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Linum usitatissimum

Latin Name: Linum usitatissimum 

Common name: Flax Seed

Family: Linaceae

Parts used: Seed

Constituents: Mucilage (3%-6%); fixed oil (30%-45%): alpha-linolenic, linoleic, and oleic acids; protein (25%); phosphatides (0.7%); sterols; cyanogenic glycosides (1.5%).

Medicinal actions: Anti-inflammatory, demulcent, fiber supplement.

Medicinal use: Constipation, gastritis, enteritis.

Pharmacology:

  • The mucilage in the seeds absorbs water into the stool making it a bulk-forming laxative to stimulate peristalsis.
  • Seeds are high in anti-inflammatory Omega 3 (linoleic) fatty acids and are indicated in excessive mucous production and constipation.

Pharmacy:

  • 1 tbsp of whole or crushed seeds with 4-8 oz water, BID/TID
  • 2-3 tbsp of ground seeds with water to make a poultice or internal demulcent

Toxicity: None known.

Contraindications: Do not use in digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, or colitis, or in hormone-sensitive disease such as endometriosis or PCOS.

Interactions: None known.

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