Herb of the Day: Sunflower

( Helianthus annuus )

Hopi pueblos, some of the oldest continuously inhabited villages in North America, are graced with sunflowers. In November and October the unmarried women in the village grind the petals of the flowers into a face powder. they than dance in costume, with their faces shining with sunflower gold. It is not known hoe long the ceremony has been celebrated, but archaeologist have discovered sunflower seeds in clay pots dating back 3000 years ago. It realty seems they knew how to cultivate the flower. The Spanish in the New World saw the flower as a worthy treasure for their queen. The seeds landed back in Old World Spain in 1510. The flowers sprung up in royal gardens across Europe. The Russian Czar Peter the Great, unknowing launched one of the greatest healing traditions of his nation, with a fanciful preoccupation.Both Russian and folklore and traditional medicine used, and still use, the flowers, and their derivatives. Russian folk healers chop the head of a sunflower, soak the pieces in vodka and soap chips in a sunny place for 9 days, than rub the mixture on the joints of rheumatic patients as a liniment. Russian doctors prepare decoctions of the seeds for jaundice, malaria, heart conditions, diarrhea,. The flower has seen the Russian through many hard ship. Botanical healers uses the plant in variety forms, from syrup derived from the roots, used for coughs, bronchitis, kidney disease, the leaves used for malaria. The seeds has a remarkable nutritional content, and some uncommon nutrients as vitamin D and copper. the seed consist a 30 percent protein, amino acids. The sprouts and seeds pop up in salads, the buds are eaten and cooked as vegetables , and the petals are used to dye cloth. Pioneering types used the fibers in the stalks to make ropes. The oil of the seeds with their shells on, are ground in a grinder than pressed for the oil. Native Americans used the sunflower extensively. The roots became a medicine for snake bites, a cure for rheumatism, inflammation. They boiled the flower heads, extracted the oil, applied it to their heads as a hair tonic.
Aids with, burns,arthritis,cholesterol, fevers, cancer, hepatitis, gallbladder, lung congestion, inflammation, scar tissue, skin cancer, smoking habit, weakness, snakebites, whooping cough


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