Safflower Carthamus tinctorius
Safflower Carthamus tinctorius

Safflower is a wonderful herb that comes from Southern Asia. It is known primarily as a support for the nervous system and circulation. It protects neurons from harmful factors, providing benefits for cognitive performance. In addition to that, this herb strengthens natural immunity by inhibiting growth of pathogenic microbes and stimulating the body to fight infections.

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Safflower extract 20:1 | Carthamus tinctorius

Properties: Safflower is definitely a truly fascinating plant – especially considering the fact that its special properties have been valued in ancient times. In the countries of the Middle East, including Babylonia, Palestine and Syria, the yellow or orange flowers of this herb have been used to colorize fabric. In Egypt, it has become an important ingredient of cosmetics but also served as a dyeing substance for shrouds and bands used in religious ceremonies. Perhaps for this reason safflower is often compared to saffron. After all, it has been treated as a more affordable yet equally effective substitute for this precious, colorizing spice. In Europe, the plants of Carthamus tinctorius species actually became very popular. Even though they had been cultivated since around the 18th century, even in ancient Greece and Rome safflower was used as a universal herbal medicine.

Traditionally, extract from Carthamus tinctorius served as a remedy that supports circulation of blood, improves condition of the brain and even strengthens hair. Research indicates that active compounds contained in safflower facilitate dilation of blood vessels, which helps to regulate blood pressure. Besides that, they might be a valuable support in prevention of atherosclerosis since they lead to a decrease in total cholesterol level. It is worth emphasizing that these substances additionally increase the level of HDL considered a “good” type of cholesterol. Thanks to these properties, C. tinctorius has a great effect on the heart and overall condition of blood vessels. Moreover, safflower extract protects the liver and supports bodily cells due to a strong antioxidant effect. And since its active compounds stimulate production of white blood cells that identify and eliminate pathogens, they induce positive influence on the immune system. Some people might find it interesting that this plant intensifies metabolic processes, facilitating burning of fat tissue. In addition to that, C. tinctorius reduces release of enzymes that stimulate hunger, so it might be useful for those who seek a natural support for weight reduction.

Let’s remember that the antioxidant potential of this herb is important in terms of a good condition of the nervous system. By inhibiting reactive oxygen species, safflower protects the neurons from damage and premature death. As research suggests, active compounds contained in this Asian plant counteract many other harmful factors, including inflammation and excessive beta-amyloid deposits. At the same time, they stimulate neuroplasticity which leads to development of new neural cells and is particularly important for learning abilities. Safflower extract helps to improve the activity of key neurotransmitters that are in charge of mental comfort and well-being. It has been found to mitigate reuptake of serotonin, the so-called happiness hormone, while increasing expression of receptors for dopamine – a brain chemical that induces feelings of pleasure and regulates motivation level. Therefore, Carthamus tinctorius brings benefits for the brain in many aspects, including a better condition of neurons, sharper cognitive functions and even a slightly better mood.

Occurrence: Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) is an annual plant from the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It comes from southern parts of Asia and is actually one of the oldest herbs harvested by humankind. There are archeological traces indicating that it could have been known to civilization about 4 500 years ago, particularly in Mesopotamia. This herb looks somewhat similar to thistle. It has a 1,5 m long furrowed stem of a mild yellow color and a shiny surface. The leaves of safflower are 15 cm in length and 5 cm in width with a lanceolate, spiky-toothed shape.  There are many shoots that branch from the main shoot of this plant. On their tops, grow large, bulbous inflorescences. The flowers are tubular, hermaphroditic and reddish orange in color.

Biochemistry: There are at least 200 chemical compounds that have been identified in safflower extract. This herb contains substances from the groups of: flavonoids, glycosides, coumarins, fatty acids, sterols and polysaccharides. The most important ones include: antioxidant derivatives of serotonin, carthamin, cartamidine, isocartamidine, quercetin, kaempferol, chalcones, luteolin, myristic acid, lauric acid, linolenic acid, oleic acid, arachidonic acid and palmitic acid.

Fun fact: In ancient times, safflower has been used as a source of a natural dye. Its botanical name Carthamus refers to that fact. This word is probably based on Arabic karkhum, qurtum, korthom, which means “dyeing” or “colorizing”. One of the active compounds contained in safflower – carthamin – gives it a distinctive red color.

How does Safflower extract 20:1 | Carthamus tinctorius work?

Supports weight reduction: Results of research studies suggest that safflower extract might be a decent support in weight loss. The active compounds contained in this herb reduce the expression of genes that code ghrelin – a hormone secreted by stomach cells to increase appetite. Simultaneously, they are able to influence metabolism in a way that the body can use fats as a source of energy. That may stimulate fat burning and slightly lower appetite. In the tests, safflower extract helped to lower BMI, reduce waist circumference but at the same time allowed to maintain muscle mass. Therefore, Carthamus tinctorius turns out to be useful in terms of maintaining healthy eating habits.

Protects the nervous system: During multiple studies, it has been established that safflower can have a positive influence on the condition and functioning of the nervous system. Biologically active substances contained in this herb protect the brain from the effects of  temporary ischemia and prevent premature apoptosis of neurons. At the same time, they improve blood flow in the vessels supplying the central nervous system. These substances are also able to protect nerve cells from damage caused by inflammation and excessive deposits of beta-amyloid. Safflower has been found to stimulate neuroplasticity and synaptic functions, making it easier to form connections between neurons. By increasing the expression of receptors for dopamine (that regulates motivation) and lowering reuptake of serotonin (a neurotransmitter crucial in terms of well-being), Carthamus tinctorius may support a positive attitude. All these effects are beneficial for the nervous system and mental performance.

Regulates the immune system: Safflower contains multiple compounds that induce anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is one of the main defense mechanisms that helps to destroy harmful factors in the body. However, when it is too intense or it lasts too long, it can lead to significant tissue damage or even lead to disorders. By regulating inflammation and stimulating natural immunity, safflower has a positive influence on the general condition of the organism. Results of in vitro studies as well as research with animal models indicate that biologically active substances contained in this herb intensify proliferation of lymphocytes – cells that are crucial in regard to an effective immune response. They also improve activity of other immune cells that search for and destroy abnormal own cells of the body. Safflower exhibits antibacterial and antifungal properties which makes it a comprehensive support for the immune system.

Improves vitality: The list of health-promoting properties that Carthamus tinctorius brings is quite impressive. This herb has a particularly positive influence on the circulatory system. Results of research studies suggest that it can regulate functioning of the heart and blood pressure. Additionally, it can improve flow of blood in veins and arteries (including coronary arteries) while preventing excessive blood clotting. At the same time, active compounds of this herb are beneficial for atherosclerosis prevention since they lower total cholesterol level, increasing levels of HDL, which is considered a “good” type of cholesterol. They can also protect the liver from damage caused by oxidative stress or inflammation and counteract processes that lead to liver fibrosis. Besides that, safflower extract shows antioxidant properties – it is able to reduce free radicals that can be harmful for delicate cellular structures. It stimulates proliferation of osteoblasts – the cells that synthesize bone tissue – which might be an important support in prevention of osteoporosis. Moreover, this herb intensifies hair growth and may even influence hair density. All these effects make safflower an excellent choice for a good condition of the whole organism.

Safflower extract 20:1 | Carthamus tinctorius product specification

 

TYPE OF PRODUCT:
  • powdered raw ingredient
STANDARDIZATION:
  • Safflower | Carthamus tinctorius 20:1 flower extract
MEASURING:
  • 0.30 ml stainless steel spoon containing 250 – 350 mg of extract (depending on the batch)
PACKAGING:
  • airtight ALU-PET foil bag
  • desiccant packet Tyvek™ Microbag
INTENDED USE:
  • nutrition
  • neuroregulation
  • natural medicine
  • product manufacturing
  • research
LEGAL STATUS:
  • ingredient admitted to trading in the EU and the US

How to use Safflower extract 20:1 | Carthamus tinctorius?

 

RECOMMENDED SERVING:
  • 300 – 600 mg
SERVINGS PER DAY:
  • 1 – 2
BEST ABSORPTION:
  • with food
WHEN TO USE:
  • during the day
OPTIMAL CYCLE DURATION:
  • 4 weeks of using – 2 weeks of break

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The above information about products should be considered a historical and scientific facts, not a recommendation on how to use a specific substance. Dietary supplements should not be treated as an alternative to a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. The above information is not medical advice. Every use of a dietary supplement or herbal/nootropic compound should be consulted with a doctor or a specialist. Dietary supplements as well as nootropic and herbal compounds should not be mixed with medication. Our products should not be used by breastfeeding women and by the people under the age of 18.