Herb of the Week-Hong Hua, Safflower, Carthami Flos

Hong Hua is a very useful and definantly a common herb used in CHinese and Western Herbalism. This herb is also pretty common to most people as Safflower. Hong Hua translates to Red Flower in English from Chinese. Not quite as poetic as some of the other herbs, but as you can see it is very red even after it is dried and ready to use.

Herbal Uses-
Used to move (invigorate) blood flow.

Herbal Properties-
Hong Hua is warming and moving (acrid)

Hong Hua belongs to the ‘Invigorate Blood’ Category (big surprise)

Standard 3-9 grams per day applies here. However, see cautions for adhering to correct dosage.

Hong Hua has a bit of caution to overuse. Although it is used in standard dosages using in 10-15 grams per day can cause some side effects like headache, rashes, nausea, etc. There is no toxic attributes to it other than overdose cautions.
Hong Hua should not be used during pregnancy or while there is internal or external bleeding.

Herbal Uses-
Hong Hua holds true to the doctrine of signatures in that you have a red herb and it relates to the blood. Commonly known as Safflower, this herb is used to move blood. Moving blood is used for places of stagnation or stasis of blood and used in menstrual problems.

Internally take Hong Hua in a decoction to help with blood stasis and painful menses. Since this herb is very light being a flower we can expect it to also move in an upward and outward direction. This holds true and Hong Hua can be used to vent rashes or measles when they have incompletely gone away.

Externally Hong Hua is a common herb used in medicinals like liniment and others. Safflower is very effective in moving clean blood in and bad blood out so externally it is often used in medicinals for trauma, contusions, bruises,, and such. Being warming and moving I often use this in formulas that need to fresh blood in areas like tendinitis. The flower is also aromatic when quality herb is bought, therefore I also like to add it in soaks and baths. Herbal Properties are more easily extracted from Flowers, combined with its strong actions make Hong Hua the perfect herb for sore muscles, back pain, tendinitis, and arthritis, etc in Herbal Soaks and Baths!

Safflower is a great herb and now that you know its uses and properties you can work with it a little bit. I know there is Safflower Oil, Safflower Massage Oil and others, you may be able to use with a purpose now!

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