Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a versatile plant providing many culinary and nutritious ingredients ranging from a popular oil, cold pressed from the seeds, to the seeds themselves and the unopened flower buds which ( many people have no idea of this ) are absolutely delicious if steamed for a few minutes and taste a little like artichoke.
The plant originated on the North American continent but has been naturalised all over the world where the climate allows.
Its common name of Sunflower derives from the fact that the flower heads will follow the sun through its daily course – heliotropic in scientific terms and in common with many other flowers ( such as Heliotrope ) The name is derived from the Greek Helios (the Sun) and Anthos (Flower)
The flower petals themselves are slightly bitter sweet and quite a treat.
The dried flower petals are most often found in herbal tea blends ( they add colour and attractiveness as well as their unique and delicate flavour but they are often used in cosmetics and soap products for their “prettyness”
Constituents in Sunflower:-
The plant is rich in the minerals Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium and Iron as well as the vitamins E, Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin and the acids Caffeic and Fumaric