Sunflowers and their interesting uses

Large and bright, sunflowers are not just beautiful to behold. While they make an excellent gift for many occasions, these blooms are also really useful. Here are some of their most interesting uses apart from brightening up your home.

Sunflower oil

When you shop for cooking oil at your local supermarket, you will notice that there are a number of different varieties. Sunflowers have been used to make cooking oil since the early 1900s and this oil has gained amazing popularity over the years. It is even used to make margarine which many people choose over butter.

Delicious seeds

Sunflowers produce different types of seeds depending on the type of flower. Some are larger than others and some are plain black while others have white stripes. Salted and unsalted varieties of these seeds are available for consumption. They are also used as animal food and many farmers prefer them to soybean animal food. This is because it’s a more affordable option and offers the same amount of protein and greater amounts of fiber.

Paint products

These seeds also have industrial uses. The oil that they produce can be used to make certain types of varnish, paint and even certain plastic products. It has semi-drying properties which help preserve the colour in these industrial products. In some countries, particularly Eastern Europe, sunflower oil is used to make soap and it is a better option as far as protecting the environment is concerned.

Body products

The seeds and oil produced from sunflowers are not just great for consumption. The oil can also be used in various lotions and massage oils. It can be used as a carrier oil and blended with more potent essential oils. Studies also revealed that this oil can help prevent acne when you apply it to your face and neck.

Saving the day

In 1986, sunflowers were used to absorb radiation after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. The roots of the plants were submerged in the water near the plant and they managed to absorb 95% of the radioactivity.

Even if you are not planning on making your own oil or paint products, it’s interesting to know just how useful sunflowers are in everyday life. The next time you buy or receive a bouquet to display in your home, you will be that much more aware of what these plants are capable of.