COMMON SUNFLOWER —
Helianihus annuus L.
The Asteraceae family is Asieraceae, or Compositae
What does it look like? Annual cultivated oil plant up to 2 m tall. Its stem is straight, covered with stiff hairs, with a spongy core. The leaves are alternate, large, heart-shaped, long-petioled, covered with stiff hairs. The inflorescence is a large basket. Marginal flowers are false-ligated, barren, bright yellow; inner ones are smaller, tubular, hermaphroditic, yellow-brown. Blooms in July – August. The fruit is an achene. Comes from Mexico.
Where does it grow? Cultivated throughout the territory of Ukraine as a valuable oil, fodder and decorative plant.
What and when are collected? For medicinal purposes, marginal flowers and young leaves are used, which are collected in the initial period of flowering, intact and without petioles. They are dried in the attic. Dry stems and heads are also collected.
When is it used? The stems and head of the plant contain solanic acid, the leaves and marginal flowers contain a lot of betaine, choline, carotene, quercitrin, anthocyanin, gum, resinous substances, and pectin, which acts in case of cobalt and strontium poisoning. It is used in the form of an infusion of 2-3 g of flowers in 250 ml of boiling water (daily dose) for malaria, influenza and catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, as well as as an appetizing and antispasmodic agent for gastrointestinal colic.
Used as a tincture. 1 part of marginal leaves and leaves are taken for 5 parts of 70% alcohol. Drink 30-40 drops (0.5-1 spoon), 3-4 times a day on a spoon of water – for malaria, flu, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract Cleans the skin from rashes and old ulcers. Tincture of the dry stem in vodka (1 part of the stem to 8 parts of vodka, infused for 9 days) is used to treat malaria – 3 tablespoons on an empty stomach, for 3 days.
Head infusion is used against rheumatic pain and ear diseases. Instead of the infusion, you can use a decoction of 20 g of sunflower heads and 1 tablespoon in 200 ml of water, three times a day.
Sunflower oil (refined) is used for cholecystitis, cholangitis, cholangiohepatitis and gall bladder stones as a choleretic agent. In the morning (on an empty stomach), they drink a glass of oil and lie down on their right side. Due to the content of vitamin F, the oil is used to treat atherosclerosis; it is also used as a softening agent, as a basis for ointments, plasters, rubs.