Who does not know the sunflower? The distinctive shape which resembles the sun makes this flower easily recognizable. Moreover, the bright yellow color of the petals makes it look so beautiful. Unlike flowers in general that have short stems and small, sunflower actually has a long stem with a height ranging from 1 to 3 meters.
If observed carefully, this sunflower is unique because the flowers are always facing the sun, at night this flower will bend while when in the day will be back up. That’s the way throughout the life cycle will always follow the direction of the arrival of sunlight.
The flower that comes from North America has the Latin name Helianthus annuus L, has a diameter of up to 30 cm and is a kind of compound interest because it is actually composed of hundreds to thousands of small flowers in a cob. Because of its nature is always inclined to the sun, then in its development researchers develop a new species which does not have such properties, because it is considered disadvantageous and reduce the production of sunflower seed oil.
Because the original habitat is in temperate climates, sunflower planting in the tropics should be done in the highlands with optimal height above 800 meters above sea level. Meanwhile, in the area of origin, sunflower is planted only in spring until autumn, while in winter this flower is not suitable to grow.
The History of Sunflower Cultivation
Sunflower plants have actually been cultivated by native American North, Indian tribes since thousands of years ago. Gradually also spread to South America, their sunflower into one food source by the Incas.
In the middle ages when the Europeans colonize South America, this flower to the mainland of Europe and eventually spread throughout the world since the 16th century. In Indonesia, sunflower introduced by the Dutch and the island of Java as the first place of this flower planted in 1919.
Benefits of Sunflower Leaves
Actually, all parts of the sunflower plants have many uses ranging from seeds, petals, stumps, stems to roots. Health Benefits of sunflower leaves will be explained specifically, in general almost the same as the properties of other parts, but there are unique properties possessed by sunflower leaves are as follows:
1. Preventing Malaria
It is a disease caused by a bacterial infection of Plasmodium vivax carried by a female Anopheles mosquito. Malaria causes many casualties, every year there are about 1 million people die from this disease, mostly from children in African countries.
To prevent the onset of this disease, you can drink boiled water from the sunflower’s leaves because according to research by experts, on sunflower leaves there are substances that inhibit and kill the bacteria plasmodium vivax bacteria that have entered into the blood circulation. In addition, preventing malaria can also be done with health benefits of papaya leaves.
2. Preventing Inflammation of the Body Network
Sunflower leaves can prevent at the same time treat arthritis, gastroenteritis and gastrointestinal tract, pulmonary pneumonia, and respiratory tract and other benefits. It also acts as a natural anti-pain and relieves the symptoms of menstrual pain, breast pain, joint pain, head and other body parts that are often inflamed. Health benefits arnica is also able to be ant-inflammatory.
3. As Animal Feed
Sunflower leaves can also be used for fodder such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and others. The quality is better than ordinary grass because it has a softer texture that is easily digested by farm animals.
4. Treating ulcers/wounds
Health Benefits of Sunflower Leaves is to treat ulcers and wounds. How to use sunflower leaves as a medicine that has been severe and long healed wounds by pounding a handful of leaves until smooth and then paste on the wound ulcer, but before the wound must be cleaned first.
In addition, sunflower leaves can also treat swelling and insect bites. For your information, ulcers also can be treated by health benefits of drinking turmeric with milk and honey.
Utilization of Sunflower
Not only functions as an ornamental plant, sunflower has many functions as herbal plant that can be utilized by humans. No wonder if more intense sunflower cultivation is done overseas there. As for Indonesia, the utilization of sunflower is still limited to ornamental plants and rarely grown for commercial purposes.
When in fact all the parts of the sunflower have economic value which will be explained as follows:
- Sunflower Oil. Many sought due to its excellent quality. It contains linoleic acid, an acid from unsaturated fats which is very useful for human health. So, it is suitable for use as a raw material for making margarine with good quality and as a mixture of various foods such as salad.
- Benefits of Sunflower seed. Often referred to by the term kuaci is usually consumed as a snack that much-loved because of the cheap price and delicious taste. In addition, kuaci can also be used as a mixture of various food recipes, especially cakes and bread. Benefits of the health of kuaci include anti-inflammatory, unhealthy oil content can prevent cardiovascular disease. It is also included as food that lower cholesterol level.
- Sunflower Petals. It can be a mixture of tea with Chrysanthemum or chrysanthemum flowers serve as a source of high antioxidants to prevent liver damage and help to relieve the deep heat. In addition, it can be used by people who experience sleep disorders such as insomnia and improve sleep quality.
- Sunflower Bar. In the middle of the stem, there is a marrow that can be used to overcome pain, increase stamina, it can improve liver performance and expedite urinary expenditure. The way that is by mixing the sunflower marrow with flower petals can be used as a tea and the benefit will be felt if consumed regularly.
- The Root of the Sun. Basically, the efficacy of the roots of the sun is the same as the properties of the other parts. It can overcome leucorrhoea in women, as a whooping cough medicine, treat various inflammation in the respiratory tract and urine. How to use it is actually the same part of the root, it is cleaned then crushed and boiled. Drink it regularly until symptoms of the disease subsided.
Health Benefits of the Sunflower Leaves are actually still not much in the know by the public, but as we understand, everything created by God certainly brings the benefits.