Carthamus glaber Burm.f.
Centaurea carthamus E.H.L.Krause
Family: Asteraceae - Aster family
Growth Habit: Forb/herb
Bangla/Vernacular Name: Kushum, Kajira.
Tribal Name: Angthokanay-kamse (Khumi).
English Name: Safflower.
A thisle-like annual herb. Leaves sessile, rigid, broad-lanceolate, spinosely serrate. Flowery orange-red in large terminal heads.
Safflower contains carthamone, lignans and a polysaccharide. Aerial parts of the plant contain acetylenic compounds. Flowers contain eleven triterpene alcohols, helianol being the major one, a yellow pigment, safflomin A and the coloring matter, carthamin. Seed is rich in fixed oil, contains a bitter principle, matairesinol mono-glucosides.
It also contains steroidal glycosides and sterioid di-glucosides, aellobioside, tracheloside; cathartic lignan glycoside, 2-OH-arctiin, luteolin 7-glucoside, kaempferol-3-rhamnoglucoside and phenolic constituents. Seeds also contain heptadecatetraene and polyacetylenes. Three novel antioxidative serotonin derivatives have been isolated from the oil cake. Fruit contains alkaloids (Ghani, 2003).
Young plants are efficacious in colds. Leaves and flowers are cooked as vegetable (Khumi).
Cultivated as an oil crop.