Kasubha is an erect, branched, smooth herb, 30 to 90 centimeters high. Leaves are stalkless, half-clasping, lanceolate, 5 to 10 centimeters long, 1 to 2.5 centimeters wide, but smaller toward the top, with margins minutely spiny toothed. Flowering heads are large, surrounded by a cluster of leafy bracts which gradually become the bracts of the involucre, 2.5 to 4 centimeters across. Flowers are orange-red. The achenes, often deformed, are obovoid, usually 4-ribbed and truncate at the top. Pappus is absent or scalelike.
- Planted here and there for dyeing purposes.
- Native of Egypt.
- Flowers yield a coloring principle, carthamin.
- Seeds contain a fixed oil, 28.7%; proteins, 14.11%; cellulose, 30.6%.
- Considered tonic, laxative, diaphoretic, abortifacient.
- Seeds and oil considered purgative and laxative.
- Flowers considered tonic and emmenagogue.
Flowers, seeds, oil.
- Dye from flowers used as substitute for saffron, for coloring food. Not valued as a spice.
- Oil from the seeds is a valuable and edible oil.
- In China, young shoots eaten in time of scarcity.
- Hot infusion of dried flowers used as a diaphoretic in jaundice, nasal catarrh and muscular rheumatism.
- Cold infusion used as a laxative and tonic in measles and scarlatina to favor efflorescence of eruptions.
- In Indochina, flowers are given for dysmenorrhea and paralysis, as tonic and emmenagogue.
- In China, plant is used as abortifacient and to expel retained placenta.
- Plant boiled in sesamum oil is used as remedy for itches.
- Medicated oil prepared from the plant used as external application for rheumatism and paralysis.
- In Punjab, seeds used as diuretic and tonic.
- In Thailand used as herbal tea to reduce cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis.
- In Korea, seeds used as folk medicine to enhance bone formation or prevent osteoporosis.
Dye: Dye is impermanent; colors silk a brilliant scarlet, but is not permanent. Used in the preparation of toilet rouges. for which it is mixed with powdered talc.
Oil: Oil from the seed used in making soap and candles; also used as lubricant and in candle-making.
• Cardioprotective: (1) Study showed Carthamus tinctorius possesses the ability to suppress JNK activity and inhibit LPS-induced TNF-a activation and apoptosis in H9c2 cardiomyoblast cells. CT can potentially cardioprotective against LPS-induced apoptosis. (2) Study showed Carthamus tinctorius extract could protect myocardium damage induced by I/R injury. The mechanism of cardioprotection may be associated with inhibition of apoptosis of myocardium, upregulating protein expression of Bcl-2 gene and downregulated protein expression of Bax gene.
• Renoprotective: Study showed injection of saffor significantly reduced the renal dysfunction and injury caused by I/R (ischemia/reperfusion) of the kidney, effected probably due to inhibition of cell apoptosis and caspase-3 gene expression.
• Tracheloside / Anti-Estrogenic Lignan Glycoside: Tracheloside, isolated from the seeds of CT significantly decreased the activity of alkaline phosphatase, an estrogen-inducible marker enzyme, against cultured ishikawa cells, at a level of inhibition comparable to tamoxifen.
• Anti-Atherosclerotic / Antioxidant / LDL-Lowering: Study showed serotonin derivaties of extract of safflower seeds attenuate atherosclerotic lesion development possibly through inhibition of oxidized LDL formation through strong antioxidative activity.
• Neuroprotective: Study showed HSYA (hydroxysafflor yellow A) dose-dependently improved the neurological deficit scores and reduced the cerebral infarct area in a potency similar to the therapeutic effects of nimodipine on cerebral ischemia.
• Antioxidant / Safflor Yellow: Study showed SY is an antioxidatve part of Carthamus tinctorius.
• Polyphenols / Lipid Benefits: Study showed safflower polyphenols improved blood lipids by increasing the HDL-cholesterol formation and cholesterol excretion without significant uterotropic action in estrogen-deficient animals.
• Flavanoids / Antioxidants: Study isolated eight flavonoids. Luteolin-acetyl-glucoside and quercetin-acetyl-glucoside showed potent antioxidative activities.
• Teratogenic and Cytotoxic Effects of Safflower Extract / Coloring and Flavoring Use: Study showed that in higher doses, changes in cellular orientation and cellular degeneration were observed. also, cytotoxic assay demonstrated a concentration-dependent cytotoxic effect of the carthami flos extract. It suggests reconsideration of use as food additive.
• Hypotensive Effect: Study using SY, a mixture of chalconoid compounds extracted from CT lowered the blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Results suggest the decrease to be mediated by the renin-angiotensin system.
• Breast Cancer Inhibitory Effect: The compound Zhyu-xiang, derived from extracts containing ginseng and carthamus tinctorius, was studied on treatment of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell and human mammary gland cell lines. Zhu-xiang showed significant dose-dependent inhibition in cell proliferation, greater than that of commonly used cytotoxic drugs. The inhibitory effect was due to induction of apoptosis, both time- and concentration-dependent. Results suggest Zhu-xiang could be a useful anticancer compound against breast cancer.
• Immunomodulatory / Antitumor Activity: Study showed the Carthamus tinctorius could promote immunity through the activation of DCs per se.
• Analgesic Activity: Study showed CF oil extracted from safflower seeds is a natural local anesthetic with moderate analgesic activity mediated through influences on the serotoninergic and monoaminergic pathways. It has a potential to occupy a leading place among local anesthetics used in traditional medicine, acupuncture, and medical massage.
• Quinochalcones / Anti-Inflammatory: Study isolated two new quinochalcone compounds - saffloquinoside A and saffloquinoside B - from the florets of C tinctorius. Saffloquinoside A exhibited middling anti-inflammatory activity.
• Bone Formation Benefits: Study in Sprague-Dawley rats showed a significant increase of osteoblast markers - osteocalcin and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase. The effect appears likely to be mediated by IGF-I at the early stages of treatment.
• Antioxidant / Radical Scavenging: Study of crude extract showed antioxidant activities in various assays: DPPH scavenging, ABTS+ radical scavenging and superoxide anion radical scavenging.
• Antidiabetic / Hypolipidemic: Study of a hydroalcoholic extract in diabetic male Wistar rats showed decreases in FBS, triglycerides, LDL and VLDL. Blood sugar lowering effect was comparable to glibenclamide.
• Antitumor: Study evaluated the antitumor activity of CT extract on dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccine in cancer treatment. Results showed a dose-dependent dramatic increase of the levels of TNF-a and IL-1ß, with more immunologic and co-stimulatory molecules expressed on the DC surface.
• Hepatoprotective: Study of a methanolic extract showed a hepatoprotective (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) effect against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats as evidenced by biochemical parameters and histopathological findings.
• Hypolipidemic / Effects on Gene Expression: Study evaluated the hypolipidemic effect of various fractionation of crude extract. Results showed the dichlormethane extract to reduce the total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol of hyperlipidemic rats. The results may partly be due to a decrease in the HDL-cholesterol and gene encoding enzymes of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway.
• Antiulcer: Study showed an extract from Ct showed an antiulcerogenic effect, which may be due to its calcium channel blocking activity.
Oil, seeds, supplements in the cybermarket.