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Latin. Carthamus tinctorius

Tibet. Gurkum


Botanical Name Carthamus tinctorius
English name Safflower
Tibetan Name Gurkum
Parts Used Flowers

Safflower is native to arid environments having seasonal rain.

Pharmacological properties

Analgesic activity
Antipyretic activity
Anti-inflammatory activity- inhibits cytokine production.
Anti-microbial activity- - shows to inhibit wide range of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, Candida albicans, poliomyelitis virus type 1.

Hepatoprotective effect - reduces plasma concentration of bilirubin; prevents development of liver cirrhosis.
Cardiovascular effect - prevents development of atherosclerosis; shows to reduce ischemia and neurological damage induced by unilateral carotid artery ligation; induces vasodilation; lowers blood pressure; protects heart muscle cells from progressive loss in heart failure; shows to decrease arterial stiffness; increases coronary flow.
Platelet aggregation inhibition - shows to inhibit ADP, arachidonic acid and collagen-induced platelet aggregation.
Anti-hyperlipidemic activity - shows to decrease serum triglyceride, total cholesterol, LDL and VLDL.
Anti-diabetic activity - increases insulin levels; increases size of islets of Langerhans.

Wound healing effect
Effect on menstruation - used for treatment of amenorrhoea and dysmenorrhoea.
Uterine stimulant effect - shows to increase uterine contractions.
Central nervous system depressant activity
Antioxidant activity - protects from oxidative stress damage; inhibits free radical formation.
Neuroprotective activity - shows to reduce cerebral infarction area and neurological deficits, reduces expression of inflammatory cytokines in cerebral infarction area in acute ischemic stroke; demonstrates potential to inhibit apoptosis triggered by neurotoxic species and promote neuronal survival, thus may be used as supportive treatment in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Ethnomedicinal uses

Rejuvenation action:
Strengthens liver, gall bladder and eyes
Treats anemia
Balances blood pressure
Calms mind and relieves anxiety and panic attack

Gastrointestinal system:
Improves digestion
Relieves constipation
Stops diarrhoea
Heals ulcers

Genitourinary system:
Relieves fluid retention
Normalizes menstrual flow

Immune system and detoxification:
Relieves chest congestion and expels phlegm
Purifies blood and liver
Clears blood cholesterol
Stops haemorrhages
Clears skin infections
Lowers fever
Improves blood circulation and relieves stagnation
Reduces formation of blood clots

Used in our products


This plant can also be used to replace Crocus sativus (Saffron) because of its similar therapeutic properties.