What is FlaxSeed (also known as linseed)?

Flax (latin name: Linum) is an annual plant of the family Linaceae. There are more than hundred species of this plant.

Western Asia is considered the native region of flax. There is speculation that the flax was grown in Mesopotamia 3000 years BC. However, this assumption is not supported by artifacts.

Currently plantation cultivated flax exist in Argentina, USA, Canada, India, Russia. The plant is used as a raw material for the production of tissue. Linseed oil is used in the manufacture of paints, varnishes, enamels. For therapeutic purposes used only flax seeds.

There are mainly two types of flax grown. Linen with higher stem and small inflorescence is used for yarn production. Short stem and large inflorescence is used to collect the seeds.

Flaxseeds can be subdivided in two variable types: common & better known  golden and brown.

Brown Flaxseed

Flaxseed is collected after flowering in the period of full maturity. It could be quite difficult. Linen is not mowed. The flax seed is pulled out with the roots. Maturation of this plant is very important. If it’s too late the seeds could spill out of plant boxes.

The Chemical Composition

(The amount depends on the variety of flax)

  • Fats (glycerides of linolenic, linoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids) 35-45%
  • Mucus 12%
  • Proteins (albumin, globulin) 25%
  • Microfibre (cellulose) 28%
  • Cyanogenic glycosides Linamarin 1-1.5%
  • Phenolic acids
  • Lignans
  • Vitamin C, carotene, organic acids, enzymes, tocopherols, pectins, phytosterols
  • Macro- and micro-elements (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, chromium, aluminum, nickel, iodine, boron, selenium – very rare element in foodstuff).

Application Areas

Flaxseed oil is produced from the seeds of the flax plant by cold pressing to retain Omega-3 fatty acids. That oil is used like dietary nutritional supplement and food. The oil is also used in pharmaceutical industries because it could be helpful for cancer prevention, cholesterol level keeping, heart disease treatment and production of variable liniments for skin care.

In the chemical industry linseed oil is processed in drying oil which is unfit for human consumption. That drying oil is the main basis of oil paints and many kinds of varnish.

Food-grade linseed oil could be used for cooking. But you should know why it’s not the best way. When linseed oil is heating the main benefit Omega-3 breaks down.

Flaxseed oil and linseed oil could be different depending on the way they are processed.

In pharmaceutical industries flaxseed oil is used for liniments preparation. Currently linseed oil is widely used in the cosmetic industry in the production of creams.

Health Benefits of Flaxseed

Practically all components of flaxseed possess beneficial properties.

Mucus has enveloping and soothing effect for ulcerative diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Also mucus gently inflames the intestine healing for constipation.

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Essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects and enhance tissue regeneration promoting for rapid healing. Fats help to reduce cholesterol.

  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids modulate the effective amount of prostaglandin in cell tissue.
  • Phytosterols additionally inhibits the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive canal.

Nutritional value of flax seed and flax oil helps to cleanse human body, to prevent cardiovascular disease. According to unconfirmed reports this plant prevents the development of some cancers.

You can eat flax seeds in 3 ways:

  • Grind seeds to the powder
  • Make flax seeds decoction
  • Add whole flax seeds into the food and salads

Warning

  • Daily dose should not exceed 2 tablespoons.
  • Increase your fluid intake by using this product in your diet.
  • Buy floured flaxseeds or grinds them yourself before use.
  • Begin gradually with small doses.

Contraindications

Despite the many useful properties of this plant there are contraindications to the use:

  • Don’t use flaxseed with acute exacerbation of colitis, cholecystitis, and pancreatitis.
  • Don’t use it during pregnancy.
  • Be very careful to use flaxseed with stones in the gall bladder and kidneys.

Flaxseed Benefits for Skin

Due to its wonderful composition flax seeds have nourishing and rejuvenating properties for all skin types.

Great seductress Cleopatra paid special attention to flax seed in his cosmetic collection.

Masks with flaxseeds get the face skin into velvet, smooth fine lines and tighten the skin.

You can combine broth flaxseed with different ingredients to give a very interesting face mask recipes.

For example,

Firming Face Mask

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp of flaxseed
  • 1 tsp of blue clay

Pour boiling water flaxseeds (1 tablespoon of seeds and 1/2 cup water).

Place the seeds on the stove. Turn on the low heating. Boil it for 20-30 minutes.

Strain the decoction through a sieve.

Add 1-2 teaspoons of blue clay.

All mix well to avoid lumps.

 Firming Face Mask

Spread the mask onto the clean face with a brush avoiding the eye area.

Flaxseed Face Mask

Leave the mask for 20 minutes.

Wash your face with cold water and apply moisturizer.

Flaxseed Eye Mask

Prepare decoction as follows:

  1. Boil a cup of water and add 1 tablespoon of flax seeds. Boil decoction stirring constantly over low heat for 1 hour. Strain through a fine sieve.
  2. Grind flax seeds on a coffee grinder. Pour the boiling water and cook for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.

Fold several layers of cheesecloth and cut two circles which you can put on the eyes.

You can use cotton pads. But be careful because small fibers can get inside your eyes.

Soak cotton pads or gauze in the broth and put them on the eyes.

Flaxseed Eye Care

Keep it for 20-30 minutes.

At this time it is better lay down on the couch.

Remove the cheesecloth and wash with the face with cold water. Apply a nourishing eye cream.

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