Puszta, Hungary

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Oil from organic sunflower seeds has many nourishing properties

In the middle of the dry grass plains of central Hungary the bright yellow blooms of sunflowers grow in the fields. This is Hungary’s ancient Puszta, once an endless sea of grass and now the source of certified organic sunflower oil organically grown for Weleda products.

Tracking the sun's movement

The sunflower originates from North and Central America where indigenous North and South Americans used the seeds as a fat-rich food source. Seeds were first brought to Europe by Spanish sailors in the 16th century, since when it has become a familiar feature of the farm and garden throughout Europe. The taxonomic name helianthus annuus is derived from the Greek words helios, sun, and anthos flower. On sunny days, the friendly, open face of the flower tracks the movement of the sun and turns back to its original position by daybreak.It also looks like the popular image of the sun itself when in blossom – a simple child’s drawing of a glowing yellow disk fringed with fiery petals – so it’s not surprising that the word ‘sun’ forms part of this flower’s name in many languages. In German it is called sonnenblume, in French tournesol and, here in Hungary, napraforgó, the one that turns to the sun.

The sunflower needs a humus- and nutrient-rich soil, adequate water, pollinating insects and, of course, the essential heat of the sun. These conditions are met in the heart of the Puszta, where our partner companies also grow spelt, wheat and oat crops. In late summer the leaves die and the green undersides of the flower-heads turn yellow. Now the seeds are ripe and can be harvested with the same harvester that collects the cereal grains, an efficient process for the farmers. The seeds are really oil-rich – from 20 kilos of sunflower seeds, about seven kilograms of sunflower oil can be pressed, so Weleda receives plenty of high quality, certified organic sunflower oil from these Hungarian partners.

Ideal for cosmetics

Furthermore, Weleda solely sources sunflower oil in organic quality from high oleic culture. These plants have a higher content of oleic acid than conventional sunflowers. This sunflower oil is more stable and lasting and ideal for combination with other cosmetic oils. Sunflower oil is known for its pure, nourishing properties and is used in many Weleda natural cosmetic products, including our uniquely skin-nourishing Pomegranate range.