Sunflowers are a special flower in the Midwest and they are the state flower of Kansas. They grow quite freely alongside highways, beautify waste dumps, add color to fields and grace our gardens. Wherever their seeds blow, sunflowers take root. But their beauty is more than skin deep. The extract, oil and butter from these flowers are being used in a growing number of beauty products because of their moisturizing, smoothing and healing qualities.
As a sun-loving culture, the ancient Egyptians would have loved this plant. The plant’s name tells us why: helios means sun while anthos means flower in Greek. The French word for it is tournesol. or "turn with the sun" which, is precisely what it does. The plant is called phototropic meaning that it follows the sun. This is a flower intimately tied to the sun, and it can brighten you life in several key ways.
Sunflowers have a venerable history in American healing. The Native-American medicine people from various groups make use of sunflowers as poultices, skin washes as well as eating the seeds and working with the stalks to make life-preserving floats. Spiritually, bowls of the seeds are left on the graves of loved ones by some cultures.
Not limited to North America, today sunflowers are grown in the sunny climate of South Africa to create substantial flower-yielding medicinal oil from its seeds. South African sunflowers are known to be rich in unsaturated fatty acids.
- Light taste and color, making it good for soapmaking and cosmetic blends
- Abundance of vitamin E more than any other vegetable oil.
- Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with low saturated fat levels.
- Outstanding for cooking (stir frying also as a healthy salad oil)
- Rich in unsaturated fatty acids
Palmitic acid : 4 - 9%,Stearic acid : 1 - 7%,Oleic acid : 14 - 40%,Linoleic acid : 48 – 74Contains: lecithin, tocopherols, carotenoids and waxes
Why it’s in Your Hair and Skin-care Products
Sunflower oil is an unsung hero in a marketplace saturated with oils. It has many healing applications, including herbal infusion used in massage and hot-oil treatments; nail soaks; cooking, salad dressings, marinades and formulating homemade cosmetics.High linoleic acid lends an anti-inflammatory, acne-reducing, moisturizing quality. Linoleic acid acts as an emulsifier in shampoo, soaps, and conditioners.Sunflower oil contains vitamin A, D, and E and a good amount of protein for skin and hair; it's a high-quality source of zinc (protein is very good for most types of hair, vitamin E is a great antioxidant and zinc is protective against the sun’s rays).
- Low saturated fat levels.
- Has skin and hair smoothing properties—a boon to curly tops.
- Skin and hair benefits from moisture-retention quality.
- Considered hypoallergenic; making it safe for most skin types.
- Healthy addition to anti-aging, wrinkle formulas.
- It's inexpensive and widely available.
- Helps boost the immune system.
Unique Attributes of Sunflower Oil
- Has cardiovascular benefits: appears to lower cholesterol which, in turn, results in a smaller risk of heart disease.
- Studies of adults suggested that a balanced diet in which small quantities of saturated fats are replaced with sunflower oil has detectable cholesterol-reducing benefits.
- Shown to benefit premature infant with underdeveloped skin who are susceptible to infection; infections decreased by almost half in infants receiving daily skin treatment of sunflower oil.
- Sunflower oil provides a protective barrier against infection in infants.