Hong Hua – Carthamus flower – Safflower – “Red Flower”

Nature: very acrid, warm

Enters: Heart, Liver

Actions: Promotes blood circulation, dispels blood stasis from the channels, opens the channels; alleviates pain; unblocks the menses.

• Blood stasis: dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, postpartum abdominal pain or dizziness, abdominal masses, lochioschesis, traumatic injury – wounds and pain, painful obstruction of the chest, non-suppurative sores, carbuncles.
• Heat and blood stasis: dark red skin eruptions, suppressed rashes, including measles.
• Beneficial in coronary artery disease. May also lower cholesterol.
• For Berger’s disease, combine with Ru xiang, Mo yao, Dang gui, Tao ren.
• For angina pectoris, often combined with Tao ren, Dan shen, Chuan xiong.
• Usually added near the end of cooking a decoction – should not be cooked long.
• Contraindicated in pregnancy.
• Bensky/Gamble: To harmonize the blood, use 0.9-1.5g.
Chen: Used successfully in one study to treat peptic ulcer.
DY: In a small dose (1-2g), it can slightly nourish blood. In a moderate dose (3-5g), it harmonizes the blood. At the usual dose (6-10g), it quickens the blood. At a high dose (10-15g), it breaks blood [stasis].
• Tends to dispel stasis in the upper part of the body and in the channels.
• With Tao ren: Hong hua is stronger than Tao ren at moving blood, while Tao ren is stronger at dispelling stasis. Together, they complement and reinforce each other to effectively quicken the blood, dispel stasis, engender blood, and stop pain. For such indications as:
-1. Cardiac and chest pain due to heart blood stasis. (Add San qi, Dan shen, Xie bai, and Gua lou pi.)
– 2. Amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menstrual irregularities, and dark menstrual blood with clots due to blood stasis. (Tao Hong Si Wu Tang)
– 3. Fixed, stabbing, and severe pain aggravated by pressure due to blood stasis. The combination appears in many formulas for these indications, based on the location and nature of the pain (Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, Tong Qiao Zhu Yu Tang, Fu Yuan Huo Xue Tang, Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang, etc.).
– 4. Traumatic injuries with pain and swelling due to blood stasis. (Xiao Zhong Zhi Tong Tang)
MLT: Similar to, but stronger than Western Calendula.
PCBDP: Laxative, diuretic.
Hsu: Stimulates the uterus to contract rhythmically/tonically – particularly effective in pregnancy – fast, long lasting effect.
Dose:  3-10g (0.9-1.5 to harmonize blood) See comments from Dui Yao above.

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