Thursday, February 19, 2009

Carthamus tinctorius L.

English Name : Safflower, Dyer's Saffron, American Saffron, Fake Saffron and Flores Carthami

Family : Asteraceae

Origin : Europe and Asia

Its glabrous, branching stem grows from 1 to 3 feet high and bears alternate, sessile, oblong, or ovate-lanceolate leaves armed with small, spiny teeth. The orange-yellow flowers grow in flower heads about 1 to 11/2 inches across. This thistle is valued for its orange-yellow flowers in summer and for the oil contained in its seeds.

Parts Used : Flower, seed and its oil and plant.

Herb Effects
Laxative, reduces blood cholesterol and alleviates spasms (seed); kills bacteria, diaphoretic, diuretic and neutralizes uric acid.

Active Ingredients
Alpha-tocopherol, tetracosenoic, linoleic and oleic acids, stigmasterol, campesterol and beta-sitosterol (plant oil); alpha-phyllandrene, hexanal, limonene, p-cymene, phenol (bud); ascorbic acid, linoleic acid, niacin, oleic acid, palmitic acid, riboflavin, stearic acid, thiamin, tracheloside (seed); beta-ionone, caryophyllene,delta-cadinene, ethyl-acetate, terpinen-4-ol, verbenone (flower).

Medicinal Use
Sores and pain related to rheumatism (seed oil); jaundice (flower); laxative (seed); boils, candida infections, dysmenorrhea, rashes, fever, gout, gynecopathy, lack of apetite, measles, tumors, as an antidote, an emmenagogue, in cases of hysteria, such as that associated with chlorosis; poultice used to ally inflammation of the womb after child birth (powdered seed).

Infusion: Steep 1 tsp. flowers in 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups a day.
Tincture: 20 to 60 drops.


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