Gorgeous, gorgeous, Sunflowers.
Sunflowers lift the spirit more than any other flower known to the western world. They are bright and cheery, and warm as the Sun. They are known as the “Happy” flower and their petals are often called “Rays” of Sun. The name derived from the Greek word “Helianthos”. helios=Sun, anthos=flower.
Sunflowers are positive “Phototropism” plants which means they lean towards the light and follow the sun around during the day, so if you have sunflowers in your home or office, place them where they can see the sun, as they mirror the sun and appear to give out a source of energy, heart and light
A little bit of history: Sunflowers, research says, originated in America 1000BC as a food source and was used for cooking and skin emollients from the seeds and oils. The First Nation people honoured the sunflower seeing it as a living force of the Great spirit sending them an abundance of harvest and seasonal provision. In other countries, some societies saw the sunflower as a religious symbol that represented adoration and loyalty. The Chinese felt that the sunflower demonstrated an unwavering faith in Gods love.
To simplify the gift of giving, the Sunflower is a perfect gift to bring “Joy” to someone’s day, particularly if they are feeling ill or down, sunflowers are the gift to lift the spirit. Its a great housewarming or a congratulations present and is the flower of choice for couples celebrating their third wedding anniversary.
The health benefits of sunflowers are too numerous to name, however, the most common are: they reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation, support thyroid function through supply of selenium, balance blood sugars reducing hyperglycemia and improve the skin, just to name a few benefits.
Seeds can be added to salads, they are nice in tuna salad, or grind up and make sunflower butter in place of peanut butter, add to bread, scone and pancake mixes. Simply delicious and adds bulk in any smoothie.
A regular salad eaten in our household is:
1 bunch broccoli chopped into floweret’s
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins or chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped red onions
3/4 cup mayo
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp manuka honey dissolved in the vinegar
Mix all the ingredients together, refrigerate for an hour and serve