Origin: As one of the ancient crops known to man, Flaxseed has been used for centuries as a creative problem-solver and powerhouse of nutrition.
The preliminary discovery of Flaxseed remains dates back to 30,000 BC. Back then, it was used for making textile materials. 30,000 years ago, wild flax as textile was used and the evidence comes from the present-day Republic of Georgia. Here, the spun, dyed, and knotted wild flax fibers were found in Dzudzuana Cave.
Linum usitatissimum is the Latin name of the flaxseed meaning “very useful”. Commonly addressed as flax or linseed, it belongs to the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. Cooler regions cultivate this crop. The textiles born from flax are known in the Western countries as linen.
The first record of Flaxseed consumed as food goes back to 6,000 BC. In practical applications, Flaxseed has been used for different purposes throughout history. In the United States, it was introduced by colonist to make fiber for clothing.
Ancient Egyptians used flax oil for embalming and wrapping mummies. Hippocrates used it for healthy digestion and as a laxative. Others have used flax oil to coat farm tools preventing them from rusting, the boiled seed as a poultice for boils and other skin infections, and seed mucilage as a hair gel.
In more recent history, Flaxseed production has risen and demand has tripled as scientists work to uncover the seed’s ever-growing nutritional and pharmaceutical benefits.
Scientifically: Flaxseeds are naturally high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid. ALA is called ‘vital fatty acid’ because our bodies need it for optimal health and vitality. Since our bodies can’t make this nutrient on their own, it needs to be absorbed by eating foods that are a rich source—like Flaxseed.
Plant-based ALA fatty acids are proven to have heart health benefits and are linked to a lower risk of stroke. Studies have shown that Flaxseed may have a protective effect against breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer as it contains lignans that have powerful antioxidant and estrogen properties.
Apart from the above, Flaxseed also contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
Some research also suggests that daily intake of the lignans in Flaxseed may modestly improve blood sugar (as measured by hemoglobin A1c blood tests in adults with type 2 diabetes). The dietary fibers present in Flaxseed keeps you full and can help you lose weight.
A couple of spoons of Flaxseeds ensures that you have good skin. The Omegas in Flaxseeds promote healthy skin as they maintain the skin's natural barrier. They also effective in treating conditions like eczema and acne.
It helps in accomplishing flawless skin and reducing wrinkles. Flaxseed gel is very helpful for those with curly hair. It leaves hair soft, shiny, and moisturized, promotes hair growth, nourishes hair, etc.
Usage: It can be included in the fluid intake daily and can be added as a dressing to the salad. It can be added to muffin, cookie, bread another batter. Mixed into the smoothies to thicken it or used as a replacement for eggs… the nutritious Flax seeds have multiple facets.
Below are some DIY with Flaxseeds:
- Take 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of Flaxseed. Pour both the ingredients into the pot. Boil it on a medium flame until white frothy gel-like liquid forms (it will have a raw egg white consistency). Continue stirring while it simmers. Place a strainer on the top of the bowl and pour the liquid into it. You can add a few drops of essential oil to get better results. Proceed to use and get a healthy looking hair.
- Take some flaxseed oil and massage into your hair. This helps in boosting hair growth.
- Make a paste of ground flaxseeds with coconut oil. Apply this to any skin irritation, inflammation or skin rashes. This soothes the skin.
- Take some ground flaxseeds and some oatmeal. Mix them together with a tablespoon of yogurt. Apply this on the face and leave it on for 10 minutes. Wash with normal water while scrubbing it off.