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 reason—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