Family: Asteraceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Surjamukhi.

English Name: Sunflower.

Description of the Plant:
A tall annual, stems hispid or hirsute 1-2 m high. Leaves 7-30 cm long, blades broadly ovate, smaller above, slightly acuminate at the apex, decidedly toothed; lower leaves cordate and upper leaves cuneate at the base. Ligules of the ray-florets 2.5-5 cm long, yellow, disk flat, 3-5 cm broad.

Using Information:
Leaves are emetic; applied in lumber pain, useful in the treatment of malaria. Flowers are tonic, emmenagogue, anthelmintic and antiperiodic; cures anaemia, skin diseases, itching, ulcers, leprosy, fever with regor, asthma, bronchitis, urinary discharges and lessen inflammation; also used in piles, ophthalmia and ascites. Seeds are diuretic and expectorant; used in bronchial, laryngeal and pulmonary affections, cough and colds (Yusuf et al. 2009).

Polymeric fraction of oil is toxic and inhibits growth of animals. Sunflower oil lowers blood cholesterol in human; retards intra-arterial occlusive thrombosis in rats; useful in peptic ulcer; dissolves gall stone, in vitro (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents:
The edible fixed oil of seeds contains hydrocarbons, triterpenes, sterols, stigmasterol and β-sitosterol, sterol glucosides and fatty acids- palmitic, stearic and linoleic acids. Unrefined oil contains carcinogenic hydrocarbons; seed flour contains phenolic substances and a glucoside of chlorogenic acid. Flowers contain a large number of triterpenes alcohols, helianol being the major one, haemolytic glycosides, sterol, glycosides of triterpenes acids and a saponin glycoside, helianthoside. They also contain neoxanthin, pseudotaraxerene derivatives, heliantriol C & F, other heliantriols manilladiol and longispinogenin. Leaves contain depsides, ascorbic acid, citric acid and malic acid; shoots contain triterpene alcohols (Ghani, 2003).


Cultiveted as ornamental plant and also as oil-seed crop.

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Retutn from HELIANTHUS ANNUS to Medicinal Plants: Part H