Safflower facts

Safflower botanically known as Carthamus tinctorius is an annual plant. It belongs to the Asteraceae family. The stems are upright and stiff which bears yellow to red flowers. The leaves are long and spiny. The seeds are used to extract the oil. The plant grows upto 1 m or 3 ft. in poor and dry soils with full sun. Though the origins of Safflower are unclear, the herbalists consider the basin of The Euphrates River. Today Safflower is widely grown in Iran, North Africa and Northwest India. It got spread to the North America and Far East. It is cultivated both as a food crop and herb. The flower heads of Safflower is used to provide color to vinegar and sauces.

Name Safflower
Scientific Name Carthamus tinctorius
Native It is considered to be originated in Southern Asia and also cultivated in China, Persia, India and Egypt from primitive times.
Common/English Name Safflower, American Saffron, False Saffron, Dyer’s Saffron ‘Magestic Orange’, Bastard saffron, Zaffer, Mexican saffron
Name in Other Languages French: carthame des teinturiers;
German: Färberdistel;
Italian: cartamo;
Japanese Rōmaji: beni-bana;
Portuguese: açaflor;
Spanish: alazor;
Swahili: alizeti ya miba;
Swedish: safflor;
Transcribed Chinese: hong hua;
Transcribed Korean: iskkot
Plant Growth Habit Annual, thistle, spiny, muchbranched herb
Growing Climate Hot, dry
Soil Deep, fertile, well-drained
Plant Size Height: 30-150 cm (12-59 inches)
Lifespan Annual, short lived
Root Deep taproot
Stem Stiff, upright, terete, glabrous, light green-light yellowish tan
Leaf Long, spiny, alternate, Length: 2-6″; Across: ½-2″; lanceolate to oblong, ovate-oblong
Flowering Season June-July
Flower Yellow, orange, red, globular heads
Seed White, shiny, smooth, 15-20 seeds per head
Seeds weight 0.01-0.1 g
Fruit Season August-September
Major Nutritions Copper, Cu 0.495 mg (55.00%)
Tryptophan 0.052 g (37.73%)
Total Fat (lipid) 10.9 g (31.14%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.33 mg (27.50%)
Phosphorus, P 183 mg (26.14%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.332 mg (25.54%)
Manganese, Mn 0.571 mg (24.83%)
Magnesium, Mg 100 mg (23.81%)
Valine 0.291 g (23.48%)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 1.143 mg (22.86%)
Health Benefits
  • Heart health
  • Treat diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Healthy hair
  • Skin health
  • PMS symptoms
  • Enhance immunity
  • Arthritis
  • Weakness
  • Level of blood sugar
Calories in 1 oz. (28.35 gm) 147 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • Flowers lower the chances of coronary heart disease and cholesterol levels.
  • It helps to treat stomatitis and tumors.
  • The flowers are anticholesterolemic, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, laxative, sedative, purgative and stimulant.
  • It cures menstrual pains and promotes the smooth menstrual flow.
  • It also cures measles, eruptive skin and fever.
  • It is used for skin inflammations, bruising, wounds, and skin inflammation.
  • It is also used to clean the wounds.
  • The oil reduces the level of serum cholesterol which helps to prevent the heart ailments.
  • The decoction alleviates varicose veins, blood stasis patterns, leg and feet numbness, poor blood circulation and bruising.
  • It is an aid for arthritis and also enhances the function of liver.
  • Infusions of Safflower help to treat bronchial ailments and coughs.
  • Pregnant women should Safflower as it leads to menstruation.
  • The patients of hemorrhagic illness and peptic ulcers should avoid Safflower.
  • Its results in abdominal pain, discomfort, gastrointestinal bleeding, diarrhea, menorrhagia and cramps.
  • Sensitive people might get allergic reactions.
  • Safflower slows down the blood clotting.
How to Eat
  • The oil is used to prepare various dishes.
  • The oil is used to dress salad, margarines and cooking oils.
  • Seed are cooked, fried or roasted.
  • The young shoots and leaves are cooked.
  • The young leaves are eaten as vegetables.
Other Facts
  • India is considered as the highest producer of Safflower in the world.
  • North and South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska and Arizona also produce Safflower.


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