Health Benefits of Safflower and Sunflower Seeds

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The sunflower flourished in Mexico about 4,000 years ago. In the 16th century, the galleon trade brought the plant to Europe where it became very popular as an ornamental flower plant. It was then established as an oilseed crop in Eastern Europe in the 18

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAFFLOWERS AND SUNFLOWER SEEDS

The sunflower flourished in Mexico about 4,000 years ago. In the 16th century, the galleon trade brought the plant to Europe where it became very popular as an ornamental flower plant. It was then established as an oilseed crop in Eastern Europe in the 18th century when Russia imported it via Holland. The first commercial production of sunflower oil begin in about 1830-1840.

Sunflower contains an above average protein, phosphorous, and iron concentration. They are also very rich in B-complex vitamins. Salads, cereals, yogurt, and soup taste better with sunflower seeds sprinkled on them. The seeds, which enrich the nutritive value of vegetables, can be used the same way as one would use nuts for desserts. Sunflower seeds are a healthy snack alternative as well.

Sunflower seed kernels can stand as a complete food due to its excellent protein content. Combine the seeds with milk and your amino acid requirement for the day is complete. The depressing feeling of weariness and fatigue, caused by ingesting too much carbohydrates and sugar, are prevented by eating sunflower kernels, which contains 50% fat. The danger of accumulation of too much salt in the tissues is offset by sunflower seeds, which are very rich in potassium. Our muscles, heart, and nerve tissues derive great benefits from the magnesium of sunflowers.

The safflower, meanwhile, grew profusely in Egypt, the Middle East, and India, which use its florets primarily for orange dye. The plant spread throughout the Mediterranean region and further down the East as far as China and Japan. In 1925, US made safflower as an experimental oil crop. California saw its potential as an oil source and grew it commercially in the 1950s.

Safflower seeds, which are bitter tasting and resemble orange seeds, have a high 75% linoliec acid content. When the crude seeds are compressed as a cake or meal, the protein content varies from 20% to 55%, depending on the amount of hull removed during the

process.

Many might wonder what is so fantastic about the high linoleic acid content of the safflower. Medical research tells us that this fatty acid is highly favorable in lowering serum cholesterol levels, as tested in laboratory animals and humans. Lenoleic acid also promotes and improves the calcium available to the cells, somehow playing the role of a vitamin. In fact some scientists have coined the term “Vitamin F” for lenoleic acid.

Those with cardiovascular diseases would benefit much from the lenoleic acid of the safflower. In fact, an emulsion by the brand name Saffloxin-cipla is used routinely for myocardial infraction, cardiax ischaemia, and hypertension. As a safe rule, having sunflower or safflower oil instead of butter and cream will greatly enhance one’s health.

While sunflower seeds have a substantial amount of lenoleic acid, it seems that safflower seeds have much more to offer than sunflower in terms of other health benefits. Safflower seeds are good for constipation, sexual debility, asthma, eczema, and other female disorders. The sunflower seeds cure beriberi and pellagra, anemia and respiratory disease.

Here are the traditional ways of using these two seeds to cure various ailments:

• Mix with one teaspoon of safflower seeds with six with six shelled almonds and honey to treat constipation. This is a safe laxative that pregnant women, children, and weak individuals don’t have anything to fear.

• The dried seeds of safflower, together with pistachio nuts, honey, and almonds, should be taken with milk once before retiring at night. This is a very effective aphrodisiac and improves sexual vigor and thickens the tablespoon of semen.

• Bronchial asthma will find relief with half a teaspoon of the powder or dry safflower seeds mixed with a tablespoon of honey, taken once or twice daily.

• The dried, orange-yellow tubular flowers of the safflower mixed with rose can be given as a medicine to soothe painful menstruation or make a decoction prepared from boiling two teaspoonfuls of powdered seeds in 120ml. of water, which works equally well. Old folks made a brew from the safflower foliage just to prevent abortion and female sterility.

• According to laboratory experiments with animals, eczema is found to exist in bodies that lack linoleic acid. Two tablespoon of safflower oil, taken daily, can treat eczema. The amount can be decreased to one tablespoon once the condition gets better.

• The sunflower being rich in Vitamin B-complex keeps the nerves, brain. Skin and digestive tract healthy, as well as rich in thiamin and niacin.

 

• Anemia can be prevented and treated by the flour made from sunflower seeds, one of the richest sources of iron. The powder of the dried seeds or the decoction of the pulverized seeds is used as medication for bronchitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, influenza, and cough. People from the olden times believed that just by merely growing sunflower in the home garden could prevent influenza and cold.

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