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Carthamus tinctorius L. Asteraceae. Safe Flower, False Saffron - Distribution: W. Asia. Dioscorides (in Beck, 2003) notes the seeds as a purgative, but also advises it made up with 30 figs, which must have helped. Gerard (1640) calls it Atractylis flore luteo the yellow distaffe thistle. and follows Dioscorides in its uses, but does get the reader confused with Cnicus benedictus, calling both plants 'wild bastard saffron'. Culpeper makes no mention of it in his early works, but later (1826) have the following: ‘Wild Saffon, or Saf-flower ... accounted a pretty strong cathartic [causing diarrhoea and vomiting], evacuating tough viscid phlegm, both upwards and downwards, and by that means is said to clear the lungs, and help the phthisic [now equated with tuberculosis]. It is likewise serviceable against the jaundice
- Dr Henry Oakeley