Sunflowers are considered to be native North American plant and it is believed that sunflowers were the first domesticated crop by Native Americans, even before corn was grown. It is believed that Sunflower oil was first cultivated by American Indian tribes circa 3,000 B.C and they used its oil extensively to help soothe snake bites and to condition the skin and hair. The seed of the plant was an important part of the diet and the seed was squeezed for the oil which was later used in making bread. Sunflower plant was used in many ways among various American Indian tribes. The seed was pounded into flour for cakes, mush or bread. Some tribes mixed their meals with other vegetables such as beans, squash, and corn. The seed was also cracked and eaten for a snack.
In the 1800s the medicinal and culinary uses of sunflower oil became known. Sunflower oil began to be commercially produced by 1830 in Russia. Sunflower oil was and is widely used in Russia and other Eastern European countries. The first sunflower crushing plant was built in 1946. The sunflower oil story has continued from there.
Now Sunflower oil is used for easing constipation and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol. The health benefits of sunflower oil are never ending; from improving heart health, boosting energy, strengthening the immune system, improving skin health, preventing cancer, lower cholesterol, protect against asthma, to reduce internal and external inflammation.
Some people apply sunflower oil directly to the skin for those slow healing wounds, skin injuries, psoriasis, and arthritis; and also as a massage oil.
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