Safflower is a plant. The flower and oil from the seeds are used as medicine.
Safflower seed oil is used for high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, to prevent scarring, and for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
In foods, safflower seed oil is used as a cooking oil.
In manufacturing, safflower flower is used to color cosmetics and dye fabrics. Safflower seed oil is used as a paint solvent.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The linolenic and linoleic acids in safflower seed oil might help prevent "hardening of the arteries," lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Safflower contains chemicals that may thin the blood to prevent clots, widen blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and stimulate the heart.
USES & EFECTIVENESS
High cholestrol. Some research shows that taking safflower oil as a dietary suppliment or substituting it for other oils in the diet helps lower total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol. However, it does not seem to lower other blood fats called triglycerides or raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol.
Chest pain (angina). Early research shows that giving safflower yellow, a component of safflower flower, by IV along with standard medicine for chest pain slightly improves symptoms in Chinese people with chest pain.
Heart disease. Eating 1.5 tablespoons per day of a safflower oil that is high in oleic acid may help to prevent heart disease. But research is limited.
Cystic fibrosis. Early research shows that taking safflower oil by mouth for one year does not improve test markers or severity of cystic fibrosis in children.