A to Z Herbarium: Sunflower




Fertility, Wishes, Health, Wisdom


Women wishing to conceive should apparently eat sunflower seeds. A necklace made out of the seeds will protect against smallpox.

If you cut a sunflower at sunset while making a wish, then the wish is supposed to come true before the following sunset. This apparently will only work within reasonβ€”so no wishing for 5 million puppies or anything like that.

If you sleep with a sunflower under the bed, then you will be able to see the truth in a matter. To become virtuous, anoint yourself with juice pressed from sunflower stems. (Seems like cheating…)

Growing sunflowers in the garden will ward away pests and bring good luck to the gardener.

Interestingly, sunflower seeds are a good source of folate, which helps in the production of new cells. This is important in pregnancies for the growth and development of the fetus. So perhaps this is where the lore of women trying to conceive eating sunflower seeds comes from.

The seeds also have a high amount of vitamin E, which helps in reducing inflammation throughout the body, which can, in turn, lead to improved cardiovascular health. Sunflower oil is also anti-inflammatory which is beneficial for certain skin ailments. It also promotes strong, healthy skin.

Sunflower seeds can be ground into a butter that can be used as a substitute for peanut butter for people with nut allergies. Or to eat just because it’s tasty.



Cunningham’s Encylopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham, 2016, Llewellyn Publications

Dr. Axe

Dermatology Times

Organic Facts


  1. I have never tried sunflower seed butter, but it sounds like it might be nice πŸ™‚
    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles – Dragon Diaries

    • Sara C. Snider

      It’s really yummy. It’s my second favorite, right after almond butter. πŸ™‚

  2. What a wonderful array of goodness via sunflowers. I’ve always loved them because they attract a host of goldfinch at summer’s end – all that yellow gold brightening the world.

    • Sara C. Snider

      They are lovely, but I must admit I find them slightly intimidating. They get REAL big! πŸ˜€

  3. Highly versatile, those sunflowers. You shouldn’t have conditions on wishes, though – where’s the fun in that!

    • Sara C. Snider

      I know, right? They’re wishes! Who wants to be reasonable? πŸ˜‰

  4. I love sunflowers. They grow really well here. I thunk they are a happy plant. I am amazed of the benefits of their seeds and oil. Moms can’t complain too much about munching on them now. Of course unsalted is better. I prefer mine already shelled. I hate spitting out mess.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Once upon a time, I used to eat sunflower shells along with the seeds so I wouldn’t have to spit them out.

      Don’t judge me. πŸ˜›

  5. Hi Sara – interesting facts about the sunflower – it’s not often we get conceiving and smallpox in the same paragraph! I’m sure sunflower seeds have wonderful properties for us… sunflower butter sounds good – cheers Hilary


    • Sara C. Snider

      Haha, I’m glad I managed to bring that unlikely combination together. πŸ˜‰

  6. When I visit upstate New York, I am always happy the year the farmers plant sunflowers instead of corn. There is even a sunflower maze! Such amazing flowers. Thanks for the historic detail.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Ooh, a sunflower maze sounds fun! πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping by!

  7. the sunflower makes me smile! How can it not? I love sunflower seeds as as a snack sometimes ..

    • Sara C. Snider

      Yes, one must definitely smile around sunny sunflowers! πŸ˜€

  8. I love sunflowers! We plant them every year in our garden and I can remember my grandparents planting them every year in theirs. I didn’t know all those interesting qualities about the sunflower though, thank you for sharing.

    Stopping by from A to Z: S for Strange Games

    • Sara C. Snider

      I love that you’ve carried on the sunflower tradition! πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Sunflower seeds and sunflower butter on toast are two snacks I enjoy. I also make sure I have at least one sunflower in my garden each year because the big yellow flower is like a big smile to everyone who passes by. Plus the sunflowers bring birds to sing in my garden. Thank you for sharing the science and the lore behind sunflowers.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Your garden sounds lovely. πŸ™‚ I also enjoy the seeds and sunflower butter!

  10. It won’t grant a wish for 5 millinon puppies? AWWWWW. *Dreams shattered* πŸ˜‰

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

    • Sara C. Snider

      Not from sunflowers at any rate. Maybe dandelions will make it happen. πŸ˜‰

  11. I’ve eaten my share of sunflower seeds and according to this, should continue eating them.


  12. Sunflowers are awesome flawers. I love their colours and I love that they want to face the sun.
    I also like their seeds very much, though I’v enever tried the butter.

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

    • Sara C. Snider

      The butter is delicious. Tastes like the seeds, only a bit more intense. πŸ™‚

  13. I love sunflowers and sunflower seeds.
    This year, I had a whole bunch of them growing in my garden. Maybe, that’s why the tomatoes and chillies and spinach did so well. Lucky me:)
    T is for Tavaa Toast

  14. I need to get my sunflowers growing! I mean, I do live in Kansas and all.

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