There are many oils on the market these days and many are used in the cooking process, so it’s understandable if you get confused from time to time. There is one very special oil however, related to the wondrous sunflower. You’re about to discover a lot more about its properties and uses, so read on and be enlightened.
Where Does It Come From?
The oil comes from an extraction of safflower seeds and has been used for centuries across the globe, but mainly in both Eastern and Western cultures. The plant itself is much like the thistle, and as the yellow petals drop they leave the seeds behind.
Untreated seeds would produce a foul taste and are of no use to humans so they’re used in things like soap and linoleum, but the treated seeds are eventually pressed into two types of oil. Mono and poly unsaturated! The mono variety can be used as cooking oil with the poly frequently used in salad dressings.
In fact it brings us a real link from the ancient to the modern, as we still used it both in dietary and economic terms.
Safflower oil contains the priceless omega 3 and 6 fatty acids!
So What Can It Do For Us?
It should be noted more in depth studies are ongoing but it seems the oil can help ease the symptoms and effects of heart disease, high blood pressure, clogged arteries and type 2 diabetes. Because of the high presence of vitamin E free radicals can be eliminated within the body, and this in turn will help prevent coronary disease and even cancer. These properties alone make it a valuable healthy oil.
Safflower oil has lots of vitamin e which is good for the immune system.
You may not know you can rub safflower oil into the roots of the hair where it can improve its quality and give the hair a great looking sheen. It can also be used as a terrific moisturizer enabling the skin to gain a healthy glow. If you need to hide the visibility of things like wrinkles and lines then this type of oil is ideal.
It’s great when treating eczema and reducing skin inflammation. Safflower oil can also lead to good nail growth and can be used in both massage oils and various types of lotions.
Research has shown taking a daily dosage of Safflower oil can promote good muscle growth!
You can take the petals from a Safflower plant and soak them in water for a little while to create a tea full of healthy benefits we can drink. You can also turn this into an extract which we can all use during cooking.
Did you know? The safflower plant is an annual related to the thistle and growing to roughly 5ft tall in arid, dry climates. Each head contains up to 50 seeds cultivated for various uses.
Left over’s after the oil has been pressed are used to feed cows
Recent research studies have shown safflower oil supplementation may be helpful in patients with cystic fibrosis, Friedreich’s ataxia, and neurotoxicity from lithium. This work is ongoing of course and many more things need to be confirmed.
People suffering from Cystic fibrosis patients are generally deficient in fatty acids due to the reduced absorption of nutrients caused by the condition. Results from studies using safflower oil supplements are mixed so expert medical advice should be sought before using the oil as a supplement.
Some experts think Safflower oil may negatively affect glucose metabolism due to the extra intake of energy or fat. They also say however, these effects may be less pronounced than in fish oil.
Safflower oil has the highest concentration of linoleic acid available anywhere on the commercial market.
Very young children need a higher fat intake to support their rapid growth and brain development. Infant formula supplemented with a little safflower oil may increase the energy density of the formula for very low-birth weight neonates. Early research has been extremely encouraging but yet again more studies will be needed to confirm the beliefs of experts.
Pregnant women should avoid Safflower oil as it could possibly in rare cases induce contractions and even labour. And even if you’re in tip top health it can never do any harm to talk to your doctor or dietician before using the oil on a regular basis. This should also include individuals suffering from a heart condition or low blood pressure.
Safflower oil is one of nature’s great wonders but needs to be used in the right areas and in the correct dosage. So next time you see this large thistle type plant, remember its yellow petals are working for you!