Blue cornflower - centauria cyanis - centaur medicine


Centaurea cyanus healed wounds even centaurs

I remember my post-war childhood, when we ran to the fields of rye, swaying in waves of endless expanses, after cornflowers. The cornflower was supposed to be inserted into a bouquet of daisies, only then this bouquet became complete and filled with some special, deep meaning.

Chamomiles grew in meadows, we chose the largest, most beautiful chamomiles, but such cornflowers never grew in meadows. Only in the rye. Amazing flower. And the color is called by his name - cornflower blue. A rare color.

The poet Vladimir Soloukhin told his readers his observation: cornflowers do not grow in vain in rye. Rye loves very much when cornflowers grow in it, without them it is somehow lonely and bored, even the yield is lower. Academicians then trampled Soloukhin along with cornflowers. Indeed, all collective farms fought against this villainous weed.

Now the struggle has lost its meaning: in our area, not only cornflowers, but also rye are not visible. The cornflower becomes a legend of the past, when it was a symbol of sweet loaves. It is not for nothing that many peoples celebrated the holidays of bread in wreaths of cornflowers. And in Russia, too, rituals and holidays with the participation of a cornflower were widespread, for example, the holiday of the "birthday sheaf", or the rite of "driving the ear" - N.F. Zolotnitsky in his famous book.


The ancient Romans did not fight the cornflower. They believed that he should grow in the rye as a servant of the heavenly gods, sent to be a shepherd among the ears, to sanctify them. Cornflowers should remind the reaper of the sky. In the old days, cornflower was widely used in the life of European residents.

So, a very beautiful blue paint, similar to ultramarine, was mined from them. For this, they took not circumferential, reed, petals, but tubular ones, located in the center of the flower, in which the color is darker, squeezed juice from them, which was mixed with alum. A paler blue paint was made from the edge flowers. Now, of course, they don't use such paint.

They knew how to make vinegar from cornflowers, which was sold in all vegetable shops. In European states, the cornflower was even used in political battles: it was made a symbol of some no longer existing parties, it was called the emblem of freedom during all strikes, etc. The cornflower became the talisman of the German imperial family, which gave us another princess to become the Russian empress. They also say that when our great fabulist I.A. Krylov, Empress Maria Feodorovna (former Princess Charlotte) sent him a bunch of cornflowers, which greatly contributed to his recovery.

Cornflower has long been considered the best flower for wreaths. Its stems are thin, long, do not break when weaving a wreath. Covered with soft fibers that give them a silvery shade. The blue of a cornflower-blue wreath will adorn any face, especially a Slavic, blue-eyed and peasant ruddy.

And a bouquet of cornflowers is an unsurpassed delicacy. According to one of the legends, our Russian name for the flower came from the name of a young, and, of course, a handsome guy named Vasil. He was bewitched by a mermaid, lured into a field, where he died in her arms, and his soul moved into a blue flower. Since then, this flower has been named after him.

Many countries argue over the honor of being considered the birthplace of the cornflower. So far, one thing is indisputable that he came to us from the western part of Asia, together with the seeds of rye, with which he was once inseparable. The first mention of it in Europe dates back to the beginning of our era. He was known by the ancient Romans, who composed legends about him.

One of them knows about a young man who loved cornflowers so much that he was only engaged in making wreaths from them until he died in the field. In honor of him, the cornflower was named Cyanus (the scientific name for the cornflower growing only in rye is Centaurea cyanus). Translated from Latin, this word simply means "blue".

Medicinal uses of blue cornflower

The first word of the name is also associated with a legend: one of the centaurs, or centaurs, knew how to heal with herbs, and he found that cornflower juice has the precious property of healing wounds, and he cured his wound received in the battle with Hercules with it.

In those days, when the bow and arrow were the main weapons, this was a very valuable property. Hippocrates also called the plant this name; Karl Linnaeus gave this name to the plant when he classified all plants.

So, the first healing property of cornflower - to heal wounds - has been known for a long time. And we, modern city dwellers, have never heard of this. But in many countries, cornflower is still a medicinal plant with a very mild effect. For example, in Bulgaria it is used as a stomach and bitter tonic for digestive disorders. Drink infusion: 2 teaspoons of colored baskets in a glass of boiling water (daily dose).

In general, many beliefs are associated with cornflower in Europe. For example, the infusion of these flowers in snow water was considered in the old days the main means for strengthening the eyes, even the French medical academy agreed with this. After the cornflower-seed treatment, there was no need for glasses. Our Russian healers practiced eye treatment for conjunctivitis with cornflower blue water. This water is still used to wash the eyes.

Usually, edge flowers are used for medicinal purposes, sometimes with the addition of medium flowers. They are plucked out and dried in the shade or in the oven at a temperature not exceeding 40 ° C. Brew with boiling water. So, to wash the eyes, 1 teaspoon of regional flowers is poured with 1 glass of boiling water, insisted for 1 hour, filtered.


In Russian villages, they usually simply collect flower baskets in June-July and dry them in the shade.

For diseases of the kidneys, bladder and liver: 1 teaspoon of dried flowers is poured with a glass of boiling water, infused for 20 minutes, cooled, filtered. Take 2 tbsp. spoons 3 times a day 20 minutes before meals.

In case of violation of the metabolism of oxalic acid in the body, in which oxalate stones can form: 1 tbsp. a spoonful of raw materials (i.e. dried flowers) is poured with a glass of boiling water. When treating with such an infusion, sources of oxalic acid are excluded from the diet.

To activate choleretic activity: 1 tbsp. a spoonful of raw materials is poured with a glass of boiling water, heated in a water bath for 15 minutes, infused for 45 minutes, filtered, added with water to the original volume. Drink a quarter of a glass before meals.

Cold tea: 1 tbsp. a spoonful of raw materials is brewed with half a liter of boiling water, take a glass 3 times a day.

Often, cornflower water is drunk simply "for health": for some it calms the nerves, for others it helps to sleep better.

Growing and varieties of blue cornflower

Blue cornflower is an annual plant. Cornflowers prefer sunny places, they are undemanding to soils, they are drought-resistant: they are used to everything in the fields. But they don't like damp places. They bloom well on poor soils containing lime. The height of the bushes is up to 80 cm. It is advisable to tie up tall bushes. They branch from the middle of the stem. They bloom profusely and for a long time: from late June - early July to the end of the season. They are planted in groups, in mixborders, in borders, cut into bouquets, where they look very beautiful. Cornflowers and Moorish lawns wonderfully decorate.

Breeders worked on the cornflowers: there were terry, semi-double and large-flowered cornflowers with flowers of white, blue, pink, purple flowers - beautiful, but nevertheless, cornflower cornflowers are dearer to the heart, in which there is something from the freedom of the endless expanses of fields.

Of the varieties, Blue Boy is the most popular - blue flowers, the height of the bush is more than 80 cm; Blue Diadem - bush height from 60 cm; Dot shelf - height 30-50 cm, bushes branch strongly, mixture of colors; Jubile Jam - bright blue flowers - up to 40 cm high.

There is a group of low-growing forms, no more than 20-30 cm high. For example, the Florence Pink variety. He has the most delicate pink flowers. Blauer Bush - blue flowers. Blau Zauber - blue flowers. Low-growing cornflowers look amazingly beautiful in borders. You just need to regularly remove faded baskets to prolong flowering, besides, the border will look sloppy. Low-growing cornflowers can be grown in pots.

Annual cornflowers reproduce by seeds. Sow in a permanent place as soon as the soil warms up. Seedlings appear in 7-10 days, with fresh seeds even faster. It is better to sow in nests of 3-4 seeds. Seeds remain viable for 2-3 years. When the plants become crowded, they are thinned out, leaving a distance of 10-20 cm between the bushes, depending on the height of the future bush.

In dry weather, the plants must be watered, otherwise the flowers will quickly fade. On poor soils, top dressing is desirable so that the flowers are larger and the flowering is more abundant. The plant is fed with any complex fertilizer, from the time of thinning to the very beginning of flowering, every 10-15 days.

It is better not to do the podwinter sowing recommended in the literature in our climate: the probability of being left without seedlings in spring is too high due to frequent thaws.

Anna Emelyanova,
florist


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