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Flax Seed - Linum usitatissimumFlaxseed is also a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one of the few plant sources of all-important omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, essential nutrients that are associated with reduced inflammation, improved cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, and optimal brain function. In the body, ALA is converted to two more biologically active omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Flax seeds contain high levels of dietary Fiber including lignans, an abundance of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids (table). Flax seeds may lower cholesterol levels, especially in women. Initial studies suggest that flax seeds taken in the diet may benefit individuals with certain types of breast and prostate cancers. A study done at Duke suggests that flaxseed may stunt the growth of prostate tumors, although a meta-analysis found the evidence on this point to be inconclusive. Flax may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels. There is some support for the use of flax seed as a laxative due to its dietary fiber content though excessive consumption without liquid can result in intestinal blockage.
Flax seed is a basic anti-inflammatory used to relieve pain and tissue damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, lupus, osteoporosis, irritable colon, diverticulitis, gastritis, enteritis, breast cancer, chronic constipation, and colon damage caused by laxative abuse. It also lowers cholesterol levels and may protect against atherosclerosis. Flax seed can also be used as a poultice to draw blood to the surface to remove deep-seated inflammation, or as a moist warm compress to relieve pain or inflammation. The Essential Oils in flax seed help promote brain Health in newborns and unborn children.
The crushed seeds or linseed meal make a very useful poultice, either alone or with mustard. In ulceration and superficial or deep-seated Inflammation a linseed poultice allays irritation and pain and promotes suppuration. The addition of a little lobelia seed makes it of greater value in cases of boils. It is commonly used for abscesses and other local affections. Linseed is largely employed as an addition to cough medicines. As a domestic remedy for colds, coughs and irritation of the urinary organs, linseed tea is most valuable. A little honey and lemon juice makes it very agreeable and more efficacious. This demulcent infusion contains a large quantity of mucilage, and is made from 1 OZ. of the ground or entire seeds to 1 pint of boiling water. It is taken in wineglassful doses, which may be repeated ad libitum. Linseed oil, mixed with an equal quantity of lime water, known then as Carron Oil, is an excellent application for burns and scalds. Internally, the oil is sometimes given as a laxative; in cases of gravel and stone it is excellent, and has been administered in pleurisy with great success. It may also be used as an injection in constipation. Mixed with honey, linseed oil has been used as a cosmetic for removing spots from the face.
|The fibers in flax can interfere with the absorption of prescription medications, nutritional supplements, or the nutrients in other foods. Take flax seed products 1 or 2 hours before or after meals, medications, or vitamin supplements. Flax seed should|