Linum usitatissimum (meaning ‘most useful’)
Flaxseeds are small, dark brown, smooth seeds shaped like an apple seed, from an annual plant with small blue purple flowers.
Protein, fat, protein, fibre, mucilage, lignans, linoleic acid – omega 6 fatty acids, alpha linolenic acid – omega 3 fatty acids, Vit A, lecithin, resins, minerals, phyto-oestrogens
Benefits and Uses
Bulking laxative used in constipation, demulcent, anti inflammatory, relieves irritated coughs (relaxing expectorant), anodyne, immune enhancing, hormonally balancing, antioxidant, nutritive, tonic, increases metabolism and weight reduction, initiates cell renewal, cleansing, reduces colon and breast cancer, reduces cholesterol levels, makes prostaglandins, reduces arthritic pain and stiffness, relieves eczema, hayfever, asthma, psoriasis, prostatic enlargement, some headaches and migraines, PMS, MS, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid/osteoarthritis. Important for vegetarians who don’t eat fish.
Externally – Burns, skin diseases, mastitis, pleurisy, boils, shingles, psoriasis, eczema
Best if ground in a blender. One of my favourites is LSAP, (linseed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seeds and almonds) ground up together and put on muesli or added to smoothies. Store in refigerator.
For constipation, soak a tablespoon of seeds in enough water to cover the seeds, add to breakfast cereal or porridge or add to smoothy.
Please note: Flaxseed oil is very easily oxidised and damaged by heat, must be cold pressed and organic, store in the refrigerator and consume within 6 weeks of opening.