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Art Show: Flower of the Month: Medicinal Plants


by Terena L. Jessup

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Art: Sunflower by Artist Terena L. Jessup
Printed on 100% cotton - acid-free Somerset Textured Professional Digital Art Paper. Medicinal Benefits Native Americans valued all parts of the sunflower for its healing properties. For cuts and bruises, the juices from the stem were applied directly to the injured areas. They made a liniment by boiling the roots and applying the warm liquid to relieve any inflammation, pain and itching from poison ivy, snakebites and rheumatism. The seeds were used as a diuretic, as relief for constipation, chest pain, and ulcers, to rid the body of worms, and to cure warts. Russians had a unique remedy for relieving rheumatism. They combined chopped sunflower heads, soap chips, and vodka into a mixture that was sun-aged for a period of nine days, and then rubbed the potion on their achy joints. A tea made by boiling the stems of the sunflower offered relief from coughs and fevers. John Douglas, a physician, recommends raw sunflower seeds to his patients with cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure because they are high in potassium and low in sodium. He also found that raw sunflower seeds offered allergy relief to some of his patients. For patients who were in his stop-smoking program, he recommended sunflower seeds, not only for their nutritional benefits, but to provide an activity to keep their hands and mouths busy. The high vitamin E and polyunsaturated fat content provide benefits that help lower cholesterol. Please view larger image for details.


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