Herbal Meds

Flaxseed, a rich source of healing oil

Where does Flaxseed oil come from?

It began as a fiber for weaving and remains as the basis of natural linen fabrics.

Flaxseed is the seed of the flax plant, which is believed to have originated in Egypt. It grows throughout Canada and the northwestern United States.

Flaxseed oil comes from flaxseeds and the seeds themselves are used for therapeutic purposes.

It is a slender annual and bears blue flowers from February to September.

Flaxseed is also known as linseed.

How can Flaxseed help me?

Flaxseeds are a potent source of essential fatty acids (EFA''s) which are fats and oils critical for health. The human body cannot make these fats on its own.

One specific EFA, alpha-linolenic acid, is more widely known as omega-3 fatty acid. This essential fat is found in fish and flaxseeds and has been acclaimed in recent years for its ability to fight heart disease.

Flaxseeds also contain omega-6 fatty acids, which are the healthy fats found in vegetable oils.

Flaxseeds provide substances called lignans, which studies have shown to have beneficial effects on various hormones and may also help to fight bacteria, fungi, viruses and even some types of cancer.

Flaxseed can be used as an herbal remedy to treat constipation due to the high amounts of soluble fiber that it contains.

In addition, Flaxseed oil has shown to be beneficial in treating irritable bowel syndrome and inflammation of the colon the herbal way. Flaxseed supplements have proven to be a natural herbal remedy for treating and preventing gallstones.

Essential fatty acids found in Flaxseed help throughout the body to protect cell membranes - the outer coverings for all cells that allow healthy nutrients to be absorbed and keep damaging substances out.

Flaxseed can be used as an alternative herbal medicine if you have high cholesterol. Flaxseed also protects against heart disease, angina and high blood pressure. Studies in the USA have shown that Flaxseed can even prevent a second heart attack.

Anti-inflammatory properties in Flaxseed make this herbal medicine a good supplement to treat lupus and gout and even painful arthritic conditions.

Flaxseed oil is prescribed by herbal practitioners to treat acne and associated skin conditions. Flaxseed supplements are beneficial to sufferers of psoriases and eczema.

Flaxseed oil is an excellent herbal medicine that boosts the health of your hair and nails by making it less brittle and prone to breakage.

Flaxseed oil can even be used to treat sunburn.

Research is being conducted into Flaxseed's ability to facilitate the transmission of nerve impulses which can make this herbal remedy useful to treat numbness and tingling in limbs.

Studies in Canada have shown positive results in using Flaxseed to reduce the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer and prostrate cancer.

Flaxseed improves uterine function, making this herbal remedy a potential treatment for fertility problems.

Flaxseed has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to ease menstrual cramps and even the pain and discomfort of fibrocystic breasts.

A main component of Flaxseed is phyto-estrogens, which is a plant based estrogen. This herbal medicine can therefore be used to balance the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.

If I am already on medicine, what are the interactions or side effects I need to know about when using Flaxseed?

Please consult your medical practitioner prior to using any herbal medications should you be under their care.

Few side-effects with Flaxseeds or Flaxseed oil have been reported.

Like any fiber supplement that you take, you need to make sure that you drink plenty of water, otherwise it could worsen constipation.

Do not take Flaxseed supplements at the same time as other prescription medicines as Flaxseed can cause problems with the absorption of other drugs.

Flaxseed supplements work best when taken with food.

In very rare cases, chest pains, breathing problems, skin hives and itchy, swollen skin have been reported. Discontinue use of Flaxseed supplements immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

How do I take Flaxseed?

Liquid Flaxseed oil is the easiest way to get a therapeutic dose of this herbal medicine. From one teaspoon to one tablespoon daily is recommended, depending on your needs.

To supplement your fiber intake, mix one or two tablespoons of grounds Flaxseeds with a glass of water and drink this herbal remedy up to three times daily. The fiber treatment may take up to two days to act.

Flaxseed oil spoils very quickly so make sure that you check the expiry date before purchasing this herbal medicine.

Flaxseed supplements come in capsule form as well but are very expensive as it takes more than a dozen capsules to equal the benefits of one tablespoon of pure Flaxseed oil.

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