Safflower was used in ancient Armenia, as in many Middle East countries, for textile dyeing. The Latin name Carthamus derives from the Arabic verb qurtum meaning dye, in reference to the usage of safflower petals for textile dyeing. Interestingly, the modern Arabic name of safflower “al-usfur”, is derived from the word “asfar” meaning yellow. It is considered one of humanity’s oldest crops having been used for thousands of years. Medieval Armenian herbalists would use safflower tisane as a remedy for treating insomnia, decreasing anxiety levels and to strengthen the liver, gall bladder and respiratory system. At present, safflower is used as an herbal remedy as a decongestant, to detoxify the body and to protect the digestive and circulatory systems (in particular, balancing cholesterol levels).
Our wild safflower is hand harvested 1,900m above sea level from its native habitat, in the Lori region of Armenia, by the residents of the village of Odzun, supervised by an ethnobotanist, using methods of collection and processing passed down over thousands of years. The golden petals are dried in the shade under the ceramic roof of a natural drier to preserve the quality and taste. Our wild safflower has interestingly both honey-caramel notes reminiscent of rooibos and savoury notes, and may be enjoyed with pumpkin sugar crystals or honey.
Safflower tisane may be drunk hot or ice cold, and may be used in mocktails (such as the Arabian Sunrise), cocktails (like the Arabian Delight) and recipes. A cup of safflower is perfect after a meal to aid digestion or just before bedtime to relax.