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Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)
Asteraceae (aster family)
Used plant part
Very weak, herbaceous.
Safflor flowers contain carthamin, a dye of flavonoid type, but no essential oil.
The plant is widely cultivated for an edible oil, which is extracted from the seeds. It contains triglycerides of the doubly unsaturated linoleic acid (70%) and the triply unsaturated linolenic acid (10%); the latter is, together with the comparatively high content of vitamin E (310 ppm), responsible for the good reputation of safflower oil among nutrition scientists. Iodine index is rather high, ranging from 140 to 150.
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