Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is an annual grain with blue flowers that grows from 12 to 48 inches in height. It is also referred to as Linseed Oil in some parts of the world. The ripe seeds are harvested from the dried seed capsules. Dietary supplements are available in the forms of oil, seeds, or capsules. Flax Seed Oil is a very rich source of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s), primarily Omega 3’s (alpha linoleic acid). EFA’s like Omega 3 are not produced by the body and are required to maintain health. Flax also contains Omega 6 (linoleic acid), Omega 9 (oleic acid), protein, and carbohydrates. Lingnans and fiber are found in the seeds.
Flax Health Benefits:
The many benefits of Flax Oil include lubricating the colon, nourishing the skin, hair and nails, and restoring healthy metabolism. It is an excellent supplement for encouraging weight loss. It reduces the appetite by keeping you feel satiated longer and lowering blood sugar. It has been useful in the treatment high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, arthritis, and inflammatory conditions. The shell on the seed contains lingnans, which are known to provide needed fiber. Fiber scrapes the colon wall and helps to bulk the stool for proper elimination. Lingnans have anti-tumor properties and they lower risks of breast and colon cancer.
If you are treating Lyme Disease with TOA-Free Cat’s Claw, EFA’s are a must to enable fat soluble (need fat to dissolve) supplements to work in the biliary system (bile ducts) and brain, or the toxins resulting from the Lyme Disease bacteria die off will not be eliminated efficiently. EFA’s make cell membranes more easily penetrable so that supplements and medications can reach the bacteria.
The brown and newer yellow seeds can be crushed, ground, eaten whole and even roasted and sprouted. The ground seeds help to flush the colon walls as well as provide their great health benefits. If eaten whole, be sure to chew thoroughly, or you will see whole seeds in the stool. Sprouts yeild a spicy taste. A newer hybrid of yellow Flax Seeds was developed by South Dakota and North Dakota State Universities, called Golden Flax, which has high levels of Omega 3. Omega 3 is found in fish oil – if you are vegetarian or don’t like to eat fish, Golden Flax is a great alternative. I particularly like organic, ground Flax Seeds – they have a creamy, nutty flavor. One exceptional brand is Dakota Flax Gold, which claims that 50% of its oil comes from EFA’s. Add to smoothies, sprinkle on salad or rice dishes, roast, and bake into cookies and other dishes. Take 4 tablespoons per day for health maintenance, more if you are experiencing a health condition. As a source of fiber, 1/4 cup per day is recommended.
Flax Seed Oil:
To me, the oil has no real discernible taste other than a slightly nutty one, so if you make a dressing from it, add spices if you’d like. I find organic oil to taste the best – the higher the quality of the oil, the better the taste. Heating the oil damages the therapeutic effects, so take directly by mouth or add to salads and dressings. Take 1-2 tablespoons per day.
Flax Oil Capsules:
For those who travel or don’t like the taste of either, gel capsules are also available, but the bulk product produces a greater dollar savings. Take as directed.
Find most Flax products in the refrigerator section of your health food store. Flax Oil will oxidize and go rancid if not used. Never ingest rancid oil.
Sources (Open in another window):
1. Flax. (2007, February 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 15, 2007
2. Shao, Yu, & English, Jim. “Flaxseed Revolution: Facts About Flax”. Retrieved February 15, 2007
3. Kane, Elizabeth, PhD (2004, January) “Detoxifying Lyme”. Allergy Research Group Newsletter, p. 11