The flax or linseed are indeed the seeds of the flax plant. When flax flowers mature, capsules containing the seeds are formed in them.The flaxseed contains substances that have utility in many fields, such as medicine, food, cosmetics and carpentry.

What are flax seeds for?

Flax seeds, among its myriad applications, are used to:

  • In herbal medicine, as a mild laxative
  • Provide Omega 3, 6 and 9 to the body
  • As a poultice and anti-inflammatory for various skin conditions
  • Soothe throat conditions
  • As an aid in weight loss diets
  • As an anticancer aid
  • As a glucose regulator
  • Its viscous mucilage is used as a hair fixative
  • Its mucilage is used as a hair rinse against dryness
  • Its mucilage is used as a tonic against baldness
  • Its mucilage is used as a mask against wrinkles
  • Its mucilage is used as a facial moisturizer
  • Its flour is used as an aid against constipation
  • As a grain for pasta and baked goods, such as bread and cookies
  • Mixed with powdered wood or cork and resin, they are compressed to form linoleum

They are used in medicine

In herbal medicine, flax seeds are used in ground form, as a light laxative , since the seeds contain an oil called linolic , which supports intestinal transit, and also a high proportion of fiber .

Flax seeds contain in different amounts the three types of Omegas: Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9. Omega 6 is called linoleic acid , coming from the roots “flax” and “oleic”, which together refer to “Flax oil”. The Omega 9 is called alpha-linolenic acid , which refers to the same roots.

Flax seeds are also used as a poultice for various skin conditions, or to reduce inflammation . For this purpose they are left in hot water for a few minutes and then they are strained and then the water is used. This same preparation is used by herbalists to soothe throat conditions.

Both flaxseed water and flaxseed powder are used as support to lose weight in cases of obesity.

Flax seeds are believed to help prevent and calm multiple diseases, such as certain types of cancer, as they contain anti-cancer agents , such as lignin, which help prevent cancer.

It is also believed that they can be useful to patients with diabetes, as they help regulate sugar levels . Due to the vitamins and nutrients they contain, they are frequently used as a food supplement, added to cereals, breads, desserts or sprayed without accompanying.

They serve for cosmetology

In cosmetology, the viscous mucilage released by the seeds immersed in boiling water is used. Its usefulness is as a fixative for the hair , as a rinse against hair dryness and as a tonic against baldness , although the latter function has not been shown to be effective. It also serves as a mask against wrinkles and as a facial moisturizer .

They have functions in food

In the kitchen, flax seed flour is used in some preparations, especially against constipation , and in some places they are boiled and then their viscous fluid or mucilage is used in fresh waters with fruits.

Flax seed flour is also used in baking , adding it to various bread and biscuit pastries. The linseed oil is added to salads as a dressing , but has the characteristic of rancidity soon and therefore remains in cooling.

They are used in art

Linseed oil is extracted from flax seeds . This oil is used as a thinning agent for oil paints . Oil paint is oily, and linseed oil serves the function of improving its consistency , softening it. It is used especially when the oil paint has hardened a bit, making it easier to use.

They are used for decoration and design

In industry, the oil extracted from flax seeds is mixed with powdered wood or cork and resin . This paste is then compressed onto a cloth or canvas . For this, the oil solidifies. This preparation is called linoleum , and it is used mainly as a covering for floors, walls and even some furniture.

Depending on its thickness and color, it is used as a tapestry. It is also used to record different images on it, either to later put them on paper or other materials or to leave it like that, just as a decoration.

This technique is called engraving , and it is carried out with tools called gouges , which are metal points with plastic or wooden handles, which achieve different textures on the linoleum.

Do they have side effects?

Being an important element to complement a healthy diet, flax seeds can have some undesirable effects on the body.

If consumed in excess, due to their laxative effect , they can greatly break down the last phases of digestion, which take place in the large intestine. The body would shed feces in a very liquid form , which would lead to a loss of water from the body, that is, dehydration .

By thus shedding the feces, the final process of absorption of nutrients from the digested food would be hindered , thus leading to malnutrition. These worrisome effects only occur when flax seeds are consumed in excess.

This excess implies the ingestion of huge amounts and for a long time. There is no reason to be overwhelmed as long as consumption is controlled and in limited doses.

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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