Common name: Flax
Latin name: Linum usitatissimum
Other names: Linseed, Common Flax, Flax Weed, Lint Bells, Toad Flax
Habitat: The plant is native to the temperate regions of Europe and Asia.
Description: Flax is a small, herbaceous, annual plant, growing to 1, 2 meters tall. It has erect, smooth stem and glaucous green, linear leaves. Flowers are small, five-petalled, pale blue or bright red in color. Fruits are round, dry capsules filled with brown seeds.
Parts used: Seed
Useful components: Fixed oil, mucilage, proteins, linamarin, omega-3 fatty acids
Medicinal use: Flax seeds are considered to be extremely beneficial for different types of ailments. Used internally, the seeds are very useful in treatment of constipation and elimination of secretions in the respiratory tract. They are helpful in cases of bronchitis and colds. Daily use of flax oil protects gastric and urinary membrane. It is also said that Flax seeds can act as a helpful prevention against angina pectoris and arteriosclerosis. They can also be helpful in reducing the cholesterol levels. Taken externally, the oil obtained from the seeds is recognized due to its demulcent and emollient properties. It protects and softens the irritated skin.
Safety: Excessive use of Flax seeds with inadequate water can lead to bowel obstruction. Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption of any herb.