Flaxseed (also called linseed) comes from the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum ), which belongs to the Linaceae plant family. Historically, flax has been cultivated for thousands of years. Linen made from flax has been found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs and is referred to in the Bible and in Homer's Odyssey. The Roman naturalist Pliny wrote about the laxative and therapeutic powers of flax in the first century a.d., and many authorities believe it has been used as a folk remedy since ancient times. Flax is believed to be native to Egypt, but its origins are questionable since it has been used widely around the world. It is cultivated in many places, including Europe, South America, Asia, and parts of the United States. Only the seeds (flaxseed) and oil of the flax plant (flaxseed oil) are used medicinally. Linseed oil is the term usually used for the oil found in polishes, varnishes, and paints.
Flaxseed oil is derived from the flax plant's crushed seeds, which resemble common sesame seeds but are darker. The amber oil is very rich in a type of fat called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is good for the heart and found in certain plants. High amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and smaller amounts are found in green leafy vegetables, soy-derived foods, and nuts. Many doctors consider these acids important for cardiovascular health. Studies suggest that they can lower triglyceride levels and reduce blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids may also decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes by preventing the formation of dangerous blood clots within arteries. In high dosages, the fatty acids may help to alleviate arthritis, though flaxseed products have not yet been shown to be effective for this purpose.
Chemical Composition of Linum usitatissimum:
The roots of L. usitatissimum contain measurable concentrations of Lignans and Isoflavones.
Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber, lignans, and of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), two omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for human health.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 2.5-gram, or 1-teaspoon, serving of flaxseed contains:
Cardiac Arrhythmia – Irregular Heart Beat, Anticoagulant and Antiplatelet effect – Coagulation means the clotting of Blood, For Diabetes, Antihypertensive – In Hypertension, For Hyperlipidemia – LDL/HDL imbalance, Antineoplastic effects – Development of abnormal cells or Tissues, cancerous or benign, Antioxidant effects, Cognitive effects – Attention Deficits and/or Hyperactivity Disorders, Hormonal effects - Imbalance of Estrogen/Progesterone in body, Laxative effects , Reno-protective effects – Kidney Related, In Obesity, Polycystic Ovary.
The Linum usitatissimum is present in almost all areas of the world, but with some important shortcomings of continental nature or climatic zones. The origin of the plant seems to be in the area between Europe and the Caucasus.