Common Name: Sunflower
Latin Name: Helianthus annuus
Sunflowers are shinning brightly in the Autumn Garden. These towering plants are beacons of light and warmth that have been loved and worshiped for many centuries. The flower heads rotate and turn towards the sun — believed to represent the sun and worshipped by Aztec and Inca communities.
The genus name, Helianthus, is from two Greek words, helios, meaning “sun” and anthos, meaning “flower.” A bouquet of sunflowers represents vitality, intelligence, and happiness due to its bright yellow colour. Yellow also traditionally symbolizes friendship.
Sunflowers are native to North America and South America, and many native tribes used the entire plant for cooking, mixing paint, and dressing their hair. The roots were used in medicinal applications, such as infusions that remedied snake bites, while the oil derived from the flower was applied cosmetically as a conditioning agent for hair.
Today the sunflower is cultivated worldwide and used in cooking and food preparations for its high concentration of unsaturated fats. In cosmeceuticals it is used for its high amounts of Vitamins A, B, D and E, minerals, and beneficial amounts of lecithin and unsaturated fatty acids.
Seeds, Leaves, Flower Buds
Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, and Stearic Acid
astringent, diuretic, expectorant, nutritive
Different parts of the sunflower plant possess several therapeutic properties. The seeds have been known to possess diuretic and expectorant properties and were deemed to be very useful for treating respiratory problems like coughs, colds, and bronchitis. A tea of the flower was used by Native Americans for lung ailments and the leaf for fevers and used as a poultice for snake bites.
Sunflower seeds have a rich content of vitamins B 1, B 3 and B 6 and can be eaten whole or prepared into a wholesome spread, which is available from your neighborhood health food stores.
The seeds of the sunflower also yield a light-yellow oil which contains a high concentration of unsaturated fats. Deeply nourishing, Sunflower Oil is a wonderful skin conditioner and absorbs readily into the skin.
It is also high in oleic acid-rich in vitamins A, D, and E, unsaturated fatty acids and lecithin that make it ideal for eye care as well as delicate skincare. In addition, the seeds of sunflower also contain helianol. Helianol is known to have a powerful anti-inflammatory activity on the skin.
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