Also commonly known as linseed, flax is a food plant that belongs to the Linaceae family, and is grown in the cooler regions of the world. This annual plant grows up to 3 feet tall, and has pale blue, 5-petaled flowers.
Flax is one of the oldest fiber crops grown in the world, and was extensively cultivated in the ancient Egypt and China. The pictures on the tombs and temples on the ancient Egypt depict flowering flax plants, and it was also used in the olden days to produce linen.
Today, flax is used to produce edible oil and is used as a nutritional supplement, thanks to the valuable medicinal properties it contains.
Here we’ve listed down some common uses of flax.
- Hippocrates, the father of medicine, knew of the use of flax in the treatment of different intestinal disorders.
- The ancient Babylonians cultivated flax as a food source, and later on, it came to be regarded as a wonderful nutritional food.
- The oil extracted from the seeds of this plant, also known as linseed oil, is applied to several furniture to give it a quality finish.
- Several natural medicine practitioners today recommend a mixture of flaxseed oil and honey to their patients to help them get rid of unwanted spots on their face, and to nourish and moisturize the skin.
- Linseed oil is used all around the world today in several paints and soaps as a drying agent.
- The National Cancer Institute has found fiber the insoluble fiber content in flax to be very effective in preventing various types of cancers, particularly colon cancer.
- Linseed oil is also a component of many joint pain and burn creams and ointments.
- The omega-3 fatty acid content of linseed oil is thought to hold many benefits for the cardiovascular system.
- Flax is also one of the few plant foods that contain alpha linoleic acid, which offers many health benefits.
- Some studies have also found that flax may be effective against a wide range of other physical disorders including high blood glucose levels, gallstones, cancer, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalance, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, heart disease, angina, stroke, hot flashes, constipation and many other conditions.