Safflower plant is thistly and upright with the smooth, branched stalks growing up to 1 metre in height. It is 45 cm across and has alternate, ovate leaves. They are toothed with small spines, and the tip is pointed. Each branch bears 10-12 flowers in June and July that are 2-5 cm in diameter. The flower head has chaffy, prickly bracts with a tuft of golden orange florets in the center. The oblong seeds are 6-7 mm in size. Safflower is often called the bastard or poor man’s saffron; it does not have the flavor or the colour of the original saffron.
Geographical places where Safflower grows
It grows in arid areas that have seasonal rainfall. It is grown in many places around the world with Kazakhstan, USA, Argentina, Mexico and India leading the production. In India, Maharashtra and Karnataka are main states growing safflower. But it is also grown in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Bihar, and parts of Andhra Pradesh, etc.
Common names of Carthamus tinctorius
It has the common name of safflower, bastard saffron, dyer’s saffron.
Botanical name or family
The botanical name of this plant is Carthamus tinctorius. It belongs to the Asteraceae family.
Safflower Medicinal uses
It has been used since the olden days to treat a variety of illness. The medicinal nature is due to the chemicals such as carthamin, oleic acid, safflower yellow, palmitic acid, linoleic acid, stearic acid, linolenic acid, and arachic acid.
Used as a laxative: When a person has trouble passing stools, they need a laxative. The laxative improves bowel movement and relieves the symptoms of constipation. If you have trouble passing a motion, or you have a feeling of incomplete evacuation, they may be signs of constipation. Drink one glass of the decoction of safflower twice a day. Find constipation home remedies.
Dietary supplement to modify lipid profiles: Cholesterol is a waxy substance that stays separate from the blood. Cholesterol combines with proteins to become LDL or HDL cholesterol. HDL scavenges the LDL and sends them to the liver. Adding safflower oil to the food helps build the HDL levels sufficiently so that the cholesterol level in the blood is healthy.
Treat high fever: Safflower decoction shows the antipyretic property. You can use it for treating fever. Drink one glass of the safflower decoction twice a day.
Helps people with cystic fibrosis: Cystic fibrosis is a serious ailment that ranges from breathing difficulties to infertility. This happens when you have two copies of the defective gene in the CFTR protein. CFTR takes part in the production of mucus, digestive fluids, and sweat. Adding safflower oil to the diet has shown alleviation of symptoms.
Used as a diaphoretic: The diaphoresis action is the increase in the sweating mainly due to the dilation of the surface capillaries. This helps in ridding wastes from the body. Have safflower tea once a day, and you will have clearer skin. Your blood becomes rid of toxins.
Used as an emmenagogue: The emmenagogue is a substance that increases the menstrual flow. Safflower is one of those that stimulate the blood flow in the pelvic area. When you miss your period, use this flower to stimulate the menstrual flow. Be careful when you are pregnant since it might cause an abortion.
Alleviate symptoms of those with neurotoxicity from lithium: Lithium can help prevent depressive episodes, but an overdose could prove toxic. Development of slurred speech that could lead to delirium is the symptom. You can reverse the toxicity with the safflower decoctions. Drink tea made with the flower petals. Drinking plenty of fluids will help alleviate the symptoms of lithium overdose.
Carminative property: Safflower has carminative property, and it helps relieves the symptoms of flatulence. This is due to the presence of volatile compounds that combat the formation of gas. It helps expel the gas and clear the intestine. This helps healthy digestion. Drink safflower petal tea twice a day to get relief from flatulence. You can add safflower oil to the diet and enjoy the benefits.
Analgesic property: Analgesic is a medicine that relieves the pain sensation but does not block the verve impulses. When the nerve impulses are blocked, it can affect your consciousness. Safflower has the property of relieving pain. You can have it as oil in the diet or make a special preparation such as decoction or tea. It helps you get relief from headaches and bruises.
Helps people with Friedreich’s Ataxia: This ailment is inherited and causes damage to the nervous system. This recessive disease is autosomal and manifest first as poor coordination. The person will show a disturbance in the gait. Using safflower oil for cooking can prove beneficial though the prognosis in most of the cases is not good. Most of the patients with Friedreich’s Ataxia die of cardiac dysfunction.
Diuretic nature: Diuretics are commonly used to treat many medical conditions such as liver disease, high blood pressure, a few kidney diseases, and heart failure.
Prevent hardening of the arteries: Use of safflower oil can prove helpful for lowering the chances of hardening of the arteries. The cholesterol gets deposited on the walls of the blood vessel. Over time, this deposit hardens and can lead to serious medical conditions. It widens the blood vessels and improves the blood flow. Thus, the heart is stimulated, and the health improves. It lowers the incidence of stroke.
Treat colds and coughs: You can make hot tea from safflower and have it to induce perspiration. This is a treatment used for colds, fevers, and respiratory problems. It exhibits soothing properties that prove useful for cases of hysteria that is associated with chlorosis. You can use it for treating bruises and delayed menses. It improves circulation and is used for the treatment of measles.
Other uses: Safflower oil can be used to treat chest pain. People use it to treat severe injuries. Its powerful action is seen in the way safflower seed oil is used to dissolve paints.
You can dry and powder the flowers to make a substitute for saffron. You may mix it with talc to make rouge. They make dyes ranging from red to yellow with the fresh flower petals. You can use the flowers as a scent in potpourris. They make the best flower arrangements.
Some people show an allergic reaction to safflower. If you develop rashes or hives, wash with water and stop the use of safflower.