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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.

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.

When taken by mouth: Safflower oil is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth.

When applied to the skin: Safflower oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin.

When given by IV: Safflower oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when a specific safflower oil emulsion (Liposyn) is administered by a healthcare professional. Safflower yellow, a component of safflower flower, is POSSIBLY SAFE when administered by a healthcare professional.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don't take safflower flower during pregnancy. Safflower flower is LIKELY UNSAFE. It can bring on menstrual periods, make the uterus contract, and cause miscarriages.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if safflower oil or flower is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Safflower oil is POSSIBLY SAFE in children when a specific safflower oil emulsion (Liposyn) is administered IV (intravenously) by a healthcare professional. There isn't enough reliable information to know if safflower flower is safe for children or what the side effects might be.

Bleeding problems (hemorrhagic diseases, stomach or intestinal ulcers, or clotting disorders): Safflower can slow blood clotting and might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Safflower 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: Safflower oil might increase blood sugar. There is concern that safflower oil might interfere with blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

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

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Safflower oil might increase blood sugar. Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar. By increasing blood sugar, safflower oil might decrease the effectiveness of diabetes medications. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Large amounts of safflower might slow blood clotting. Taking safflower along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin; clopidogrel (Plavix); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others); dalteparin (Fragmin); enoxaparin (Lovenox); heparin; warfarin (Coumadin); and others.

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar: Safflower might increase blood sugar. Using safflower with herbs and supplements that lower blood sugar might decrease their effectiveness. Herbs that might lower blood sugar include alpha-lipoic acid, bitter melon, chromium, devil's claw, fenugreek, garlic, guar gum, horse chestnut, Panax ginseng, psyllium, Siberian ginseng, and others.
Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting: Safflower might slow blood clotting. Using it with other natural products that have this same affect might increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. These products include angelica, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, red clover, turmeric, and others.

There are no known interactions with foods.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS
BY MOUTH:

  • For high cholesterol: Meals containing safflower oil in place of some saturated fats have been used for up to 6 weeks.

Alazor, American Saffron, Bastard Saffron, Benibana, Benibana Oil, Benibana Flower, Cártamo, Carthame, Carthame des Teinturiers, Carthamus tinctorius, Chardon Panaché, Dyer's Saffron, Fake Saffron, False Saffron, High Oleic Acid Safflower Oil, Hing Hua, Honghua, Huile de Carthame, Kusumbha, Kusum Phool, Safflower Nut Oil, Safflower Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Safran Bâtard, Safranon, Zaffer, Zafran.

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