Carthamus tinctorius


PROPERTIES: Sudorific, Emmenagogue, Carminative

SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Cardiovascular, Reproductive, Digestive, Integumentary

POSSIBLE USES: menstrual cycle delay, abdominal pain, wounds, sores, skin rashes, cholesterol levels

It is interesting to note that the 19th century uses of Safflower in North American herbal medicine mirrored exactly the usage of Safflower in Chinese herbal medicine. Perhaps the two continents communicated their uses for this simple herb, but it seems unlikely that communication would have been either detailed or as widespread as it was in North America.

Safflower was—and is—used to induce sweating, and to induce the onset of menstruation. It was used, both in China and in America, as a treatment for measles. Safflower is used to relieve abdominal pain. The flowers are also used to cleanse and heal wounds and sores, and to treat skin rashes.

Modern research in China indicates that Safflowers can reduce coronary artery disease, and lower cholesterol levels. Safflower contains a polysaccharide that has been shown to stimulate immune function—the tests have only been done on mice. Safflower lowers cholesterol levels.

Safflower is sometimes mistakenly sold under the name of Saffron.