Sunflower is the only flower which moves with the sun throughout the day. The flower always faces the sun. There is a very peculiar thing about this flower; these flowers open at sunrise and close at sunset. The appearance of the well-grown flower also resembles the bright sun. The petals are placed in a way which resembles the sun rays. Most of us use the sunflower oil for cooking purposes, but only a few know that its whole plant is full of benefits.
Sunflower plants are 1-4 ft tall and erect. They come under the category of annual plants. The leaf stalk has five leaves and the upper leaves are thin and weak. The flowers have gigantic size, yellow-orange in colour and they always keep their face towards the sun. Sunflower seeds are the most familiar of all edible seeds. The seeds are commonly crushed for their oil. There are many varieties of sunflower; they can be white, violet and yellow in colour. The propagative medium of the plant is their seeds.
Nomenclature of Sunflower:-
English name– Sunflower, Lady elewen
Hindi name– Surajmukhi, Hurhul
Sanskrit name– Suryavrat
Arabic name– Akshawan
Family name– Asteraceae
Botanical name– Helianthus annus
Origin and Distribution of Sunflower:-
The Sunflower plants grow in wastelands around the villages, in gardens, as an ornamental plant in mansions and parks, roadsides and also in crop fields. They are widely cultivated in Bihar, Orissa, Gujarat and the parts of Southern India. The sunflower is believed to have originated in Mexico area. It was introduced in Europe in the 16th century. The first commercial production of oil began in 1830-40.
Food value of Sunflower:-
Sunflower is rich in many nutrients, some of them are listed below-
- Vitamin B-complex
- Carbohydrates etc
Uses of Sunflower:-
- The sunflower seeds are used as a snack item by roasting it on oven.
- These are processed with peanuts to prepare butter products.
- Sunflower oil is used for many purposes like for skin oil, cooking oil and also as a biodiesel.
- Sunflower petals and the tender leaves are directly or indirectly used in salad ingredients.
10 Health benefits of Sunflower:-
Sunflower oil and seeds are regarded as the excellent food and can be considered as complete food. They are very healthy and nutritious too. Here, we will be talking about 10 benefits of Sunflower.
1. Curing effects in a Migraine–
- Grind the seeds of sunflower in th juice of leaves.
- Apply the paste on forehead regularly for 2-3 days.
- It is a good cure for migraine pain.
2. Helpful in Goitre-
- Grind the root of sunflower with garlic.
- Prepare a cake of it and tie it in the neck of the patient.
- The goiter bursts off and gets cured.
- In this process of cure, it pains a lot.
3. Cures Ear problems-
- In case of ear pain and otorrhoea.
- Prepare medicated oil with the pulp and juice of sunflower.
- Put drops of this oil in ears.
- You can also use the juice of its leaves to cure ear pain.
4. Helpful in Piles–
- Take 3 gm powder of sunflower seeds and 3 gm sugar in it.
- Give this to the patient twice a day.
- It cures piles, especially which is caused due to gastric problems.
- During the treatment period, recommended foods are ghee, khichdi and buttermilk.
5. Cures Swellings-
- In case of swelling in boils, tie its leaves.
- It dissolves the swelling.
- Make a decoction of its leaves.
- Using this, rinse severe and infectious ulcers. It reduces and cures the swellings.
- In case of severe elephantiasis, apply the paste of its leaves.
- It bursts the ulcers and reduces the swellings.
6. Cures common fever-
- Prepare a decoction of its roots.
- Give this decoction to the patient twice a day.
- It cures fever.
7. Helpful in Cholesterol problems–
- Grind the seeds of the sunflower.
- Give this to the patient in a regular way.
- It reduces cholesterol level.
- Instead of butter and cream, one can give the sunflower oil in the diet.
- The linoleic acid present will help in reducing cholesterol deposits and leads to a great improvement in health.
8. Releases the poisonous effects-
In case of any kind of poison;
- Grind 15 mg of its leaves.
- Give this to the patient.
- It nullifies the impact of all kinds of poisons.
9. Kills stomach worms-
- Give 1-3 gm of sunflower seeds to the patient.
- It kills stomach worms and earthworms.
- Give 1.5-3 gm powder of its seeds powder with sugar.
- Give this mixture to the patient twice a day for two days.
- On the 3rd day, give enema of castor oil.
- It kills and releases stomach worms from the body.
10. Helpful in Purgation-
- Put a drop of sunflower seed oil on the belly button.
- It causes purgation and cleanses the stools.
Importance of Sunflower plant:-
Apart from used in Health benefits, this very plant is also an excellent thing for nature. Have a look on the following points and conclude the same-
- The plants of sunflower are capable of purifying the polluted environment.
- It has the potential to absorb the poisonous pollutants which causes various communicable diseases like malaria etc.
- The sunflower plants has the similar benefits as the sun rays. The place where sun rays can’t reach, must plant sunflowers there.
- The helps to purify the air and eradicate the causative agents of malaria, joint pain, paralysis etc.
So, in this way we saw how sunflower plants can be so beneficial. Not only for health purposes, it is beneficial for surroundings too. Spread greenery and keep your nature clean!
She is a learner and health conscious person. She is always interested in seeking knowledge regarding Ayurveda, herbal medicine and Yoga to cure any health ailments naturally.
She holds a Bachelor Degree in Alternative Medicine and interested in Naturopathy.