Safflower Oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the Carthamus tinctorius botanical, a relative of the Sunflower. The latter part of the Safflower’s botanical name points to its function in dye coloring while its English name is a contraction of “Saffron Flower.” Accordingly, it is also referred to as Dyer’s Saffron, American Saffron, Shoeshine Saffron, Parrot Plant, Thistle Saffron, Hoang-Chi, and Koosumbha. For some historical communities, Safflower was used in their culinary applications as a less expensive substitute for Saffron – an expensive and highly sought-after spice – thus dried Safflower came to be known as The False Saffron and Bastard Saffron.

One of the oldest plants to ever be used, the Safflower was commonly cultivated as a dye plant, making it a key component in red and yellow dyes that were applied to ancient Egyptian textiles as early as the Twelfth Dynasty. Furthermore, Safflower garlands were reportedly discovered in the pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb and mummies were often wrapped in linens that were dyed with Safflower. The Safflower plant was believed to have the ability to effectively purify the blood by eliminating bodily waste and toxins, such as lactic acid, and to cleanse tissues and joints, thereby soothing arthritis and topical rashes while enhancing healthier liver function.

The Hopi people, a Native American tribe, were known to color their bread with Safflower. In other gastronomic applications, Safflower blossoms were used in tea infusion intended to facilitate the expulsion of phlegm and to soothe symptoms of fever and jaundice. It was believed that drinking Safflower tea would also calm hysteria, panic attacks, pain, measles, and topical skin conditions characterized by eruptions. Additionally, it was thought to stimulate women’s menstrual cycles by promoting the flow of stagnant blood. In Southeast Asian countries, such as Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan, Safflower tea was believed to prevent miscarriages, to address various illnesses including fevers, and to exhibit aphrodisiac properties. Furthermore, these countries, as well as Middle Eastern and African countries, used the Safflower plant as a vomit-inducing antidote to poisons and as a laxative to prevent constipation. In Bangladesh, ground Safflower seeds were combined with Mustard Oil to create an anti-inflammatory ointment for rheumatism.

Before the 1960s, Safflower Oil was largely used in the manufacturing of industrial exterior veneers such as paints and varnishes. Artist painters also used it as an oil solvent. Presently, it continues to be used in both the engineering and food industries to make such things as birdseed and meal. This article highlights the various cosmetic and medicinal applications of Saffron Carrier Oil as well as its therapeutic benefits.



The main chemical constituents of Safflower Oil are Oleic, Linoleic, Palmitic, Stearic, Linolenic, and Palmitoleic acids.


OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA-9) are known to:


LINOLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA-6) are known to:


PALMITIC ACID is known to:


STEARIC ACID is known to:






Used cosmetically or topically in general, Safflower Oil is known to have a light consistency and non-greasy texture that is ideal for hydrating dry or acne-prone skin while soothing irritation, rashes, and inflammation. It is known to facilitate the decongestion of pores while promoting cell regeneration to diminish the appearance of scars and signs of aging, such as wrinkles, for a smooth, youthful, and radiant appearance. With regular application, Safflower Oil is reputed to enhance skin’s texture, tone, overall appearance, and quality. By working to effectively eliminate whiteheads, blackheads, and ultimately acne, Safflower Oil reduces signs of blemishes while preventing future breakouts.

The cold pressing of Safflower seeds yields two types of oils: one high in Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) or one high in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA). The former consists of Linoleic Fatty Acids and is used cold while the latter contains Oleic Fatty Acids. MUFAs generally have a more stable shelf-life than PUFAs and their richness in Oleic Acid content means that they are highly beneficial for soothing and conditioning the scalp and hair. By contributing shine and enhancing circulation, oleic Safflower Oil stimulates hair growth as well as its strength. The antioxidant and nourishing properties of Safflower Oil are known to protect hair against the harsh effects of environmental stressors, such as UV rays.



It is traditionally used to strengthen immunity and to enhance blood flow, which provides relief to those suffering from obstructed menses by regulating the cycle and easing menstrual cramps. Safflower Oil is believed to reduce the levels of both harmful cholesterol and blood sugar as well as to promote weight loss by helping facilitate the body’s elimination of excess fat.


As illustrated, Safflower Carrier Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:



Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Safflower Oil can lock in moisture to hydrate and calm the skin, thus promoting radiance. To contribute suppleness to areas that are dry, rough, and unevenly toned, massage 2-3 drops of Safflower Carrier Oil into a freshly cleansed face once in the morning and once in the evening. This does not need to be rinsed off.

For a light, conditioning body oil that is ideal for oily skin types, dilute 5 drops Bergamot Essential Oil, 5 drops Chamomile Essential Oil, and 5 drops Geranium Essential Oil in 60 ml (2 oz.) Safflower Carrier Oil. This can be massaged into preferred areas of skin.

For a facial oil that is ideal for acne-prone skin types, first, combine 1 Tbsp. of Safflower Carrier Oil with 2-4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Either Lavender Essential Oil or Lemon Essential Oil can be substituted. Next, wash the face with warm water before gently massaging the oil blend into the face in a circular motion, avoiding the sensitive eye area. Finally, using a damp face cloth wipe off all the oil. This regimen is reputed to cleanse the skin and regulate its oil production. Applied to areas of skin that are puffy or tender, Safflower Carrier Oil is known to decrease inflammation, distension, and soreness.

For a Safflower Oil soap that lathers while it cleanses, combine 385 ml (13 oz.) of Safflower Carrier Oil, 280 ml (9.5 oz.) of Coconut Carrier Oil, 280 ml (9.5 oz.) of Palm Carrier Oil, 340 ml (11.5 oz.) of Distilled Water, and 130 ml (4.45 oz.) of Lye. For a soothing aroma, add 3-5% of Lavender Essential Oil or Rose Absolute per pound of carrier oil. This recipe can be made using either the hot process, room temperature, or cold process methods. The final product can be used as either a body soap or a hand soap.

Used in hair, Safflower Carrier Oil is reputed to reduce hair loss and promote its growth. Its application can be as simple as adding a few drops to the ends of dried hair strands. Alternatively, Safflower Carrier Oil can be applied to washed and combed hair by rubbing 3 drops into the palms and massaging it with the fingertips into the scalp. A comb can be used to help evenly distribute the oil from the roots to the tips. This conditioner can be left in the hair for 45-60 minutes before it is thoroughly washed out with a regular shampoo. Repeating this hair care procedure once a week is reputed to maintain hair’s moisture level.

For a Safflower Oil hair treatment that can be applied as a mask, begin by combining 1 tsp. Safflower Carrier Oil, 1 tsp. Coconut Carrier Oil, 5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil, and 5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil. Next, apply this oil to the roots and smooth it down over the entire length of the strands. This hair mask is believed to boost the growth of stronger, healthier strands while soothing and preventing the dryness and itchiness characteristic of dandruff.

Used in medicinal applications, Safflower Carrier Oil is known to have a reparative and even slightly cooling effect on dry, damaged skin. For a massage blend that hydrates, smooths, and rejuvenates skin, combine 10 tsp. Safflower Carrier Oil, 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 2 drops Chamomile Essential Oil, and 2 drops Frankincense Essential Oil. For an indulgent and relaxing massage experience, massage 1 tsp. of this blend and gently knead it into preferred areas of skin, focusing on dehydrated zones. 




Botanical Name: Carthamus tinctorius

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from seeds then refined

Country of Origin: Mexico

Believed to:



Botanical Name: Carthamus tinctorius

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from seeds then refined

Country of Origin: Mexico

Believed to:



As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Safflower Carrier Oil is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Safflower Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. Furthermore, Safflower Carrier Oil has emmenagogue properties, which may cause uterine contractions that induce labor. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, hormone-related ailments, hypotension, and allergies to Chrysanthemums, Daisies, Marigolds, Ragweed, and Sunflowers. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using Safflower Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount of this oil to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Safflower Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Safflower Oil include sensitization of the skin, rashes, hives, eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, sneezing, congestion, runny nose, belching, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Potentially severe side effects include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, hyperlipemia, hyperthermia, and thrombocytopenia.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this Carrier Oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.