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Sunflower: Usage of its Different Parts & Health Benefits

Sunflower is the most popular oilseed crop in North America and Europe, where it was grown commercially mostly for snacks and oil. Sunflower is an annual broadleaf plant with bright yellow color flowers that symbolizes adoration, loyalty, and longevity. The scientific name of this annual herb is “Helianthus” this word is derived from a greek word named helios means sun and anthos meaning flower. Sunflowers belong to the Asteraceae family, with a rough hairy stem of 1–4.5 meters high and broad. The leaves are wide, rough, and 3 to 12 inches long. The attractive blossom is about 7.5–15 cm wide. Sunflowers take about two to three months to get matured and stay blooming for three weeks.

History & Origin

Sunflowers originated firstly all the way back in about 1000B.C., for centuries, it was cultivated as a portion of valuable food for humans, and cattle, and as an immediate medical source. It is considered that the sunflower is native to North America and Central America, this crop was first spread across the world as ornamental later it becomes an important oilseed crop globally. The sunflower was first grown as a crop by indigenous tribes over 4,500 years ago, but the commercialization of this crop took place in Russia

Sunflower Usage

Sunflower plants can be used for food, medicine, and other purposes in all of their parts, including their seeds, flowers, and oil.


Packed with lots of nutrients, sunflower seeds are actually the fruits of sunflowers. Sunflower seeds might appear tiny but actually, they are extremely nutritious. They contain a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals which are required by our body to carry out different functions. These nutrients protect our body cell’s against free radical damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases and helps in boosting our immunity. Sunflower seeds can be used in nutrition bars, salads, multi-grain, trail mix, and bread, as well as for snacking straight from the bag.


 Sunflower oil is a heart-healthy oil, this oil contains poly- and monounsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that helps lower the risk of heart disease. Today sunflower oil is used in food, medication, skin treatment, and much more. Sunflower oil contains far more Vitamin E than any other vegetable oil, many studies advocate that adding vitamin E to your diet could provide many health benefits. Sunflower oil can be used for cooking, body massaging, and a lot more.

Leaves & Stems

Sunflower is an herbaceous plant its leaves are used in many medications such ad insect bites, reducing inflammation, make tea. Sunflower leaves can be used as greens salads or fodder. Sunflower leaves are also used in many herbal supplements too. 

Health & Beauty Benefits of Sunflower

  1. Improves Skin Health

Sunflower oil contains a high quantity of vitamin E – an antioxidant that helps to protect your skin cells from harmful Ultraviolet rays from the sun and other environmental stressors. Vitamin E also helps in keeping skin hydrated for a longer period. The antioxidant properties present in sunflower oil help in preventing premature signs of aging.

  1. Improves Immune System

Sunflowers are a source of many vitamins and minerals which supports your immune system and increase your immunity. Sunflower seeds contain zinc mineral that helps activate about 300 enzymes in the body and the selenium present in it additionally performs a role in fighting infection and viruses.

  1. Helps in Controlling diabetes

People who suffer from diabetes always have to keep their blood sugar level in check, sunflower seeds can even help with that. The tiny seeds have been tested to be very effective in lowering blood sugar levels in several studies. Eating a handful of sunflower seeds daily can help in controlling blood sugar levels by about 10 percent within a few months. This happened due to the plant compound chlorogenic acid present in it.

  1. Reduces the risk of cancer

In today’s world Cancers are the leading cause of mortality, but a healthy diet can definitely lower the chances. There are several nutrients found in sunflower seeds that can help with the same, such as Beta-sitosterol a phytosterol present in sunflower seeds that helps in preventing breast cancer. It also helps in inhibiting the growth of tumor cells. And the presence of antioxidants in it reduces the risk of cancer.

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