Safflower Oil Benefits

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Safflower Oil Benefits
Safflower Oil Benefits

Safflower oil is extracted from safflower seeds. It is a close relative of sunflower oil in terms of its use as edible oil. However, the method of extraction of safflower oil forms the basis of its use and benefits, personally or commercially.

Safflower oil is taken out from safflower seeds by two ways. First is the chemical process which involves mixing of certain chemicals to safflower seeds to take out the safflower oil. However, oil produced by this method is not suited for edible oil applications as the nutrients are already lessened and also the effects of chemicals cannot be undermined.

The second method comprise of mechanical process where expellers are used in producing safflower oil. This method is advantageous as the nutrients remain intact and also the safflower oil is free from toxic chemicals.

Ingredients found in safflower oil

Safflower oil is rich in mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids. These are also known as oleic acid and linolenic acid. In addition to these, it also contains omega-6 fatty acids and Vitamin E. Though found in olive oil, sunflower oil and other edible oils too, the fatty acids in safflower oil are healthier from low cholesterol and less fats point of view.

Benefits of safflower oil

Now let us have a brief discussion as to what are the ways in which safflower oil serves us.

As Edible Oil

Safflower as an edible oil is used majorly in cooking, salad dressing and making margarine. Type II safflower oil which is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids is found to have decreased the blood cholesterol levels.

Safflower oil type I rich in oleic acid are very stable on heating and do not produce smoke or smell during frying. They are also less vulnerable to spoilage due to extreme low or high temperatures.

A combination of type I and type II safflower oil is in huge demand today because of its dual serving purpose of oil and salad dresser.

Safflower oil is also a good moisture retainer. As such, it is sprayed on edible products to prevent them from losing their water content.

As a paint and a dye

Historically, safflower oil has been used as a natural dye for cotton and silk. Unlike aniline dyes, it consists of quinine pigment named Carthamine, which does not leave yellow stint on the fabrics. It can be used for colouring the matter red, green, pink, khaki, olive green and mustard.

Its major advantage is that it is water-soluble.

As a medicine

Safflower oil has manifold medicinal properties ranging from skin to weight loss to cardiovascular diseases to many more. Let us have a look.

  1. The polyunsaturated fatty acids present in safflower oil help in the production of certain vital hormones in the body which increases the cell energy and strengthens the body tissues.
  2. People who have deposited extra fats on their body can be benefitted by safflower oil as it reduces the brown fat stored in the body. The cis-linoleic acid found in safflower oil changes to GLA which burns extra calories, thereby lowering down the weight.
  3. Because of its low saturated fatty acids, it drops down the level of cholesterol in the blood and hence disposes off the chances of cardiovascular diseases. Even those who are suffering from it can reduce its effects by including safflower oil in their diet.
  4. Women can be helped a lot by taking in safflower oil. It regulates the hormonal imbalance in women and controls their body weight as well as pre-menstrual and period problems.
  5. Vitamin E present in safflower oil is an excellent source of nourishment for skin, hair and eyes. People having dry skin problems can either take it in the diet or it is also available in cosmetics form. It cures scars and marks on the skin and also provides moisture to the skin, especially during dry and winter seasons. Hair loss, dandruff, dry scalp, hair root damage are some other very common and prevailing worries which can be resolved by the use of safflower oil.
  6. Safflower oil used as an integral component in soap manufacturing serves as a natural treatment for skin and other related problems.
  7. Safflower oil received from genetically modified safflower is used in treating diabetes and in the production of insulin.
Certain precautions

Nowadays, safflower production relies solely on chemical means and usage of fertilisers and artificial ingredients. These additional compounds can turn the oil rancid, even in normal conditions. Hence, benefits can be availed properly and completely if safflower oil is purchased from reliable and branded sources.

Do not go for local brands as it may contain any other oil or chemical which may prove harmful to the health and also take medical advice before any safflower oil treatment. The prescriptions may vary from person to person.

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