Reference Number: 466
Inclusions: Edible flowers
Centaurea cyanus flower-heads are used in European phytotherapy for the treatment of minor ocular inflammations. Different pharmacological experiments (inhibition of carrageenan, zymosan and croton oil-induced oedemas, inhibition of plasma haemolytic activity, induction of anaphylatoxin activity) showed that polysaccharides extracted from C. cyanus flower-heads had anti-inflammatory properties and interfered with complement. Moreover, these polysaccharides were found to be mainly composed of galacturonic acid, arabinose, glucose, rhamnose and galactose.
Significance of this study to the baker:
This study looks at the potential health benefits of Cornflowers. We add this edible flower into our botanical blends, not only for these benefits but also to improve diversity to support our gut microbiome.
Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) are native to the UK and once grew vigorously through our corn crops. When farmers however began using herbicides, they started to disappear and are now rare in the wild. They are easy to grow, flowering all summer. These flowers are electric blue in colour due to their levels of anthocyanins (polyphenols) and not only give a wonderful colour to the countryside but also hold antioxidant potential. This study finds that the further polysaccharide content of the flower has been found to contain the bioactive ingredients to exert health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activities. Although there is no human evidence to suggest these health properties directly from the Cornflower at this stage, laboratory based studies find the flower to promote these fundamental health boosting properties.