This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAMES. Safflower, Bastard Saffron.
MEDICINAL PART. The flowers.
Description. -- This annual plant has a smooth, striate stem, from one to two feet high, and branching at the top. The leaves are alternate, ovate-lanceolate, sessile, smooth, and shining. The flowers are numerous, long, slender, and orange-colored. Corolla five-cleft.
History. -- This plant is cultivated in England and America, although it is a native of Egypt and the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. The orange-red florets are the officinal parts. The cultivated Safflower is usually sold in the shops, and contains two coloring matters: the first of which is yellow and soluble in water; the second a beautiful red, and readily soluble in alkaline solutions only.
Properties and Uses. -- It will restore the menstrual discharge when the latter has been recently suppressed by cold, if used in warm infusion. It will also, when taken in the same form, produce an action of the bowels. In measles, scarlet fever, and other eruptive maladies, it is also considered an excellent diaphoretic. The seeds are sometimes used as purgative and emmenagogue, but, in my opinion, are of no great value. The infusion is made by boiling a drachm or two of the flowers in water, and may be taken tolerably freely.