Lowering Cholesterol and Combatting Heart Disease: Safflower Tea

Safflower plant with beautiful orange petals.

It’s widely known that many herbal teas offer a variety of health benefits. Safflower tea is one of the less well-known varieties of herbal tea. However, studies indicate that this humble tea, taken from the petals of the safflower plant, can work against several ailments, including raised cholesterol, fevers and even symptoms of arthritis and poor circulation.

Safflower Tea: What is it?

In appearance, safflower looks much like a thistle, and interestingly, it gets its name from the Portuguese, who, in the 1700s, used the plant as a cheaper substitute for saffron. So it’s a herb with an ancient past (dating back as far as 3500 BC), and the Chinese have been using it in their medicines for centuries.

It is grown widely worldwide, and for many years, it was only harvested to provide colouring for food and fabric. However, it became apparent in recent years that safflower could be used for more than just yellow and red pigment for dye and offered considerable health benefits. As a result, the seeds of the plant are now often used to make safflower oil, and the petals are harvested to create safflower tea.

How Can Safflower Tea Help You?

This firm (but extremely pleasant) tasting tea offers some benefits for your health and well-being. Here are the main advantages of drinking safflower tea:

  1. Healthier heart. Safflower tea is perhaps most famous for its ability to help lower cholesterol and improve the heart’s overall health. The herb is full of linoleic acid, and it’s this fatty acid that contributes to reducing cholesterol in the body, which in turn, prevents heart disease. In fact, in a study conducted by Ohio State University, HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) levels in the participants were found to have increased by 14%. According to Dr Martha Belury, who led the study: ‘I certainly think it’s possible that the risk of cardiovascular problems could be significantly decreased…/…if supplementation were continued’.
  2. Improved circulation. Safflower assists with circulation and is often used to treat poor circulation and blood clots. It’s also effective when used to ease obstructed menstrual flow.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory. It’s believed that safflower has anti-inflammatory properties and can help those suffering from chronic inflammation of the joints, such as arthritis or gout. This is because the tea contributes to flushing toxins from the system and indirectly stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid (which contributes to eradicating uric acid deposits within the body).
  4. It eases painful muscles. Safflower tea offers a considerable advantage to athletes and sportspeople, as it reduces lactic acid build-up in the muscles, which produces painful cramping.
  5. System cleanser. The tea is excellent for detoxing their system as it acts as a bladder cleanser and a mild laxative, flushing unwanted toxins from the body. It also raises levels of sweat, which not only rids the body of toxins but helps to reduce fever.

How Often Should You Drink Safflower Tea?

Safflower is suitable for everyday consumption and presents no side effects. However, pregnant women should not drink it, and those who suffer from stomach ulcers or clotting disorders should also avoid it, as it naturally thins the blood.
Otherwise, this particular herbal tea offers medically proven benefits for your health and has an enjoyable distinct flavour. Enjoy!

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