The sunflower (Helianthus) is an ancient crop, said to have been cultivated as early as 2500 BC. Its name derives from the Greek “helios” (sun) and “anthos” (flower). With its yellow flowers and dark seeds, the sunflower forms a connection between the sun and the earth, absorbing both their forces and storing them in its precious seeds.
Lush, strong and full of seeds
The common sunflower is an annual plant and a member of the Asteraceae (daisy) family. With roots growing as far as two meters deep into the soil, it is not uncommon for the plant to grow up to two meters high. A remarkable feature of the sunflower is its ability to turn its flower head towards the sun. Both its leaves and flower buds follow the sun from east to west, and return to their original position facing east in the evening. Each composite flower consists of many thousands of tubular disc florets arranged in spirals and framed by a ring of petals, called ray florets. During the flowering period, one to three flower heads bloom daily; pollination by bees and bumblebees allows the sunflower’s precious seeds to mature.
Hungary – from cultivation to oil
In the midst of Hungary’s dry, steppe-like landscape, bright yellow blossoms fill the fields of Hungarian organic farms.
With soil rich in humus and nutrients as well as plenty of warmth and water, the conditions here are ideal for the precious sunflower seeds to mature. Every year in late summer, the leaves of the sunflower plants wilt and the green base of the flower heads turn yellow. Now that the seeds have ripened, they are gathered by farmers using a combine harvesting machine. Then they are sent to an oil mill in Germany, where they are pre-heated and expeller pressed using mechanical screw presses to extract their precious oil. The sunflower oil is filtered several times before it finds its way to Weleda.
Small seeds with a big effect
Sunflower oil is a relatively light and mild vegetable oil that does not leave any greasy residue on the skin. It also spreads easily, making it an excellent base oil for massage oils. The many benefits of sunflower oil are due to its high content of unsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid. Weleda purchases sunflower oil exclusively in organic quality. Known for its pure, nourishing properties, sunflower oil is used in many Weleda natural cosmetics, for example in the Pomegranate and Evening Primrose ranges.
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Sunflower Seed Oil
The pale yellow to clear sunflower oil is a light vegetable oil. It works as a perfect massage oil and it is ideal for the attention of normal and combination skin. Due to its high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic and oleic acid, it is full of skin caring properties and it is suitable as a carrier oil for active substances.