Sunflower – Helianthus Annus
Sunflower is considered a plant and it’s not among the herbs, but it’s one more food with great nutritional value and healing properties. Except the sunflower seed, sunflower oil, might not have the same nutritional value as the olive oil, but it promotes the healthy function of our body.
The balance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and the lecithin that sunflower contains, contribute significantly in lowering the bad cholesterol. As a result, and in combination with the high content of sunflower oil in vitamin E, promotes and protects the healthy function of the cardiovascular system. The systematic consumption of sunflower oil in cooking, protects from cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, and reduces the blood pressure and the possibilities of heart attack. The same protection offer the sunflower seeds.
Sunflower prevents cancer, especially colon cancer, while it is scientifically proved the prevention of skin and lung cancer. This property of sunflower oil comes from, not only the vitamin E that is antioxidant and fights the free radicals, but also from the carotenoids, selenium and the vitamin A that it contains.
One more valuable benefit of sunflower is the expectorant property and the treatment of laryngeal and bronchial infections. You can boil the seeds to reduce cough and eat the fresh seeds for whooping cough and bronchial infections.
Sunflower also repairs the body tissues, by providing a healthy amount of proteins, vital for building tissues, production of enzymes and hormones. You can consume sunflower oil if you want to prevent developing arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and kidney and bile stones.
Some more beneficial properties of sunflower are, the healthy function of the nervous system, providing qualitative sleep and energy due to the high content of vitamin B complex, the protections of the eyesight and the prevention of cataract due to the vitamin A and the enhancement of the memory. The leaves of sunflower are used in herb tobaccos.
Due to the wide therapeutic action, sunflower oil is considered one of the healthiest and light oils. But it is good to consume in small quantities as overconsumption has side effects, especially for people with diabetes type 2. For therapeutic purposes, 10 oil drops, three times a day is enough.