The 5 Best Substitutes for Safflower Oil

Have you ever wondered what safflower oil is? If you haven’t, you’re not alone.

This cooking oil isn’t as well-known as other oils like olive oil or coconut oil, but it’s just as versatile and healthy.

Not only is safflower oil a good cooking oil, but it also has some amazing health benefits.

It’s high in polyunsaturated fats, which are good for your heart.

It can also help to lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels.

If you’re looking for healthy cooking oil, safflower oil is a great option.

It has a high smoke point, which means it can be used for high-heat cooking without burning.

It also has a neutral flavor, so it won’t affect the taste of your food.

However, safflower oil can be difficult to find.

If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, don’t worry.

In this article, we’ll show you the five best substitutes for safflower oil that you can use in your cooking.

Table of Contents

What is Safflower Oil?

Benefits of safflower oil

Safflower oil is a type of vegetable oil that is extracted from the seeds of the safflower plant.

The oil is yellowish in color and has a light, neutral flavor.

It is often used in cooking as a substitute for olive oil or other vegetable oils.

Safflower oil is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, making it a healthier option than other oils.

It is also relatively shelf-stable, meaning it can be stored for long periods without going rancid.

When cooking with safflower oil, it is important to use a light hand; too much oil can make food greasy and difficult to digest.

Safflower oil can be used for frying, sautéing, or as a salad dressing.

It can also be added to baked goods or used in place of butter or other oils.

So, how do you cook with safflower oil? Here are some tips:

  • When cooking with safflower oil, it’s best to use a light or mild-flavored oil. This will allow the flavor of your food to shine through.
  • If you’re using safflower oil for frying, be sure to heat the oil until it is hot enough. Safflower oil has a high smoke point, so it can handle being heated to a high temperature.
  • When using safflower oil in place of another oil, such as olive oil, keep in mind that it has a neutral flavor. This means that it won’t add any extra flavor to your dish.
  • Safflower oil is a healthy option for cooking, but it’s still important to use it in moderation. Too much oil can make food greasy and difficult to digest.

Make sure to store safflower oil in a cool, dark place.

It is shelf-stable, but light and heat can cause it to go rancid more quickly.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Safflower Oil

In case you’re out of safflower oil or just don’t like the taste, there are plenty of substitutes you can use.

Here are the five best substitutes for safflower oil:

1 – Canola Oil

Benefits of safflower oil

Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil that is derived from the rapeseed plant.

Unlike other oils, canola oil is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat.

This makes it a healthier option for cooking and baking.

Canola oil is also relatively tasteless and odorless, allowing it to be used in various recipes without affecting the flavor.

In addition, canola oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for frying or sautéing.

Whether you are looking for healthy cooking oil or simply want an oil that will not alter the taste of your food, canola oil is a good option to consider.

2 – Corn Oil

Benefits of safflower oil

Corn oil is a type of vegetable oil that is made from the kernels of corn.

It is a relatively inexpensive oil with a high smoke point, making it a good choice for cooking.

Corn oil is also fairly neutral in flavor, so it won’t significantly alter the taste of your food.

You can use corn oil for various cooking tasks, including frying, sautéing, and baking.

Just keep in mind that because corn oil is refined oil, it doesn’t have the same nutrient content as unrefined oils like olive oil or coconut oil.

3 – Sunflower Oil

Benefits of safflower oil

Sunflower oil is one of the most popular oils used in cooking.

It has a neutral flavor, which makes it ideal for use in a variety of recipes.

The oil is also relatively inexpensive, making it a good choice for budget-conscious cooks.

In addition, sunflower oil has a high smoke point, making it suitable for frying or sautéing.

However, sunflower oil is not appropriate for all cooking methods.

For example, oil should not be used for baking because it will impart a greasy flavor to the finished product.

Sunflower oil is also susceptible to rancidity, so it should be stored in a cool, dark place and used within a few months of opening.

When used properly, sunflower oil can be a versatile and flavorful ingredient in your kitchen.

4 – Soybean Oil

Benefits of safflower oil

Cooking is an essential part of everyday life, and a variety of oils can be used for different purposes.

Soybean oil is a type of vegetable oil that is extracted from soybeans.

It is a popular choice for cooking because it is relatively inexpensive and has a high smoke point.

This means that it can be used for frying without generating harmful chemicals.

Soybean oil is also rich in polyunsaturated fats, which can help to lower cholesterol levels.

In addition, soybean oil contains lecithin, an emulsifier that helps to keep ingredients from separating.

As a result, soybean oil can be used in various ways, making it a versatile and convenient option for home cooks.

5 – Hazelnut Oil

Benefits of safflower oil

Hazelnut oil is a type of cooking oil that is made from pressing hazelnuts.

It has a nutty flavor and aroma, making it a popular choice for adding flavor to dishes.

Hazelnut oil is also rich in nutrients, including Vitamin E, which can help to protect the skin from damage.

When cooking with hazelnut oil, it is important to remember that it has a low smoke point.

This means that it should not be heated to a high temperature, as this can cause the oil to smoke and give the food a burnt taste.

Hazelnut oil is best used in dressings or to add flavor to cooked dishes.

It can also be drizzled over finished dishes as a garnish.


In conclusion, safflower oil is a healthy and versatile oil that can be used in many different ways.

It has a high smoke point, so it is ideal for cooking and a good source of polyunsaturated fats.

If you want a healthy oil to use in your cooking, safflower oil is a great option.

However, if you are looking for an oil to use in salad dressings or a lighter flavor, you may consider using a different oil.

Some good substitutes for safflower oil include canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, and hazelnut oil.

— Update: 30-01-2023 — found an additional article 6 Safflower Oil Benefits (incl. weight, skin) + Side Effects from the website for the keyword benefits of safflower oil.

Benefits of safflower oil

Safflower oil is equally popular for cooking and as it is for boosting weight loss and skin health. Research backs up some of the claims but also suggests that this oil may be good for the heart, brain, and blood vessels. Its serotonin-like polyphenols reduce inflammation and may enhance cognition. Read on to learn more about safflower oil, with mechanisms, dosage, and side effects.

What Is Safflower Oil?

Carthamus tinctorius, known as safflower or false saffron, is one of the oldest known crops. It was first cultivated 4,000 years ago [1, 2].

This thistle-like plant is part of the daisy family (Asteraceae) and thrives in hot and dry climates. Safflower oil was first cultivated in China, India, Iran, and Egypt. It was then introduced to western countries between the 5th and 14th centuries [3, 4].

The safflower plant is grown primarily as an oilseed crop, but its flowers have also been cultivated for culinary, textile, and medicinal purposes [4, 3].

Safflower oil is popular for cooking and deep frying due to its high smoke point. It is a clear oil with a neutral taste that makes it a common addition to salads. Nutritionally, safflower oil is similar to sunflower oil. However, it contains some unique bioactive compounds that sunflower oil lacks [5].

Bioactive Components

The oil content of safflower seeds ranges from 23 – 40% [6, 4].

Safflower seed oil contains [7, 6, 2, 4, 8]:

  • Mostly polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids: linoleic acid 55 – 82%
  • Smaller amounts of monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids: oleic acid 8 – 35%
  • Very small amounts of saturated fatty acids (palmitic acid up to 7% and stearic acids 1 – 6%)
  • Phospholipids

Linoleic and oleic acids in safflower oil provide concentrated sources of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, respectively [9, 2].

Cultivation programs in the 1960s created a safflower oil high in oleic acid (70 – 80%) and low in linoleic acid. Due to its high oleic acid content, this oil has a longer shelf life. Many other plant oils are naturally rich in oleic acid. But this special type of safflower oil is richer in oleic acid than olive oil, the usual best source of this omega-9 fatty acid (with ~66% oleic acid) [2].

Safflower oil is rich in antioxidant polyphenols (lignans, flavones, and serotonins), which have wide-ranging health benefits. Lignans and flavone polyphenols are phytoestrogens, plant compounds that can mimic estrogen [10, 11].

Mechanism of Action

In cell studies, safflower oil blocked a key inflammatory pathway called NF-κB and turn off genes that increase immune-activating cytokines, making it a potentially potent anti-inflammatory [12, 13, 7].

It also reduced inflammatory enzymes that can damage the placenta in pregnant diabetic rats [14].

Safflower oil improved bone mass in animals by increasing growth hormones (IGF-I, IGF-II) and their proteins [15].

It protected against small intestine ulcers from NSAID drugs (like Motrin) in mice [16].

Phospholipids in safflower oil lowered blood and liver cholesterol in rats by reducing cholesterol absorption in the small intestine [8].

Polyphenols in safflower seed oil have demonstrated activity against:

  • Plaque buildup in arteries [17, 18]
  • Artery stiffness [19]
  • LDL formation [18]

Safflower polyphenols prevented LDL from being transformed into oxidized LDL, which can block arteries. These active compounds prevented plaque buildup even in mice genetically lacking APOE. Its polyphenols also prevent arteries from becoming thick and rigid [18, 17].

Antioxidant Activity

Polyphenols from safflower oil enhanced antioxidant defense and reduced damage in numerous cellular and animal studies [20, 18, 21, 22].

Antioxidant serotonins from safflower oil neutralized free radicals and inflammatory cytokines in human white blood cells exposed to LPS. LPS is a bacterial toxin that often enters the bloodstream of people with leaky gut and can trigger inflammation in the whole body [22].

Potential Benefits of Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is safe to consume in food, but it has not been approved by the FDA for medical use. Speak with your doctor before making significant changes to your diet or supplements.

Read more  6 Safflower Oil Benefits (incl. weight, skin) + Side Effects

Possibly Effective For

1) Heart Health

Safflower oil reduced triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol in a large meta-analysis of human trials. When it comes to the breakdown of its effects compared to other oils and fats, safflower oil was [23]:

  • Better at reducing LDL than saturated fats like butter or lard (a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats)
  • Better at reducing triglycerides than butter or beef fat
  • Better at reducing total cholesterol than olive oil or coconut oil
  • Worse at increasing HDL cholesterol than most other oils or fats, including sunflower, olive, palm, coconut oil, and beef fat

In one clinical trial, 8g/day of safflower oil reduced inflammation and increased HDL in 35 obese, post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes over 16 weeks. But keep in mind that many other oils and fats may be more effective at increasing HDL [24].

In another clinical trial, 24g/day of safflower oil reduced total cholesterol and LDL in 37 healthy adults [25].

In multiple animal studies, diets rich in safflower oil or safflower phospholipids reduced blood and/or liver cholesterol and increased HDL levels. For example, safflower oil decreased liver cholesterol by an impressive 44% in lambs. Triglyceride levels varied in most animal studies [26, 27, 28, 8, 29, 30].

Compared to beef tallow, diets high in safflower oil were much more effective at reducing blood triglycerides in rats [31].

Two serotonin polyphenols from safflower oil improved recovery and reduced damage after heart attacks in a heart tissue study [21].

However, high-oleic-acid safflower oil (30mL/day) had no beneficial effect on lipid levels in one study on twelve post-menopausal women [32].

Insufficient Evidence For

The following purported benefits are only supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of safflower oil for any of the below-listed uses. Remember to speak with a doctor before making significant changes to your diet, and never use safflower oil as a replacement for something your doctor recommends or prescribes.

2) Weight Management

In one clinical trial, safflower oil supplementation for 8 weeks reduced body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and body fat while increasing muscle mass in 75 women. But coconut oil was more beneficial for weight loss overall [33].

Safflower oil (8g/day) decreased waist fat and increased muscle mass in 35 obese, postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes over 16 weeks. However, it didn’t reduce their total fat or body mass index (BMI) [34].

A diet rich in safflower oil prevented fat gain in rats better than beef tallow or butter. It also limited weight gain and maintained muscle mass but reduced liver health. When rats were fed a high-fat diet, safflower oil reduced fat gain by activating fat-burning enzymes in the heart and muscles (lipoprotein lipase) [31, 35, 36, 31].

In mice, safflower oil had a beneficial epigenetic effect: it increased weight loss by reducing the expression of appetite-stimulating genes (for ghrelin) and increasing fat-burning genes (for orexin and PPARalpha) [37].

3) Inflammation

Safflower oil (8g/day) decreased the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein by 18% in 35 obese, postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes over 16 weeks [24].

In multiple studies, safflower oil reduced diabetes- and inflammation-triggered damage to the embryos in pregnant rats [38, 14, 39].

Safflower oil decreased autoimmune brain inflammation in rats, while the serotonin polyphenols from safflower seeds reduced inflammation in human white blood cells [40, 41, 22].

NSAIDs like Motrin and Advil are commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs that can cause ulcers in the small intestine. In mice, omega-3 fatty acids actually worsened the inflammation and small intestine damage caused by these drugs. But omega-6-rich safflower oil prevented ulcers from NSAIDs and reduced inflammation [16].

4) Brain Function

Cognitive Enhancement

A single dose of safflower oil increased memory in 22 healthy elderly adults. It improved long-term and immediate memory, speed, and attention [42].

Brain Inflammation

In rats, safflower seed oil prevented autoimmune brain inflammation. In mice, it prevented dementia and cognitive impairment from chronic alcohol consumption [40, 43].

Brain Injuries

The antioxidants in safflower oil improved brain health and recovery from stroke in rats. In pregnant or breastfeeding rats, safflower oil increased brain activity and levels of the key antioxidant glutathione in the brain. However, it reduced levels of another antioxidant enzyme, SOD [44, 45].

5) Diabetes

Safflower oil (8 g/day) for 16 weeks decreased fasting blood glucose in 35 obese, postmenopausal with type 2 diabetes [24].

In test tubes, serotonins from safflower oil blocked the activity of an enzyme (alpha-glucosidase) that breaks down starches into simple sugars. Thanks to this mechanism, safflower oil could potentially be used as a functional food for diabetics. It may reduce the amount of sugars the gut absorbs from starches in food, leading to fewer spikes in blood sugars after meals [46].

Diabetes during pregnancy can damage the fetus and cause health complications. In multiple studies, safflower oil decreased inflammation, damage, and improved embryo health in pregnant diabetic rats by over 50% [38, 14, 39, 47].

6) Crohn’s Disease

In a meta-analysis of clinical trials, omega-6 fatty acids in safflower oil added to tube feeding formulas increased Crohn’s disease remission better than any other type of fat [48].

Animal & Cell Research (Lacking Evidence)

No clinical evidence supports the use of safflower oil for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.

7) Skin Health

In pigs, a diet with safflower oil reduced skin damage. In guinea pigs, it reversed symptoms of essential fatty acids deficiency such as loss of skin elasticity, spot baldness, and scaly skin [49, 50].

8) Bone Health

Safflower seeds and safflower seed oil partially prevented bone loss caused by low estrogen in postmenopausal rats [11, 15].

Its beneficial effects may not be restricted only to postmenopausal bone loss, though. A diet high in safflower oil also improved bone strength in male rats [51].

9) Endurance

Dietary safflower oil improved the swimming endurance of male mice more than lard or fish oil [52].

10) Menstrual Health

Safflower extracts improved ovarian function by promoting blood circulation and normalized menstruation in female rats. Women with heavy menstrual bleeding often have underlying issues with their platelets. Safflower oil reduced the clumping of platelets and increased antioxidant defense in rats [53, 54].

11) Wound Healing

Safflower oil serotonins increased the activity and growth in connective tissue cells, which are crucial for wound healing and regeneration [55].

Cancer Research

In multiple studies, safflower oil decreased the occurrence and growth of breast and liver cancer in rats. It also reduced colon tumor growth in rats. However, no clinical studies have investigated the relevance of these results to humans [56, 57, 58, 59].

Side Effects & Precautions

According to some studies, diets high in omega-6 fats, including safflower oil, are associated with chronic inflammatory conditions like heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and IBS. It’s generally accepted that omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, while omega-6s are considered pro-inflammatory [60, 61, 62].

However, in addition to omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, safflower oil also contains antioxidant polyphenols, anti-inflammatories that reduce the risk of many chronic diseases [60, 61, 62].

Safflower oil may be associated with increased bleeding and reduced clotting. People with blood clotting disorders, or ulcers, taking drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, or those undergoing surgery should be cautious when using safflower oil [4, 63].

In large quantities, safflower oil may promote liver damage. Acute liver failure was reported in three women who took safflower oil for weight loss. Feeding rats a safflower oil-rich diet also increased the accumulation of fat in their livers [64, 65].

Safflower oil may stimulate contractions in the uterus. Pregnant women should use caution to prevent premature labor. The safety of high amounts of safflower oil in pregnant women or children has not been established [66].

Some people are allergic to safflower plants. Safflower seeds or oil may trigger an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to plants in the daisy (Compositae/Asteraceae) family, including ragweed, chrysanthemums, and marigolds [67].

Drug Interactions

Safflower oil may increase the risk of bleeding in people taking blood thinners including aspirin, warfarin, heparin [68, 69].

Safflower oil may reduce blood cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides. People taking cholesterol-lowering drugs should use caution if ingesting large quantities of safflower oil [23].

Safflower oil increased the risk of liver disease in animal studies. People with liver damage should be cautious with safflower oil [64, 65].

To avoid adverse effects or unexpected interactions, talk to your doctor before making any large, sudden changes in your diet.

Limitations and Caveats

Clinical human trials on the benefits of safflower oil are limited and the majority of studies have been done in rats, mice, and other animals.

Many other studies tested Safflower Yellow, a petal extract believed to be one of the most potent parts of the safflower. However, this article only included studies done with safflower oil.

Formulations & Supplements

Safflower oil is typically used as cooking oil. It is also available formulated into softgels, sometimes in combination with vitamin B6.

Safflower oil can be applied to the skin or scalp in combination with other oils or formulated into creams or ointments.

Rarely, it may also be given as part of a tube feeding formula or injected intravenously by a healthcare professional.


There is no safe and effective dose of safflower oil because no sufficiently powered study has been conducted to find one. That said, the doses in clinical trials ranged from 6 to 24g of safflower oil per day for heart health and weight loss. The most common daily dose was around 8 g/day [24, 25, 34].

Keep in mind that the quality and content of the safflower oil may vary greatly between products.

User Experiences

Several users found cleansing and moisturizing with high linoleic safflower oil effectively reduced cystic acne, eczema, psoriasis, and/or flaky skin.

Most reviews of safflower oil for weight loss used a chemically-altered oil that claimed to increase the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) content of the oil to over 80%. Results were mixed with no clear trend. Most people did not experience the desired weight-loss benefits.

Many people enjoy using safflower oil for cooking due to its affordable price and light, neutral taste.

— Update: 05-02-2023 — found an additional article Six health benefits of safflower oil from the website for the keyword benefits of safflower oil.

Safflower oil offers a variety of potential benefits. Below, we discuss the evidence behind six key benefits of safflower oil:

1. A healthful source of fatty acids

Safflower oil is a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

The body needs these fats to function. Experts generally consider unsaturated fatty acids to be more healthful than saturated fats.

Fats in the diet, such as those found in safflower oil, are essential for hormone regulation and memory. They are vital in allowing the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Eating some fat with meals may also help a person to feel fuller.

Safflower oil is lower in saturated fats, which are often considered “bad” fats, than olive oil, avocado oil, and sunflower oil.

A diet high in “good” fats and low in “bad” fats has many health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving heart health.

There are two types of safflower oil: high-oleic and high-linoleic. Both contain unsaturated fatty acids.

Like olive oil, the high-oleic variety of safflower oil contains monounsaturated fats and is a good option for cooking at high temperatures.

High-linoleic safflower oil contains higher quantities of polyunsaturated fats. It is not suitable for heating but is ideal for use in salad dressings.

2. Improves blood sugar levels

A systematic review of studies from 2016 suggests that eating a diet high in unsaturated fats can improve a person’s blood glucose control.

Read more  Safflower vs Saffron: What Is The Difference?

The study found that replacing some sources of carbohydrate or saturated fats with unsaturated fatty acids, especially polyunsaturated fats, had a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels, as well as insulin resistance and insulin secretion.

A 2011 study suggested that consuming 8 grams (g) of safflower oil daily for 4 months may reduce inflammation while improving blood sugar in some people with type 2 diabetes.

It is important to note that the participants in this study were women with type 2 diabetes who also had obesity and were past the stage of menopause.

The researchers suggest that people might use quality dietary fats alongside diabetes treatments to reduce complications associated with the condition.

3. Lowers cholesterol, boosts heart health

The same 2011 study also reports that participants’ blood cholesterol levels improved following 4 months safflower oil use.

These findings support the American Heart Association’s suggestion that unsaturated fats may lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad,” cholesterol in the blood. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease.

Safflower oil may contribute to heart health in other ways too.

The unsaturated fats in safflower oil can thin the blood and make platelets less sticky. This might help prevent blood clots that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Safflower oil might also affect blood vessels by relaxing them and reducing blood pressure.

4. Fights inflammation

Safflower oil may also have anti-inflammatory properties.

According to a study in Clinical Nutrition, Safflower oil and the unsaturated fatty acids in safflower oil improved markers of inflammation. This may help with several conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

5. Soothes dry skin

Applying safflower oil topically to dry or inflamed skin may help soothe it and give the skin a soft and smooth appearance. Although most of the research on safflower oil for the skin is anecdotal, it is a common ingredient in cosmetics and skin care products.

Safflower oil contains vitamin E, which may be responsible for some of its skin benefits. Vitamin E has been an important ingredient in dermatological products for decades.

Some research suggests that vitamin E protects the skin from the effects of sunlight and from free radicals, which are harmful molecules that damage cells in the body and contribute to disease.

Before using safflower oil on the skin, perform a patch test. Rub a drop of the oil into the arm and wait for 24 hours. If no reaction develops, it is probably safe to use.

6. Safe for cooking at high temperatures

Not all oils are safe to use for frying. This is because overheating delicate oils can create free radicals.

High-oleic safflower oil is safe to cook with at high temperatures. In fact, this monounsaturated oil has a higher smoke point than many other oils, including:

  • corn oil
  • canola oil
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil

Safflower also has a milder flavor than other oils, including olive and coconut, which makes it an excellent choice for deep frying, pan frying, or baking.

People should not heat polyunsaturated safflower oil, however. Save it for drizzling over steamed vegetables and making vinaigrettes. Keep the oil in the refrigerator to prevent it from turning rancid.

— Update: 06-02-2023 — found an additional article Safflower Oil for Skin and Beyond: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects from the website for the keyword benefits of safflower oil.

Benefits of safflower oil

Safflower is considered to be one of the oldest crops in existence, with roots tracing all the way back to Ancient Egypt and Greece. Today, the safflower plant remains an important part of the food supply and is often used to make safflower oil, a common cooking oil that is also used to make a variety of processed foods, skincare products and more.

While some claim that safflower can promote inflammation and contribute to chronic disease, others point out that it contains several health-promoting compounds, including vitamin E, heart-healthy fats and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

So is safflower oil bad for you? Or is it among the healthy cooking oils that can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy diet?

Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Safflower Oil?

Safflower oil is a type of vegetable oil made from the seeds of the safflower plant. To extract the oil, safflower seeds are crushed, pressed or treated with chemical solvents.

Not only is the oil widely used in cooking, but it’s also often used to produce margarine and certain processed products like salad dressings. It’s also found in a variety of skincare products and cosmetics, which is due to its ability to moisturize the skin and reduce inflammation.

In addition to its mild flavor, high smoke point and vibrant color, safflower is also naturally non-GMO and boasts a rich nutrition profile. In fact, each serving is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E.

Related: Is Cottonseed Oil Good or Bad for You? What You Need to Know

Benefits/Uses for Skin and Beyond

1. Promotes Skin Health

Many people use safflower oil for skin health, thanks to its ability to soothe and moisturize dry skin. For this reason, safflower oil is commonly added to skincare products and cosmetics due to its skin-boosting benefits.

In addition to supplying a hearty dose of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, it’s also rich in vitamin E.

Vitamin E benefits for skin health are especially prevalent. Studies show that vitamin E can aid in the treatment of conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne, and it may even help enhance wound healing.

2. Good for High-Heat Cooking

Safflower oil has a smoke point of about 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that it is able to withstand very high temperatures without breaking down or oxidizing. This makes safflower oil for cooking a great choice, especially when using high-heat methods like frying, roasting or baking.

Besides preventing changes to the taste and aroma of foods, selecting cooking oils with a high smoke point for these cooking methods can also inhibit the formation of harmful compounds known as free radicals. These compounds can build up in the body and contribute to inflammation and disease, increasing the risk of serious conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

3. Improves Cholesterol Levels

Safflower oil is rich in unsaturated fats, which are a heart-healthy form of fat that have been linked to reduced cholesterol levels. They are especially high in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to decrease levels of total and bad LDL cholesterol, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease.

Plus, according to one study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, consuming eight grams of safflower oil daily was able to reduce markers of inflammation and increase levels of HDL cholesterol, a beneficial type of cholesterol that helps remove fatty plaque from the arteries.

4. Stabilizes Blood Sugar

Some studies have found that safflower oil benefits blood sugar control and may even reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. For example, a study conducted by Ohio State University found that consuming safflower oil daily for 16 weeks led to significant reductions in hemoglobin A1C, which is a marker used to measure long-term blood sugar control.

What’s more, a study out of Italy also found that swapping out saturated fat for monounsaturated fats like safflower oil could improve insulin sensitivity, allowing your body to use insulin more efficiently to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

5. Decreases Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is believed to be at the root of a number of different diseases, including autoimmune conditions, heart disease and cancer. Some studies have found that safflower oil may possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce several key markers of inflammation.

Keep in mind that safflower oil also contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which can actually contribute to inflammation when consumed in high amounts. Be sure to pair safflower with a variety of other healthy fats, including plenty of omega-3 foods, to help maximize the potential health benefits.

Related: Is Corn Oil Healthy? Potential Benefits vs. Risks (Plus Healthy Substitutes)

Risks and Side Effects

Many claim that the CLA found in the oil can help promote weight loss. However, despite the many glowing CLA safflower oil reviews, safflower oil is not a good source of CLA and contains minimal amounts compared to other foods like grass-fed beef and dairy.

Additionally, although there are plenty of CLA safflower diet reviews out there claiming that there’s a link between safflower oil and weight loss, most research shows that it has no impact on body weight.

Furthermore, safflower oil is very high in fat and calories. While it can definitely be included in moderation as part of a balanced diet, consuming high amounts can increase your calorie consumption, which could contribute to weight gain.

Many people also wonder: Is safflower oil inflammatory? Many vegetable oils, including safflower oil, contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which are a type of essential fatty acids found in a variety of foods.

However, having a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can contribute to inflammation. Therefore, it’s best to ensure you’re getting a good amount of omega-3 foods in your diet as well, along with other healthy fats like olive oil, fish, coconut oil and grass-fed butter.

Keep in mind that safflower may also interfere with blood clotting, which could increase the risk of bleeding in those with certain conditions. For this reason, if you are taking any medications for blood clotting or have upcoming surgery, it’s best to consult with your doctor before making changes to your diet to prevent any CLA safflower oil side effects.

Dosage/How to Use

Wondering where to buy safflower oil and how much you should include in your diet?

Safflower oil is widely available at most grocery stores, often alongside other vegetable oils like olive, sunflower and canola oil.

Keep in mind that safflower oil is available in both refined and unrefined varieties. Although unrefined safflower is less processed, it also tends to have a lower smoke point.

Consider your personal needs and preferences when shopping for safflower oil to find what works for you.

The amount that you should enjoy as part of a healthy diet can vary based on a number of different factors, including your weight, gender and activity level.

However, as a general rule of thumb, the United States Department of Agriculture has set the following guidelines for daily oil consumption:

  • Children 2–3 years old: 3 teaspoons
  • Children 4–8 years old: 4 teaspoons
  • Girls 9–13 years old: 5 teaspoons
  • Girls 14–18 years old: 5 teaspoons
  • Boys 9–13 years old: 5 teaspoons
  • Boys 14–18 years old: 6 teaspoons
  • Women 19–30 years old: 6 teaspoons
  • Women 31+ years old: 5 teaspoons
  • Men 19–30 years old: 7 teaspoons
  • Men 31+ years old: 6 teaspoons

Keep in mind that these amounts should include other healthy fats as well, including nuts, seeds, avocados, nut butter, grass-fed butter and other types of vegetable oil.

If you’re following a ketogenic diet or are very active, these amounts may be a bit higher for you.

Safflower oil is ideal for high-heat cooking methods like roasting, baking and frying. Because of its distinct color and aroma, it can even be used as a budget-friendly saffron substitute in certain dishes as well.

For topical use, simply add a few drops of the oil to dry, rough or scaly areas of the skin. Alternatively, try mixing it with a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree or chamomile, and massaging onto the skin.


  • Safflower oil is a type of vegetable oil made from the safflower plant. It is commonly used for cooking and added to margarine, salad dressing and skincare products.
  • Some of the potential safflower oil benefits include better blood sugar control, reduced cholesterol levels, decreased inflammation and enhanced skin health.
  • Because it has a high smoke point, it can also be used for high-heat cooking methods like frying or roasting without breaking down or oxidizing.
  • In high amounts, it could contribute to weight gain and inflammation. It may also interfere with blood clotting for those with bleeding disorders.
  • To start taking advantage of the potential benefits of safflower, try incorporating it into your natural skincare routine or swapping it in for other fats in your diet.

— Update: 07-02-2023 — found an additional article Safflower vs Saffron: What Is The Difference? from the website for the keyword benefits of safflower oil.

Spices enhance the flavor of our dishes. Today, let’s get to know more about Safflower and Saffron. Safflower and Saffron are two different spices. Each has a distinctive flavor. So, what are their main differences? Let’s find out below.

Read more  How to Make Turkish Coffee at Home

Safflower vs Saffron

Benefits of safflower oil

What Is A Safflower?

Safflower or Carthamus tinctorius is a herbaceous, highly branched plant that belongs in the sunflower family Asteraceae. In appearance, it is a thistle like plant. Safflower plant is cultivated for vegetable oil. Safflower oil is extracted from the seeds. Safflower was used as a Saffron substitute by the early Spanish colonies along the Rio Grande.

Safflower plants grow 12 to 59 inches tall, with globular flower heads. The color of the flowers can be yellow, orange, or red.

Safflower is native to Asia, Africa, central India to the Nile river.


When Safflower matures, most leaves turn brown approximately 30 days after flowering. Typically, seeds fall from the head when rubbed.

A small grain harvester is used to harvest the seeds. Moisture should not exceed 8% to allow for a safe, long period storage. The process of drying is done similar to sunflower. To avoid damage to the seed and provide good quality, temperatures must not exceed 109 °F.

Safflower Flavor

As a flavoring agent, safflower has a very mild flavor. The taste is like a sweet chocolate. It also has a very rich aroma. The flavor of safflower is weaker compared to saffron, and lessens when cooked.

Benefits of safflower oil

Uses Of Safflower

Traditionally, the plant was cultivated for its seeds, and used for flavoring and coloring foods, medicines, and producing red and yellow dyes.

Safflower as an edible oil

Usually, safflower plant has been grown mainly for the production of vegetable oil extracted from seeds. The safflower oil is colorless and flavorless. It is mainly used in salad dressing, and making margarine. Safflower oil is also used in cosmetics.

Safflower produces various kinds of oil. It produces oleic acid which is high in monounsaturated fatty acid, and linoleic acid which is high in polyunsaturated fatty acid. The predominant edible safflower oil market is for the former, because it is lower in saturated fats. This is ideal for frying food at high temperatures. As for the latter, it is used in painting in the place of linseed oil, usually in white paints.

Safflower as Saffron Substitute

Safflower is a cheaper substitute for saffron. Sometimes referred to as the false saffron, the poor man’s saffron, or bastard saffron.

Safflower as a Herbal Tea

To prepare a safflower tea, the dried safflower petals are soaked in hot water. Consuming safflower tea has a lot of health benefits. It can improve cardiovascular health, and can ease painful muscle. The tea is also perfect for those wanting to cleanse their system, flushing unwanted toxins from the body. The tea also aids in weight loss.

Safflower is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce inflammation of the joints, such as arthritis or gout.

Safflower as a Dye

Basically, the dried flowers are used as a natural dye source for orange and red pigment carthamin. They are also used as a food coloring.

Safflower as a spice

People use dried flower petals as a culinary spice. The spice is added in soups, rice dishes, and stews.

Coloring capacity

Large quantity is needed to achieve a yellow color in food.

Benefits of safflower oil

What Is Saffron?

Saffron is also known as saffron crocus, it is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus. Saffron is a spice that we can get from the stigmas of the plant Crocus Sativus. Threads, which are the vivid crimson stigma and styles are gathered and dried mainly as a food coloring in seasoning . This spice is available all year round, and you have the option to buy it in golden-red strands or ground.

Saffron originated in Asia Minor. People in this region have used saffron for perfumes, medicines, dyes, flavorings and food for thousands of years.


Saffron’s high retail value on the world market is maintained because of the labor-intensive harvesting ways. Generally speaking, it needs 440,000 hand-picked saffron stigmas per kilogram. The reason why saffron is expensive because forty hours of labor are needed to pick 150,000 flowers, and laborer must be extracted by hand.

Saffron Flavor

Saffron is known to be one of the world’s most expensive spice. Saffron has a beautiful golden color and provides a spicy and aromatic flavor to dishes. Saffron has a strong and intense flavor. The taste is like a honey with a hint of spiciness.

Benefits of safflower oil

Uses of Saffron

Saffron has cancer fighting properties. It is believed that saffron contains compound chemicals that can kill cancer cells, reduce swelling, and can work as antioxidants to protect cells from free radicals.

Saffron can also improve mood. Saffron supplements are effective in managing mild to moderate depression symptoms.

In India, saffron is an essential ingredient in many recipes of rice, ice creams, and sweets. In Saudi Arabia, their coffee is infused with saffron. While in Spain, it is an important ingredient in dishes such as Paella.

Saffron is also used to relieve menstrual cramps.

Coloring capacity

Small amount is needed to achieve an intense yellow color in your dishes.

Cooking using saffron

You only need a little amount of saffron to spice up your recipe. A little goes a long way. Just a pinch in soups and stews are enough.

Saffron is also perfect for seafood dishes, such as paella and bouillabaisse. It is also used in rice dishes and risotto. To get a delicious marinade for fish, add saffron threads, thyme and garlic to vinegar.

Nutritional value

Dried saffron contains 6% fat, 11% protein, 12% water and 65% carbohydrates. 29% manganese is also present in one tablespoon of saffron.

Storing saffron

It is recommended to store saffron in a dark place. Saffron is very sensitive to moisture and light. Place it in a container and store it away from the sunlight. If you store it properly, it can last for years.

If you store saffron in a freezer, it can maintain its flavor for up to two years.

If you decide to transfer saffron to a new a container, ensure that the container is properly cleaned and odor-free before using it. This is to prevent saffron from absorbing other flavors and odors.


With that said, spices such as safflower and saffron have a lot of health benefits. People often use saffron for anxiety, depression, menstrual cramps and other conditions. Saffron is mainly used for flavoring and food coloring. While safflower is a good source of healthy fatty acids, it lowers cholesterol and can prevent heart diseases. It also reduces inflammation. Safflower is used for the production of vegetable oil for cooking and and food coloring.

— Update: 10-02-2023 — found an additional article 11 Health Benefits of Safflower Oil from the website for the keyword benefits of safflower oil.

What is Safflower Oil?

Which cooking oil is healthiest for me and my family? We are often confused and worried when it comes to choosing an oil for everyday use in the kitchen. It’s a general notion that oils are harmful to health, increase blood cholesterol levels or make us fat. But, do we really know much about the various oils available in the market, their benefits and side-effects? Safflower oil is one such vegetable oil with numerous health benefits.

Safflower oil is extracted from seeds of the safflower plant, also known as Carthamus Tinctorius and belonging to the Compositae family. It has properties very similar to the sunflower and typically blooms in summers. Safflower oil has high nutritive value and is known to be a heart-friendly oil. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are the types of safflower oil available in the market. The monounsaturated version though not healthier than the polyunsaturated one, is more shelf-stable.

Safflower Oil Benefits

  • Safflower oil is used extensively in cooking.
  • It is used for industrial purposes as an ingredient in paints and varnishes, as dye or coloring agent.
  • In replacement of linseed oil, you can use safflower oil for your oil paintings.
  • Devoid of chemicals, safflower oil is a healthier product to use as a hair conditioner to restore shine and luster to your hair.
  • Dried safflower is commonly used as a spice.

Apart from these uses, it is packed with immense health benefits such as the ones listed below.

1. Lowers Cholesterol levels

Safflower oil contains unsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-6 fatty acids that help in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. Safflower oil also contains linoleic acid that reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. LDL is the primary marker for heart diseases. Safflower oil is a choice for many who suffer from hypercholesterolemia (i.e. high cholesterol levels).

2. Controls Diabetes

Regular consumption of safflower oil will help prevent diabetes. Safflower oil is loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids of plant origin which help in increasing insulin sensitivity. The omega-6 fatty acids in the safflower oil help reduce blood sugar levels and thus can be consumed by diabetic patients too. Safflower oil has been proven to reduce HbA1C levels too.

3. Controls Atherosclerosis

Safflower oil is well known for reducing inflammation and preventing thickening of blood vessels thereby preventing atherosclerosis. Also, the linoleic acid in safflower oil prevents hardening of the arteries. The polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease the chance of formation of fatty plaques in the blood vessels and help to have a healthy heart.

4. Stroke

5. Reduces Risk of Obesity

A study says that if daily 8 grams of safflower oil is consumed, it will help in reducing belly fat. Adding safflower oil in your diet is recommended as it increases the serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is also called as the ‘happy hormone’ in everyday parlance, and on consumption, safflower oil stimulates the release of serotonin. You can lose weight without being depressed now! Safflower oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids which help burn fat and prevent becoming overweight if appropriately used in cooking.

6. Pruritus / Itching

Safflower oil is beneficial not only when consumed but its application can also be more useful because of linoleic properties which can help relieve itching of the body. Safflower oil moisturizes the body and prevents pruritus If added to the water while bathing, it helps to remove all the impurities on the skin. Due to itching and scratching, you may leave marks on the skin surface, and safflower oil can come to rescue. When applied to the scars it helps to lighten them and makes the skin look healthy and bright.

7. Heart attack

In the early middle ages, safflower petals were believed to improve blood circulation and today research has proven the benefits of safflower oil in preventing heart attacks.

8. Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)

Cold-pressed safflower oil can regulate the prostaglandins in the body with the help of high linoleic acid. The regulation of prostaglandins will monitor all the hormones and thus prevent symptoms like pain and cramps in the abdomen which occur before or during menstrual cycles.

9. Constipation

If you repeatedly suffer from constipation, then you might need safflower oil. Safflower oil acts as a lubricant in the large intestine working as a mild laxative and offering relief from straining at hard stools. Safflower oil overall helps in digestion by strengthening the stomach and intestines. Liver and spleen enlargement also can be handled if a little safflower oil is added to the daily diet. Not all oils are dangerous; those like safflower oil are great to clear the bowels.

10. Anti-inflammatory

Safflower oil is rich in omega 6 fatty acids and also contains vitamin E. This combination makes it a potent anti-inflammatory agent.

11. Wound Healing

High linoleic safflower cold pressed oil when applied to a long-standing, non-healing wound can help in healing. However, it should be done after consulting a doctor because if the wound is severe and not cleaned up properly, application of oil will only accumulate dirt and make the wound septic. Regular use will protect the body from skin infections.

Safflower oil is full of antioxidants which will protect from bacterial infections and harmful free radical growth thus preventing any infections.

Published on Apr 13, 2018
Last Updated on Mar 12, 2022


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About the Author: Tung Chi