flax seedMD

Flax Seed Oil Information

Health Benefits

What Is Flax Seed Oil?

Flax Seed Oil is made from the flax flower, a blue flowering plant that is grown on the Western Canadian Prairies (as well as many other countries) for its oil rich seeds. This natural oil (also known as linseed oil is highly recommended for its health benefits and its effect on one's general well being and whole body nutrition. Flax seed is considered to be nature's richest source of omega-3 fatty acids that are required for the health of almost all body systems. Because of these health benefits some nutritionists, researchers, and scientists believe that it could be the most important health-promoting supplement next to a multi-vitamin. Nearly every system in the body can benefit from flax seed oil's natural health benefits, including the cardiovascular system, immune system, circulatory system, reproductive system, nervous system, as well as joints.

The flax seed plant, also called Linum Usitatissimum has its origin in Europe where it was a source of fiber. Gradually flax seed came to be known as a huge health benefit and was used as a healing herb, often in place of what is now a multi vitamin supplement. Flax seed oil is rich in omega 3 acids one of the essential fatty acids (EFAs) and is touted to have other health benefits and is useful in treating everything from cardiac ailments, intestinal, heart/circulatory, arthritis, cancer, skin issues and even lupus. The EFAs are the key components present in flax seed oil because these acids are required to protect cell membranes.

Flax seed may be a popular topic at the gym or in other health circles lately, but this magic little pill from the plant world has been around for more than 4,000 years and known as a major health benefit in Asia, Europe, and Africa, and more recently in North America and Australia. As flax seed gained popularity for its industrial uses, however, its popularity as a food product waned, of course never losing its nutrients or health benefits. Today, flax seed is experiencing a revival among nutritionists who expound on its many health benefits.

Flax seeds have a long and extensive history. Originating in Mesopotamia, the flax plant has been known since the Stone Ages. One of the first records of the culinary use of flax seeds is from times of ancient Greece. In both that civilization and in ancient Rome, the health benefits of flax seeds were widely praised. After the fall of Rome, the cultivation and popularity of flax seeds declined.

Ironically, it was Charlemagne, the emperor who would be famous for shaping European history, who also helped to shape the history of flax seeds, restoring them to their noble position in the food culture of Europe. Charlemagne was impressed with how useful flax was in terms of its culinary, medicinal, and fiber usefulness that he passed laws requiring not only its cultivation but its consumption as well. After Charlemagne, flax seeds became widely appreciated throughout Europe and well known for their health benefits.

In more recent times, classic herbal medicine texts note that flax seed oil has been used to relieve gastro-intestinal pains and infections, colic and hemorrhoids. Applied topically, flax seed oil was mixed with calcium oxide to use on burns, and blended with honey to remove facial spots.

flax seeds are slightly larger than sesame seeds and have a hard shell that is smooth and shiny. Their color ranges from deep amber to reddish brown depending upon whether the flax is of the golden or brown variety.

Their flavor is warm and earthy with a subtly nutty edge. While unground flax seeds feature a soft crunch, they are usually not consumed whole but rather ground since this allows for the enhancement of their nutrient absorption. Ground flax seeds can have a relatively mealy texture with a potential hint of crunch depending upon how fine they are ground.

Uses of Flax Seed
Health Benefits of Flax Seed
Side Effects of Flax Seed