Health Benefits of Sunflowers

| Modified on Aug 12, 2020
Sunflower Health Benefits on Earth Clinic.

Miles and miles of golden green
Where the sunflowers blow
In a solid glow.

– Robert Browning

Conditions Treated with Sunflower Oil Using the Oil Pulling (OP) Method

In 2008, Sandy from Bangalore, India, was kind enough to put together an extensive list of ailments cured by sunflower oil and the oil pulling method, according over 45 Earth Clinic readers.

These conditions are:

  • got rid of tooth/gum/mouth/bad-breath problems
  • teeth whiter and sensitive condition corrected
  • sinus cleared
  • cured toothache
  • blood cholesterol profile got balanced when oil-pulled first thing in the morning
  • postmenopausal hot flushes decreased
  • wake up refreshed
  • hair grew thicker
  • think clearly
  • swollen lymph nodes reduced
  • energy increased (many people said)
  • reduced dependence on caffeine-oil pulling gave a huge energy rush-oil pulling twice a day eliminated 2 cups of coffee from that day
  • blood circulation improved
  • cold hands and feet became warmer
  • cravings decreased
  • skin looks great
  • eliminates dry eyes
  • clears out sugar from body faster
  • pulmonary fibrosis cured
  • cancer cured
  • stopped vaginal discharge
  • clearer breathing
  • better sleep
  • lungs not congested anymore
  • coughing eliminated
  • herpes simplex virus eliminated from body
  • cold sores and canker sores healed
  • cleared allergies
  • hangover (due to alcohol) eliminated
  • lost weight especially around lower abdomen
  • lost 4 pounds in 20 days by oil pulling twice a day
  • gave sound sleep
  • body aches and strains gone
  • fatigue gone
  • irregular periods became regular
  • ear itch gone
  • clearer eyes and clearer vision
  • indigestion problems and gases eliminated
  • cracked heels healed
  • dark circles under eyes eliminated.

Medicinal Uses

Sunflower Seeds are often used for bronchial, laryngeal and pulmonary affections, coughs and colds and whooping cough.


2 OZ of the seeds in 1 quart of water.
Boil down to 12 OZ. and strain.
Add 6 OZ. of Holland gin Add 6 OZ. of sugar.


1-2 teaspoons, taken 3-4 times a day.

Other Medicinal Uses of the Sunflower Plant

  • Tea Made from Leaves for Fevers.
  • Crushed Leaf Poultice for  Sores, Swellings, Snakebites, Spider Bites
  • Tea made from flowers for Malaria and Lung Ailments

Sunflower Leaves for Malaria:

In the Caucus region (a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea) sunflower leaves have been traditionally used treat malarial fever.


Sunflower leaves are spread upon a bed covered with a cloth.
They are then moistened with warm milk and then the patient is promptly wrapped up in it.
The patient produces sweat, which is healing.
The process is repeated every day until the fever has ceased.

Amazing Facts About Sunflowers:

  • Each sunflower is actually thousands of teeny flowers. As many as 2,000 can make up the blooms.
  • Each sunflower can contain as many as 1,000 to 2,000 seeds.
  • 70 species of sunflowers
  • Sunflowers are native to the Americas and domesticated in 1000 BC.
  • French name is tournesol," which means "turns with the sun."
  • Sunflowers can soak up nuclear radiation and were planted by the millions after Fukushima nuclear power plant reactors were destroyed.


  • Sunflowers symbolize truth, loyalty and longevity.
  • In many traditions, sunflowers are seen as symbols of good luck. It is said that planting them around your home and garden will bring good fortune your way.
  • The sunflower is considered a flower of loyalty because day after day, it follows the sun, from east to west.
  • In ancient times, sunflowers were revered by the Aztecs. In their temples of the Sun, priestesses were crowned with sunflowers. Additionally, numerous depictions of the sunflower wrought in pure gold were found in Aztec temples.

Continue reading below for feedback from Earth Clinic readers who have used sunflower oil to cure a number of ailments!

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits

64 User Reviews
5 star (43) 
4 star (2) 
3 star (5) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Naomi (Uta) on 08/12/2020

I used sunflower oil for oil pulling and it has helped my gum disease tremendously. Also love the fresh breath I get from it.

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Michele (Clearwater) on 05/15/2018

Sunflower Oil the Best for Sinus, Lungs, Inflammation

I found your article to be very informative. Seems as though Sesame seed oil the best, 2nd Sunflower oil. No other oils seem to have the majority on best overall success. So I'm gonna try it. Thanks for the info.

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Easy E (Rex, Ga) on 06/03/2013


I have been doing O.P. every morning for about 5 weeks. The first thing I noticed was my nails began to look healthy. Then my teeth brightened. Just recently though, I experienced something that concerned me. My stool was extremely black. Has anyone experienced this? I am using Sunflower oil.

Replied by Annie Jo
(Anniesville, Am.)

Could possibly be you are cleansing your system and that yuck has been in your gut for a while. Just thinking...

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Terry (Columbia, Missouri) on 05/18/2013

I haven't started oil pulling... Yet. I would like to know if I can use sunflower oil used for cooking or does the oil need to be specially processed?

Replied by T. Holiness
(Fall River, Massachusetts)

To Terry from Columbia: I'm actually at the moment! :D

It is always good to use Organic! BUT, if you don't have the budget ALL NATURAL SHOULD be used. You dont want regular GMO oil. Also, you want it UNREFINED. Unrefined means it has not been PROCESSED, which means none of the good stuff was taken out and no bad stuff was put in. Always get Organic, or All Natural, UNREFINED oil.

AND YES, im using Sunflower oil. Other oils work too but I didnt fancy the coconut oil too much. Hope things work out!

- Tommy, Fall River, Ma

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Steve (Philippines, Cdo ) on 11/18/2011

Really works for me. I have been suffering migraines, headache, arthritis for the past 3 years. Last two weeks ago I tried Oil Pulling as soon as I read it from the web. I bought a refined Sunflower Oil, take a tablespoon and swish for 15 to 20 minutes. I usually do it after I wake up in the morning then the second one before I go to bed (which is 3 to 4 hours after dinner). First day effect on me: I got a very great taste bud. Second Effect: I got my arthritis on the second day but I believe it was the symptoms of the healing process, so I just get on with Pulling. Third effect (after 4 days): arthritis is gone and I noticed an improvement on my teeth (whitened) although I smoke. I also noticed that I haven't been very tired at all after a day's work. Now I feel that it's time to say goodbye to my Arthritis (I hope) cause I don't have it anymore when I usually have it 3 times a week before OP. If these healing pushes through, then Oil Pulling is really a hidden miracle. I still continue Oil Pulling 2 times a day....

God Bless...

Replied by Susan
(Lichfield, Staffordshire, Uk)

My hair has been graying since my teens. At about 30 years of age my hair was totally white (just like my mother's) and I was having it professionally coloured every 4-5 weeks and colouring it myself in between (to save cost). I have tried almost everything to reverse the graying but nothing worked …. until now.

I found out about oil-pulling on this site a couple of years ago but obviously didn't read as much as I should have. When my husband had a problem with a tooth abscess recently, I remembered about oil pulling and after 3 days of pulling with coconut oil his tooth was better. Meanwhile I read more and went to and read the entire site. When I found that it supposedly cured graying hair I immediately purchased Organic Sunflower Oil and started using 1tbsp once per day in the morning for 20 minutes. The taste was a little weird at first but I am a determined person and was totally committed to reversing my graying. After a couple of days the taste no longer bothered me. I stopped taking all of the other lotions, potions and pills that I was taking as I wanted to be sure that it was the oil-pulling if there was to be a reversal of gray.

Now call me nuts if you like (my husband did) but in 3 days I noticed dark roots! I asked my hairdresser if I was going crazy and she said that it looked like dark roots and that we would keep an eye on it. At this point I also changed my shampoo to non-SLS. Every single day I would check the mirror and I swear that every day the number of dark roots increased. Today I was again at the hairdresser's and she was amazed. She said that my roots are definitely turning dark. I am totally amazed, thankful, and over the moon.

I don't know if this will work for everyone but I don't see why not. If you are skeptical - so was I - just try it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I plan to switch to sesame once my sunflower bottle is empty and I will switch between those two and continue oil-pulling until the day I die. God bless oil-pulling.

Replied by Heather

Hi, I'm glad this has worked for you. I wish I understood why- can any one explain? Is it just the type of oil you are using? It is brilliant that you have noticed a change so quickly. I have been wearing 2 copper bangles for the last couple of months and haven't honestly noticed a change to my grey but I do get marks where the bracelets touch my skin- I will carry on till December to give it a better chance before I try op.

Replied by Susan
(Lichfield, Staffordshire, Uk)

Hi Heather, From what I understand on the oilpulling site, the oil pulling pulls out toxins from the blood stream via the saliva that is created while oil pulling. The body is then free to heal itself as it is programmed to do.

Even if your copper bracelets start working, if I were you I would still start oil pulling as it has many benefits apart from reversing graying hair, for instance my teeth are no longer stained by red wine drinking and are whiter than I ever remember them. Also for years I have had a very sensitive tooth where the enamel had worn away between the tooth and the gum. The tooth doesn't bother me anymore and either the enamel has grown back or the come has grown over the gap. Either way I am very happy after only 6 weeks of oil pulling.

Good luck with whatever remedy you choose. I will update as I continue pulling if there is anything to report.

I'm wondering why Oil Pulling isn't listed as a remedy on the "Hair, graying" page.

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Martika (Cumberland, Ri) on 11/15/2011

I started the oil pulling with sunflower oil for my pulmonary fibrosis, however I would like to know if it is normal to get canker sores and a sore throat on the third day of doing this. When I finish I do rinse with salt water and baking soda can someone please reply to me about this?

Replied by Timh
(Louisville, Usa)
2063 posts

Martika, my O. P. Experience was kinda similar except it took about one month for infection in my entire head region to occur, and I began experiencing esophagitus. The effects of O.P. were so positive that I knew I had to meet the challenging bad side effects. I think the problem is essentially an abundance of infection in the body, as-for-me, this could be fungal, bacterial, viral.

I began taking 1 gm vit-C before and after the pull, and mouth rinse w/ colloidal silver fallowing pull, and this is currently working for me (I am actually pulling as I write this). I pull only once daily and sometimes a back-to-back pull. I also started fortifying the Canola oil with cod liver oil and vit-E.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Replied by Patricia
(Hanover, Ontario Canada)

Hey there. I just read Martika's post re side effects of oil pulling and it concerned me. I also was wanting to try oil pulling for the first time but am hesitant now as I am extremely prone to canker sores (bad ones) and would not want to open that door as they are under control right now. Is it part of the healing crisis that occurs as you detox? If so and it is short lived that is ok. It is confusing to me as I thought the oil pulling supported oral health. Any info welcome.

Replied by Ray
(Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom)

Hello all,

I have been oil pulling now for 6 weeks or so. At first the benefits were clear to see such as feeling lighter, skin felt better and teeth felt and look so nice and clean s after expelling tons of mucous and now it seems that I'm either having the a strong healing crisis or changing oil might be the cause. Pains in the lower back, headaches, red eyes, joints ache, pains in the liver side of the abdomen and even the bones ache. Could it be the years of toxins finally coming out? It sounds like a huge toxic release taking place, I hope? Anyway care to share their experiences and see if as Dr Karcher says the really bad stuff to heal from might take anything up to a year? Btw I changed from cold pressed organic sesame to CPO sunflower.

Replied by P
(Middle Of, Fl)

Try it with coconut oil, it has ANTI- fungal / oxidant /biotic properties and I read that's what TED recommends because it helps fight the bacteria. Maybe makes a difference for you, good luck!

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Bella (Uk) on 09/14/2011

I have been oil pulling for about two or three weeks with sunflower oil and my mouth has got really, really dry, my cheeks sticking to my teeth even after closing my mouth for just a couple of minutes. I am not dehydrated, I have been constantly sipping water and have 2 litres a day but my mouth is so dry. I have heard some suffer this side-effect with sunflower oil but can't find an explanation why. Anyone know? I am now using olive oil and feel much better.

Replied by Becky
(Laporte, Tx)

I have been using organic sunflower oil for about three months now, and have not had the dry mouth issue at all. I have not had as many good effects as others seem to have with other oils, so I may be changing to a different oil. My teeth do feel cleaner and it has helped my bleeding gums some. I was hoping for more good effects, but I miss it if I don't do it, so will continue. I was going to use sesame oil but the store was out when I went to buy the oil.

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Kaz (Gosford Nsw, Australia) on 07/16/2011

I have been oil pulling for 2 years, on and off. Recently I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2. I started oil pulling earnestly again every morning before eating or drinking. It is week 4 and I've missed one day only. In that short amount of time I have lost 6 kilos (approx 14lbs) although I have cut out all white foods, flour, cakes, bread (replaced with Rye bread). I had a ganglion cyst on my wrist that has been there for over two years and was the size of a large marble and I noticed yesterday that it has gone! I had a large haemorrhoid that was very itchy after using the bathroom and it too has gone. A weepy fluid filled lump on the side of my breast has also disappeared. My bowel movements are soft and easy to pass. My breath is fresh all day long and my teeth are white and as I have two lower implants, they have adhered back to the gum line and feel as strong as the day they were implanted, some 16 years ago. I sleep better, my husband says I hardly snore and overall, I feel really energetic and less tired. I'm due to have another blood test soon and I'll keep you updated if it has had any effect on my diabetes. I use sunflower oil as I find it the best and cheapest. Just your regular supermarket variety will do. Once you see the benefits of oil pulling, you will never look back.

Replied by Francisca
(Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France)

It sounds great, Kaz and I am very happy for you, unfortunately, although I have been doing OP for many months now quite regularly, I don't really see any benefit. I have tried several oils...... Not better and not worse!

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Earthfolk (Regina, Canada) on 07/06/2011


I was wondering if anyone have done oil pulling and their Blood sugar level has increased.

I started oil pulling about 2 months and have notice my sugar level have increased.

So I decided to check this out so before I did my oil pulling it was 6.3 and after doing OP it went to 6.8 and this happened all the time but I only checked it 3-4 times only.

I feel good about OP and use sunflower oil and do it for 20 mins without brushing my teeth, and then I spit it out and then I swish my mouth with listerine and then brush my teeth and drink about 2 glasses of water. I feel a little dehydrated or the need to drink water after I spit it out.

Please explain - thank you for your time

Replied by Kiki
(New Mexico)

Stop with the Listerine. It is extremely aggressive and in my opinion it ruins the good results of OP. The delicate removal of toxins by the oil is been followed by a huge dose of abrasive detergent! No wonder your mouth is dry. Listerine or any other chemical mouth wash, kills all the good bacteria that you need for digestion and good health, the oil does not.

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Diane (Hemet, Ca.) on 06/18/2011

Hi and thanks for your site. Note: I bought sunflower oil and when I click on the link (list of oils) sesame oil comes up not sunflower, thanks

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Diamond (Cleveland, England) on 05/13/2011


I have just recently found your site and found it very interesting.

i found out 8month ago tha I have gingivitis im taking q-10 at the minute and q-10 toothpaste . Plus corsodyl 3xdaily. But would like to try oil pulling I have got quite a few silver fillings, plus 4 caps at the front of my mouth but these are receeding due to the gum disease. I read tha refined expeller pressed (hainbrand )sunflower oil is good, but I cant find it. is their anything else I can use please help?

Replied by Guest408
(San Jose, Ca Usa)

sunflower, sesame (not toasted), olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil are the most common used for oil pulling. they all should help, it's mostly a matter of availability and personal preference.

Replied by Anne
(Chicago, Il)

I tried sesame because it was the most used, but it didn't settle well for me. I use UDO's, which is a mix, and it is much more palatable, I find...

Replied by Susan
(Lichfield, Staffordshire, Uk)

Hi Diamond, I use Organic Sunflower Oil. Purchased it online from Holland & Barrett if that's any help.

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Girl (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on 10/21/2010

I have been oil pulling for a while now using organic, unrefined sunflower oil. Sometimes when OP the oil separates in my mouth. Is this a reaction to a more serious problem? It doesn't separate all the time but has on several occasions and I would like to know what causes this.

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Su (Durban, Kzn, South Africa) on 09/16/2010

Hi, I started OP yesterday with 1 tbsp of evoo and found it difficult to swish in my mouth for 15 mins, today I tried with 1 tsp of sunflower oil and swished for 12 min and when I was done it was thin, white and foamy- am I doing it correctly? I did however notice that my hair is alot smoother :) I also noticed that I'm urinating more than usual even during the night :(

1 of the reasons I am OP is I want to get rid off the dark circles- even though this is hereditary (I am Indian). Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Su from Durban, Kzn, South Africa, dark circles under eyes usually indicate a kidney problem. So if oil pulling is making you drain your kidneys faster, it is HELPFUL for those dark circles. When it will stabilize, you will not have to urinate so often anymore.

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Lisa (Brisbane, Australia) on 09/05/2010

A YEA for oil pulling with sunflower oil! I read on EC that oil pulling can help your teeth so I thought I'd try it to adress my sore molar. The dentist has said over the past 7 or so years that this particular molar was a bit soft in the middle, but he doesn't like doing fillings unless absolutely neccessary and I have always avoided a filling. However recently the tooth has been sore more often, and I was sure I'd need a filling this time. I have been oil pulling for 5 days and it hasn't been sore again. However I'll keep going, go to the dentist and report back here on that tooth.

I started with a tablespoon of sunflower oil but now fill my mouth as it helps stave off the desire to swallow. I pull for 15 minutes minimum and sometimes change the oil halfway through if it's 'done' early (white, foamy, thick).

What I really wanted to report was the effect on my dead gray tooth. It is one of my top incisors (noticible when smiling), had a root canal 10 years ago, and has gotten progressively darker. Recently it's been really noticible and I have been looking into getting it bleached from the inside again for the sake of my smile (and confidence). HOWEVER, after oil pulling just TWICE with sunflower oil I noticed a HUGE difference. It was HALF AS DARK as before, I couldn't believe it! After 5 days of oil pulling the tooth doesn't even look gray from some angels! I am gobsmacked, pun intended! I CANNOT BELIEVE how much it has lightened my gray tooth. And I have saved at least $400 AU by 'bleaching' it naturally too.

So how did it happen?? I've been reading and dead teeth supposedly go gray because of dead nerve tissue rotting. If you have a root canal the tooth is dead on the inside, but alive on the outside (and they can't get all the tiny nerves out from around the core). The dead nerve tissue becomes a breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria which excrete toxicity into your bloodstream. This can lead to chronic infection and toxicity in any part of the body leading to all kinds of diseases. I never used to get colds, but over the years I've been getting them more and more often, and I actually live much healthier now than I did 10 years ago. So it would not surprise me if the dead tooth contributed to this by compromising my immune system.

ANYWAY - if the sunflower oil attracts bacteria when oil pulling, I figure it's drawn out the bacteria from my dead tooth - hence the lightening. I have a tiny crack in the tooth which may have aided this? Another thing was that I noticed the sunflower oil went white and foamy pretty quickly (after ~ 7 minutes) leading me to think that there was a lot of bacteria in my mouth (from the dead tooth). So if you have a root canal it's probably even more important to oil pull!! I'm so glad I found EC and read up on oil pulling, thanks guys! Looking forward to see the effect on my gums (receding on a couple of teeth) and my molar. Cheers Lisa

Replied by Carri Anne
(Boulder, Co)

Thanks for writing this. I'm on my 2nd day of oil pulling & notice a difference in a front graying tooth as well with the SAME circumstance! I can't believe I saw your post. Sesame oil is what I'm using & considered doing it twice per day, then realized the stomach should be empty? I've noticed differences in my teeth now feeling more holes as I swish longer, then feel better after so there must be more going on with my teeth. I'm going to keep going with this & apply chamomile drop on a cotton ball directly to the spot to also assist. Will post with progress!

Replied by Sheila
(Ft Worth, Tx, Usa)

I have been oil pulling for one month, with the exception of 1 week. I was not sure if it was helping or not, I had blisters all over my arms and a rash on neck and around upper chest area. I thought I was aggravating my symptoms with the dermatitis and eczema. Although, my teeth are so white, which I never noticed until my husband asked if I had them bleached. I told him, the oil pulling must be working to some degree, because everyone says their teeth and gums become very healthy. Which is the case with me, too. But I still had the rash, and pain, especially on my upper chest.

I came back to read further posts, and found that alot of posts were about adding acidophilus. Yesterday, I made a bee-line to get this wonder probiotic, and see if this could help also. (Along with B****s ACV, I am going to add this to my fight, also. ) I took one of the capsules (I think it was the 25 billion strength that I bought). I am totally amazed, to say the least! The rash that burned and was painful to the touch, is healing (overnight! ). The burning pain is gone and I am still amazed. The infected areas are healing so quickly! I woke up feeling better than I have in years. I don't feel lethargic. The skin on my arm is healing, with a few areas that still have broken skin, from where I had scratched in my sleep, prior to last night. My face didn't burn while in the shower, it is still very dry, red and chapped. I have been using organic coconut oil from the whole foods store, due to it's healing properties, to keep my skin moisturized. I was surprised that it is does not have a greasy feeling, as I would have thought. I have stopped looking for the miracle moisturizer that the doctors like to prescribe. I am so happy to have found this site, and thankful for all who post! Will update, with the ACV addition.

Sunflower Oil Health Benefits
Posted by Francisca (Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France) on 04/11/2010

Oil pulling dental problems

As I posted before I was quite sad to have to go to the dentist some time after I started oil pulling with sun flower oil. First I thought that my filling had fallen because I had eaten very hard sausages but when it happened again I was sure that it was the Oil Pulling. I had read here that some people had problems but never thought that it would happen to me. My tooth has now been so drilled that I am afraid that I am going to loose it so no more Oil Pulling for me although it was great for my gums. No problems with older fillings but the dentist says that maybe the older ones were made of some other material, this one was 18 months old and that might be the problem. Still.... I wonder why slushing a bit of oil in your mouth causes so much problem. Any solutions? Maybe another oil? The only solution the dentist had was try oil pulling again and see what happens but by now I am tired of going there and having work done on my tooth, not to mention the costs!