Safflower oil: benefits, what it is for and contraindications

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The beautiful safflower inflorescence dresses your plant in yellow, orange, and red flowers each summer. And it has done so for centuries, when the plant was already known for the dye they obtained from its flowers. Safflower is also known by the name of saffron because it is reminiscent of saffron, although its dye is cheaper than the real thing.

Safflower oil benefits, what it is for and contraindications

Safflower is also famous for its medicinal and nutritional properties and, although the fresh plant was used in ancient times, today the oil from its seeds is used, whose chemical properties are similar to sunflower oil. 

Properties and benefits of safflower oil

Safflower oil is obtained from the seeds of the plant and is classified into two types. The first is an oil high in a monounsaturated fatty acid known as oleic acid , to which the following properties are attributed:

  • Reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering cholesterol.
  • Helps prevent diabetes.
  • Strengthens the development of cells and the immune system.

Although our body is capable of producing oleic acid, it can be supplemented with the diet.

The second oil is high in another polyunsaturated fatty acid called linoleic acid . This component also has beneficial health effects. For example, it plays a critical role in heart health, regulates blood glucose, and lowers cholesterol. However, our body does not produce it, so it is necessary to incorporate it into our diet.

Both oils are rich in Vitamin E, which means that they also have all the antioxidant and cellular rejuvenation properties attributed to this component. If you want to know more sources of it , do not hesitate to visit our article Foods rich in vitamin E.

On the other hand, there is a third version that is the essential oil of safflower and, of course, it is not for consumption. Also, it may have added antioxidants if it's industrial. This is common in the cosmetic industry and, in its pure form, can be used topically, but only for a short time. If used, it is recommended to dilute it in a carrier base such as coconut or jojoba oil.

In any case, most of the experiences related to safflower essential oil are anecdotal and not experimental. Science still has a long way to go regarding safflower essential oil. Even so, many people claim that it has an anti-inflammatory, stimulating, antioxidant and toning effect .

What is safflower oil for?

Multiple research supports the benefits and properties of safflower oil for health and nutrition. Fats are important for maintaining the body's delicate balance, especially “good” or unsaturated fats, such as those contained in this product. Let's see what are the most widespread uses of safflower oil .

Safflower oil to take care of the heart

Cholesterol is associated with a high risk of circulatory diseases and keeping it under control can be difficult in times of industrialized and ultra-processed food. However, safflower oil has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels during a 2011 investigation [1] . In 4 months, the participants had lower cholesterol levels thanks to the consumption of this oil.

Safflower oil to reduce sugar levels

At least two recent studies support the hypothesis that consuming unsaturated fats lowers glucose levels in healthy people and also in type 2 diabetes patients. In addition to that, it improves the process of insulin secretion and resistance.

Most interestingly, in the second study, the women were obese, postmenopausal adults. Even so, the consumption of safflower oil was beneficial for them.

Safflower oil for cell rejuvenation

In cell, animal and human studies, safflower oil showed high antioxidant activity thanks to its content of polyphenols and serotonins. Both substances have the ability to neutralize free radicals, responsible for cell oxidation and, therefore, premature aging.

For this reason, safflower oil is used to care for the health and appearance of the skin, as well as to prevent diseases related to cell aging such as Alzheimer's, cancer or cardiovascular diseases.

Safflower oil to reduce inflammation

Regularly consuming safflower oil can help lower levels of chronic inflammation. In this way, it helps fight certain autoimmune diseases and prevent strokes.

Safflower oil for weight loss

Since safflower oil is rich in good fats and vitamin E, it is very popular to use it to lose weight and burn fat, thus replacing other oils or fats that are less healthy for the body. Vitamin E is also a well-known muscle toner, so it helps those who follow an exercise routine to define and gain muscle mass.

Safflower oil for skin

Safflower essential oil is a common ingredient in beauty products, as it softens the skin and helps reduce inflammation. In general, products with safflower oil do not require special care. The vast majority are dermatologically tested cosmetics that you can use safely.

If you want to try safflower essential oil for topical use, we recommend diluting it one to two drops in a container of carrier or carrier oil. Some of the uses for the skin are as follows:

  • Safflower oil for acne: Because safflower oil does not clog pores, it is helpful in reducing redness and inflammation in skin affected by acne and pimples. One way to use it is to mix two drops with oatmeal and honey and apply the mixture as a mask. Rinse after 10 minutes with natural water. If you want to know more ways to fight acne, we recommend you visit our article How to make masks to treat acne.
  • Safflower oil for dermatitis : Dermatitis or eczema is an inflammatory response in the body and safflower oil helps maintain the integrity of the skin. Thus, it prevents the appearance of the characteristic scales of this condition. Apply the diluted oil directly to the lesions once a day.

On the other hand, safflower oil also serves to moisturize hair naturally and stop hair loss. In this case, oil rich in linoleic acid is used.

Contraindications of safflower oil

Safflower oil, both edible and essential oil, is generally considered safe to use.

As with all fats, it's important to moderate your intake of food-grade safflower oil. On the other hand, it has been associated with an increase in bleeding and coagulation disorders. Therefore, those taking medications to regulate coagulation or those who are about to undergo surgery should be cautious about consuming safflower oil.

Additionally, there are high levels of liver risk if consumed in excess. For that reason, those with liver damage should avoid it. It may stimulate uterine contractions, so pregnant women should use it very sparingly.

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