Sunflowers, scientifically known as Helianthus, from the Greek word helios, meaning the “sun” and anthos meaning “flower,” is an annual plant, native to North America. Today, the plant is cultivated in many regions of the world due to its oil-producing capability. In addition, sunflowers petals medicinal uses have endeared the plant to various human civilizations since the beginning of time.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
Sunflowers bloom from midsummer and continue to early fall. They have a large flower head with 20-25 yellow-orange ray flowers surrounding a purple or yellow central disk. The sunflower head is unique as it features two types of flowers: small flowers in the center that later form fruit and large petals that form an outer yellow wreath. The outer, brighter wreath is sterile and serves to attract pollinators to the flowers in the center which are fertile.
Sunflower petals contain choline betaine, sapogenins, xanthophyll, carotenoids, and anthocyanin glycosides as well as sunflower acid. These compounds are great for preventing memory loss, enhancing muscle control and promoting your general wellbeing which makes the flowers ideal for herbal remedies.
The flowers are also rich in selenium and vitamin E which are strong antioxidants. These neutralize free radicals in the body protecting it against chronic conditions such as malignant cancers and cardiovascular conditions.
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Respiratory system remedy
The sunflower head has been used to prepare herbal remedies for treating various ailments of the respiratory system for years. Dakota and Pawnee Indians commonly prepared a concoction from the sunflower head to treat lung infections, bronchitis and pleurisy.
Sunflower infusion and tincture has a potent, bitter flavor and the fragrance of raw honey. It is used to soothe a sore throat and reduces inflammation of the respiratory system as well as managing tonsils.
To prepare sunflower tincture, toss 3-4 spoons of dry petals in a glass jar with a wide neck, add 1 cup of 70 percent alcohol and close with a tight lid. Leave at room temperature and stir occasionally. Let the mixture sit for about 4 weeks, strain and keep in a dark bottle. Take 1 teaspoon twice a day by dissolving the mixture in a glass of water or a half a cup of tea.
Ultimately, sunflower petals medicinal uses have held strong since the time of ancient civilizations, making these plants an asset for every backyard. So, why not add a few of these flowers in your garden to brighten it, enhance your health and put a smile on your face?