Safflower - Carthamus Tinctorius
Safflower is an annual herb, which is related to sunflower. Both of plants belong to the same family. Its oil, which is made from seeds and rarely flowers are main by-products of this plant. Seeds also may be used in cosmetics and flowers are often used instead of the popular saffron spice, although it’s much cheaper than saffron. In ancient times safflower or as it also called carthamus tinctorius, was used as a natural dye in textiles. In China safflower was valued for its medicinal properties. But for the last fifty years it is cultivated commonly for its oil.
Safflower oil is highly recommended for those people, who want to lower their blood sugar level and lose weight. This oil is extremely popular among vegetarians and people, who has heart conditions and are not allowed to eat meat products, because it can replace animal fats easily. Consuming safflower oil, which is a source of Omega 6 linoleic acid, helps to reduce cholesterol level and prevent from different heart diseases.
If you want to boost your immune system, you may also use safflower oil. It is rich in vitamin E, which is also an excellent natural antioxidant.
As safflower oil regulates the level of blood sugar and glucose, it may be used as a treatment for diabetics. It also helps to treat tumors, fever, injuries, menstrual and chest pains.
In cosmetics safflower oil plays an important role as it acts like an effective moisturizer, conditioner and cleanser. As it keeps water in our skin, it has a powerful anti-aging effect. Don’t be afraid of possible allergic reactions of your skin to safflower oil, it is safe.
In culinary safflower oil is used as cooking oil, which doesn’t have a distinctive flavor. You can add it to your favorite salads or fry on it.
Don’t use flowers of safflower while pregnancy, it may cause miscarriage, however, safflower seed oil is safe. If you have bleeding problems, avoid consuming safflower oil, as it slows blood coagulation. Also, don’t use it before, during or after surgery. Breast-feeding women are not recommended to consume this product.