There are many cooking oils we can use today and among them is safflower oil, which comes from the seeds of the safflower plant. Aside from cooking, there are other uses of this type of oil. During the time of ancient Egyptians, they used safflower to color their clothing. Today, both the safflower plant and oil have many uses, including:
- Dried safflower plant is used as a substitute spice for saffron, which is a costlier and sought after spice in the Middle East and Europe.
- The oil is used in manufacturing surface coatings, including varnishes and paints.
- The oil from the plant seed is also used as a substitute for linseed oil for painting.
- Chinese women also used the safflower oil as a hair conditioner.
If you’re using safflower oil for cooking, you would be glad to know that this oil has many proven benefits. In fact, it has medicinal properties that have been discovered since the Middle Ages. It started with the juice of the plant when mixed with sweetened water or chicken stock for relieving constipation as well as respiratory problems. Traditional Chinese medicine used safflower petals to heal fractures, reduce phlegm, and improve blood circulation.
Today, research shows that the oil from safflower can provide many benefits for our health, including:
- The oil can help reduce heart disease risk through the effective prevention of atherosclerosis, which is a disease that causes hardening of the arteries.
- Safflower oil can also help reduce skin imperfections, particularly whiteheads, blackheads and acne. It is believed that it can totally eliminate these facial problems as well.
- For those with joint and muscle pains that may have been a result of a traumatic injury or arthritis, massaging the oil onto the affected area can ease what they’re feeling.
- Women who keep suffering from menstrual cramps can get relief with the help of safflower oil. It is an effective remedy because it promotes blood flow and can even eliminate blood clots.
Safflower oil is indeed beneficial to our health. Bear in mind though that using safflower oil for cooking can lead to overheating it, which means you’re destroying its compounds that could be beneficial to our health. What’s even worse is that high heat can create free radicals that are dangerous to us because they can damage our body’s molecules. Compared to canola, corn, sesame, and olive oil, safflower has a higher heat tolerance, which makes it a good type of oil for cooking. Coconut oil, however, is still the best choice for cooking as it is stable and can withstand high heat better than safflower and other oils.