This article is written by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Safflower is an Ayurvedic classical herb used for the treatment of liver disorders, cold, cough, constipation, abdominal spasmoidic pain etc.
Sanskrit name – Kusumbha beeja (Safflower seed) or Kusumbha taila (Safflower oil)
Other English names – Parrot seed, Bastard saffron, False Saffron, Saffron Thistle
Botanical name – Carthamus tinctorius Linn.
Safflower is not commonly used in Vata disorders. But is very useful in Kapha and Pitta dominant disorders.
The seeds and flowers are rich sources of Carthamin, a non water soluble chemical constituent, which is dangerous to the human health. Seeds possess 30% of volatile principles.
Safflower seeds and seed oil are laxative, diuretic and bitter tonics. But excess intake increases the Pitta in the body due to its hot potency.
The textbook Bhavaprakasha proclaims its potent diuretic properties when administered in decoction or hot infusion forms.
General method of preparation of decoction (kashaya) – 1 tablespoon of powder is added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to 1 cup, filtered.
Seeds and flowers are used abundantly by the folk healers and cultivators of safflower.
Few of the simple and effective remedies of Kusumbha re explained here below-
Dried safflower flowers in obstructive jaundice:
1-2 gram of the dried flowers are taken and fine powder is made. This is administered along with a cup of jaggery water (a teaspoon of jaggery dissolved in a cup of water) or 30 ml of decoction of Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri).
10-12 days medication gives significant benefits.
Tender leaf curry or fresh juice for cold and rhinitis:
Tender leaves are used as curry. useful in cold, asthma, rhinitis, headache etc.
Read related: How To Use Turmeric for Allergic Rhinitis? 4 Traditional Methods
Seed oil with milk for constipation and haemorroids:
2-3 ml of the seed oil is administered along with a cup of warm milk. This is said to be very effective in hemorrhoids and constipation. But excess intake of seed oil is not encouraged.
Seed powder with jaggery for constipation, spasmodic pain and abdominal colic:
1-2 gram of seed powder is mixed with a teaspoon of jaggery and administered early in the morning, preferably. This is effective in constipation, spasmodic pain, abdominal colic, cramps etc.
False pain in pregnancy
Poultice for abdominal pain during pregnancy (False pain):
The leaf and seed are made into poultice and applied below the naval portion, in cases of repeated false pains caused during pregnancy.
Each herb can be used as remedy. Each herb can have its own advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the Vaidya to plan the herb in proper mixture, in proper dosage form and in correct dose.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD