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Flaxseed (Linum Usitatissimum)

 

Flaxseed (also called linseed) comes from the flax plant (Linum Usitatissimum ), which belongs to the Linaceae plant family.Flax seeds are generally known for its good quality fat, natural high fibre content and anti oxidant quality. They are rich in lignans, fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids. The Flax seeds oil contains essential fatty acids beneficial for good health. Flax seeds are very low in carbohydrates making it an ideal choice for those individuals with limited consumption of starches and sugars. The healthy fat and high fibre content makes Flax seeds an excellent food for weight loss and maintains body weight.

 

History

Flaxseed has arich history of being used since the ages of Acharya Charaka, the most trusted Ayurvedic philosopher and the author of Charaka Samhita, the pioneering ayurvedic encyclopedia. Ayurveda uses Flax seeds for many of its preparations as it contains therapeutic properties. Flax seeds are known for hot, pungent, heavy, purgative and strengthening qualities.

Known as Uma, Rudrapatni, Masruna, Kshama and Neela in Sanskrit, Flaxseed and its oil has been used for more than 5,000 years in ayurveda for treating obesity, high blood pressure, excess cholesterol, arthritis, paralysis, bloating, wounds, neuralgia, hemorrhoids and constipation.

Among which Uma, Parvati and Rudrapatni exhibit absolute power and supremacy as all the three indicate the Indian Hindu Goddess Parvati Devi, the wife of Shiva, the Supreme God adorned as the ‘Transformer’ or the ‘Destroyer’. The book ’20,000 secrets of Tea’ by Victoria Zak quotes Flax as “Flaxseeds were used by the Greeks, mandated by law as a necessary food in the 8th century in France, and recommended by Gandhi.”

The traditional population of India used Flaxseed to normalize the level of blood sugar and cholesterol

Benefits

  • Reduces Cancer Risk : Flaxseed is effective against breast cancer and it is also beneficial in fight against ovarian, prostate and colon cancer. It was found that high levels of lignan contain in flaxseed helps to protect against breast cancer by blocking the enzymes involved in hormone metabolism which are responsible for the growth and spread of tumor cells.
  • Lowers Bad Cholesterol : A healthy fiber diet is essential for a healthy digestive system and flaxseed is high in fiber which is good for body. Consuming flaxseed can help to smooth the passage for food through the intestines and even boost the intestinal absorption of nutrients. In addition, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil work as natural laxatives may relieve constipation. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed also protect the lining of the digestive tract and maintain gastrointestinal health.
  • Makes Skin Healthy : Flax seed oil and flaxseed have lot to give for your skin, healthy fats and vitamins B in flaxseed oil can benefit your skin in many ways. It can minimize skin irritation, tissue inflammation, rashes and even redness. In addition the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed can help to keep your skin hydrated and smooth and can accelerate the healing of skin wounds.
  • Eases Menopausal Symptoms : Regular consumption of flaxseed can help to improve symptoms of menopause. A study has shown that flaxseed can be very effective to combat the symptoms of menopause for menopausal women. The Lingans in flaxseed have estrogenic properties that can help to reduce hot flashes, vaginal dryness and mood disorder.
  • Protects Against Heart Disease : It is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats along with omega-3 fatty acids that are important to keep your heart in optimal Heath.In addition, flaxseed helps to reduce heart disease and stroke by reducing build-up plaque in the arteries, and inflammation that are known to promote hardening of the arteries.
  • Aids Detoxification : Flaxseed contains soluble and insoluble fibers that are very effective in flushing toxins from the intestinal tract. In addition, flaxseed is loaded with essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for many functions of cleaning and maintenance of a healthy immune system.
  • Stabilizes Blood Sugar : Regular consumption of flaxseed can improve levels of blood sugar in people with type-2 diabetes. In addition alpha-linolenic acid, protein and fiber contained in flaxseed oil played an important factor for controlling blood sugar.