Safflower is commonly grown as a food plant, but also has a wide range of medicinal uses. Modern research has shown that the flowers contain a number of medically active constituents and can, for example, reduce coronary heart disease and lower cholesterol levels[254, 279]. Alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antiphlogistic, haemopoietic[14, 174, 178]. Treats tumours and stomatitis[174]. The flowers are anticholesterolemic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, laxative, purgative, sedative and stimulant[4, 7, 147, 176, 240, 269]. They are used to treat menstrual pains and other complications by promoting a smooth menstrual flow[218] and were ranked third in a survey of 250 potential anti-fertility plants[218]. In domestic practice, the flowers are used as a substitute or adulterant for saffron in treating infants complaints such as measles, fevers and eruptive skin complaints[4, 269]. Externally, they are applied to bruising, sprains, skin inflammations, wounds etc[238]. The flowers are harvested in the summer and can be used fresh or dried[238]. They should not be stored for longer than 12 months[238]. It is possible to carefully pick the florets and leave the ovaries behind so that seed can be produced, though this procedure is rather more time-consuming[238]. The plant is febrifuge, sedative, sudorific and vermifuge[218]. When combined with Ligusticum wallichii it is said to have a definite therapeutic effect upon coronary diseases[218]. The seed is diuretic, purgative and tonic[240]. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism[240] and tumours, especially inflammatory tumours of the liver[269]. The oil is charred and used to heal sores and treat rheumatism[240]. In Iran, the oil is used as a salve for treating sprains and rheumatism[269].