimulant, tonic.

Dosing

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

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

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 (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Bablumian IuA. [Antirelapse action of the flowers of the blue cornflower in urolithiasis]. Zh.Eksp.Klin.Med. 1978;18(6):110-114.
  2. 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.
  3. Sarker SD, Laird A, Nahar L, et al. Indole alkaloids from the seeds of Centaurea cyanus (Asteraceae). Phytochemistry 2001;57(8):1273-1276.
  4. Shiono M, Matsugaki N, Takeda K. Phytochemistry: structure of the blue cornflower pigment. Nature 8-11-2005;436(7052):791.
  5. 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.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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