Safflower: The next big Western health trend?
Patrick O'Donnell
Safflower is used to improve blood circulation (Credit: VCG)

Safflower is used to improve blood circulation (Credit: VCG)

First it was ginger, then ginseng and now turmeric. But what will be the next ingredient used in traditional Chinese medicine to make it big in the West?

Qikan Yin, from The Institute of Chinese Medicine in London, says it could well be safflower, which he says is used "to improve blood circulation."

In the West, it is mostly found in oil form, as an alternative to sunflower oil, and, while its health properties have been noted, safflower has yet to take off like other herbal remedies.

A report by Future Market Insights back this up: "Safflower oil is also a healthier substitute to coconut oil and palm oil that are high in saturated fats, and hence, is expected to attract a larger consumer base from the health-conscious bracket."

The report goes on to note: "The enhanced nutritional content of safflower oil… is contributing to its increased utilization in various end-use industries such as food and beverage processing, dietary supplements, etc. Safflower oil usage is becoming increasingly common, especially amongst the health-conscious demographic."