Safflower Oil

Safflower is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual plant. It is commercially cultivated for vegetable oils extracted from the seeds. Plants are 30 to 150 cm (12 to 59 in) tall with globular flower heads having yellow, orange, or red flowers. Each branch will usually have from one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head. It is native to arid environments having seasonal rain. It grows a deep taproot which enables it to thrive in such environments. The scientific name of safflower is ‘Carthamus tinctorius’.

safflower oil

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Health Benefits of Safflower Oil

This seed oil is used for preventing heart diseases, including “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis) and stroke. It is also used to treat fever, tumors, coughs, breathing problems, clotting conditions, pain, heart disease, chest pain, and traumatic injuries. Some people use it for inducing sweating; and as a laxative, stimulant, antiperspirant, and expectorant to help loosen phlegm.

Diabetes– Early research shows that taking this oil by mouth for 3 weeks can increase blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. This seed oil does not seem to affect insulin levels or insulin sensitivity.

Women sometimes use this seed oil for absent or painful menstrual periods; they use this seed flower to cause an abortion. In manufacturing, this seed flower is used to color cosmetics and dye fabrics. This seed oil is used as a paint solvent.

High cholesterol that is passed down through families (familial hypercholesterolemia). Evidence about the effects of this seed oil in treating high cholesterol that is passed down through families is conflicting. Some early research suggests that replacing dietary butter with this seed oil decrease ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in people with this condition. Other research shows no beneficial effects.

Hepatitis C. – Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing safflower, pumpkin seeds, plantain seeds, and Japanese honeysuckle (EH0202) by mouth for 3 months reduces general discomfort, bloating, nausea, and vomiting in people with hepatitis C. However, the amount of hepatitis C virus present in the body does not appear to be affected.

High Blood Pressure– Evidence about the effects of this seed oil on blood pressure is conflicting. Some early research suggests that taking this seed oil by mouth for 6-8 weeks lowers blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, other evidence suggests that taking this seed oil is not effective for lowering blood pressure

A scaly skin condition (phrynoderma). Early research suggests that taking this seed oil containing vitamin E and linoleic acid by mouth for more than 8 weeks can improve skin dryness and roughness in people with phrynoderma.

Disadvantages of Safflower Oil

Children: It is possibly safe to inject a specific this seed oil emulsion (Liposyn) intravenously (by IV), provided the this seed oil emulsion is administered to children by a healthcare professional.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: This seed oil is possibly safe to take by mouth during pregnancy. But don’t take safflower flower during pregnancy. It is likely safe. It can bring on menstrual periods, make the uterus contract, and cause miscarriages. There isn’t much information about the safety of using this seed oil or flower during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding problems (hemorrhagic diseases, stomach or intestinal ulcers, or clotting disorders): This oil can slow blood clotting. If you have any kind of bleeding problem, don’t use this oil.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: This oil may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking safflower.

Diabetes: This oil might increase blood sugar. There is concern that this oil might interfere with blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

Surgery: Since this oil might slow blood clotting, there is a concern that it could increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using this oil at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.