Herb of the Day
Medicinal Uses: Native Americans used the tea of the flowers for lung ailments and malaria. Leaf tea was used for high fevers; poultice of roots on snakebites and spider bites.
Seeds and leaves are diuretic and expectorant. Seeds contain all the important nutrients that benefit the eyes and relieve constipation.
Useful against dysentery, inflammations of the bladder and kidney. The leaves are astringent and used in herbal tobaccos.
Sunflower seeds are simmered in water (one ounce seed to one quart of liquid) until half of the water is absorbed or evaporated. Add six ounces of gin as a preservative, and honey to taste. The preparation is a good syrup for lung and throat problems, coughs, and colds. The oil can be used for the same conditions; ten to fifteen drops, three times a day. A tea of the toasted seed has been used to treat fevers, and is a substitute for quinine.
Pollen or plant extracts may cause allergic reactions.
Magickal uses: An herb of happiness. The sunflower is said to protect one from smallpox by either wearing them like a necklace or in a small bag around your neck. When eaten they help a woman conceive. Place one under your bed to know the truth. They will also grant wishes. Cut it at sundown while making a wish. One who has been anointed with the juice from the stem of the sunflower will be virtuous. Grown in the garden they bring luck. In Aztec temples of the sun, priestesses carried sunflowers and wore them as crowns. As sun symbols, these flowers symbolize the healthy ego, the wisdom, and the fertility of the solar logos.
Properties: Diuretic, expectorant. The seeds are exceptionally rich in polyunsaturates (approx. 80%) and high quality plant protein, plus natural vitamins and minerals. (thiamine (B1), niacin, potassium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, iodine, fluorine, magnesium, sodium, vitamins D and E).
Growth: Sunflower is an annual plant growing 6-10 feet high; leaves mostly alternate, rough-hairy, broadly heart or spade-shaped. The flowers are orange-yellow; disk flat, flowers from July to October. Found on prairies, roadsides. Minnesota to Texas; escaped from cultivation elsewhere. A North American native plant.
Make sure the seeds are fresh.
Decoction: 2 oz. of seeds to 1 quart of water: boil down to 12 oz. and strain. Add 6 oz. of Holland gin and 6 oz. of honey. The dose is 1-2 tsp. 3 or 4 times a day.
Oil: unrefined oil has similar properties to the seeds. Take 10-15 drops or more, 2-3 times a day.
Website: The Whispering Woods