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The Medicinal Herb: Sunflower

Sunflower is a thermophilic plant that grows in the southern regions on fertile soils. The sunflower also needs proper hydration. This medicinal plant has long been used in traditional medicine recipes (Brennan, 2020). A characteristic feature of the plant is a tall woody stem, covered with stiff sparse hairs, with rough leaves (Brennan, 2020). The sunflower is beautiful and attractive with its inflorescence. It can be either in the form of one large head – a basket, or several small heads in a spreading panicle.

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The leaves and flowers contain coumarin glycoside, scopolamine, flavonoids, triterpene saponins, carotenoids, anthocyanins, and phenol carboxylic acids. The chemical composition of the seeds is impressive in their variety and richness. Sunflower seeds contain a lot of vitamins – A, B, C, D, and E. In sunflower seeds, these are magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, potassium, manganese, and sodium. In addition, they are a source of natural fiber, which is deficient in the body of many people. The petals, roots, and leaves of the sunflower are distinguished by healing properties. Sunflower leaves help cleanse lime deposits on the vessels of the heart and brain (Brennan, 2020). Sunflower roots have remarkable healing power in removing stones from the kidneys and gall bladder, cleansing the joints from salt deposits, and curing osteochondrosis (Brennan, 2020). As the body is cleared, the pressure is normalized, headaches and heartaches disappear, and a general cleansing takes place.

Raw, semi-ripe seeds help normalize blood pressure, prevent the appearance of sclerotic plaques on blood vessels, and calm the nervous system. The ground seeds can be used on the body as an exfoliating scrub that simultaneously nourishes, moisturizes, and rejuvenates the skin (Adeleke & Babalola, 2020). The benefits of sunflower seeds are also seen in strengthening hair, nails, and skin in general (Adeleke & Babalola, 2020). The refined seeds give sunflower oil, which is known for its benefits: it is used to prevent and treat inflammatory thrombosis, gastrointestinal tract diseases, respiratory diseases, cosmetology, bathing, and toothache (Adeleke & Babalola, 2020). Sunflower additionally can act as a skin barrier against infection. Newborn children, particularly those of low birth weight, can protect their skin with Sunflower oil. Studies show that infections diminished by more than 40% in newborn children who got daily skincare treatment with sunflower oil (Adeleke & Babalola, 2020). Therefore, sunflower is used to treat an extensive list of ailments or to prevent them.

References

Adeleke, B. S., & Babalola, O. O. (2020). Oilseed crop sunflower ( Helianthus annuus ) as a source of food: Nutritional and health benefits. Food Science & Nutrition, 8(9), 4666–4684.

Brennan, D. (2020). Sunflower Seeds: Health benefits, nutrients per serving, preparation information, and more. WebMD.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Medicinal Herb: Sunflower'. 23 July.

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