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Flax Herb Facts & Potent Potions
(May 2012 Newsletter)


Herb Facts & Potent Potions


Flax
(Linum usitatissimum)

 
Flax Flower


 Herb Facts:
  • Flaxseed is a Super Food. Flaxseed meal has Proteins that build muscle and bone tissues, and is a source of Vitamin E with its abundant antioxidant properties.
  • It is high in Mucilaginous Fiber - for digestion and digestive distress, chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, and all types of intestinal inflammation. It is a mild laxative that is non-habit forming and preferred when purgative laxatives have been over-used and bowels are sluggish.   
  • Flaxseeds are the richest source of omega-3s in the plant kingdom. Research shows that omega-3 oils can reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of heart attack and disease, lower cholesterol, stimulate the immune system, and protect against inflammation, kidney diseases and some types of cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for brain development and proper function.
  • Flax is one of the most concentrated sources of plant lignans we know of. The seeds contain 100-800 times the amount found in other plants. Lignans act as phytoestrogens (compounds from plants that act similarly to estrogen in the body) and help balance a woman's hormone levels. Flaxseed can promote normal ovulation (improving fertility), and lower the risk of suffering from estrogen-dominant imbalances including:

•    Irregular menstrual cycles
•    Breast cysts
•    Headaches
•    Sleep difficulties
•    Fluid retention
•    Anxiety
•    Irritability
•    Mood swings
•    Weight gain
•    Lowered sex drive
•    Brain fog
•    Fibroid tumors
•    Heavy bleeding
•    Peri-menopausal
•    Menopausal symptoms
•    Estrogen-dominant cancers


Potent Potions: 


Flaxseed
Flaxseeds


INTERNAL USES  

The body does not digest whole flax seeds. They must be ground in a seed grinder or blender to enjoy the plant's many health benefits. Once ground, the meal is susceptible to insects infestation and rancidity, so keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator. Flaxseed meal should be free of parasites and unpleasant odor before eating.

Drink a cup of water when taking flaxseed meal as a digestive fiber. It will swell and form the mucilage which soothes and heals the intestinal tract.
 
Sprinkle flaxseed meal on cereals or mix it with oatmeal, yogurt, water (similar to Metamucil), or any other food item where a nutty flavor is appropriate. When adding it to a cooked cereal or grain dish, do so at the end of cooking, since the soluble fiber in the flaxseed meal will thicken liquids if it is left too long.
   
Flaxseed sprouts are edible, and have a slightly spicy flavor.

Flaxseed Tea:
A teaspoon of ground flaxseed meal, mixed in a cup of hot water or juice, taken three times a day, can help ease ulcers and inflammations. The tea is also good for coughs, asthma and pleurisy.

Weight-Loss Fiber:
A teaspoon of ground flaxseed in a warm cup of water or juice before meals will stop excessive food cravings and assist the dieter in losing weight.

Flaxseed Enemas:
Use Flaxseed Tea as an enema to help loosen a heavy mucous coat of the inner intestinal walls. People with bleeding, painful hemorrhoids experience easy bowel movements without irritation when the enema tea is used regularly.

FLAXSEED OIL is especially perishable, going rancid fairly quickly when subjected to light, heat or open air. The oil should be purchased in opaque bottles that have been kept refrigerated. Flaxseed oil should have a sweet nutty flavor. Never use flaxseed oil in cooking. Add it to foods only after taking from heat.
 
DO NOT USE BOILED FLAXSEED OIL
for medicinal or nutritional purposes. Heat produces undesirable by-products in the body. In fact, industrially, flaxseed oil is heated and processed then used as a binder in paints, varnishes, stains, furniture polish, Linoleum flooring products, and concrete preservatives.

Laxative Oil:

Flaxseed oil is highly nutritious. It is sometimes given as a laxative. It is excellent for kidney stones and has been used for pleurisy with great success.


EXTERNAL USES 

Remove Foreign Bodies from the Eye:
Take a single, moistened, whole flaxseed and place it under the eyelid. The foreign body will be drawn to and attach to the mucous secretion of the seed, making it easier to remove.

Ground Flaxseed Poultice:

Stir one or two tablespoons flaxseed powder into two to four ounces of hot water.  Let soak until a slimy gel forms. At this point, you may add other herbs to enhance the healing properties, such as goldenseal root, comfrey, or slippery elm bark.

Spread the gel onto a small piece of cloth, or spread the paste directly on the target area and cover with a piece of clean cloth. For convenience, you may also add a layer of plastic and cover with a towel.

A ground flaxseed poultice is one of the best remedies for sores, boils, inflammations and tumors of the skin. Adding slippery elm bark and comfrey is particularly effective for boils, pimples, and oozing sores and burns.

An old poultice recipe uses a thick flaxseed paste to relieve congestion and discomfort in pneumonia, pleurisy, and peritonitis (inflammation of the inner wall of the abdomen and pelvis). The tea taken internally will also ease symptoms.

Skin Irritations:
1 oz. Golden Seal
9 oz. Flaxseed oil

Mix thoroughly. Apply freely to the skin, as needed, for itching, burning or rashes of the skin, including the rash of smallpox, measles and scarlet fever.
 

Edited Portions of this article were taken from the
‘Top 40 Herbs of North America’ by Angela Harris



The information contained in this article is for educational purposes. It is not provided to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any medical or emotional condition. We provide this information to help you in your quest for personal well-being.

 
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