Sunday, February 15, 2009

Linum usitatissimum L.

English Name : Linseed and Flax

Family : Linaceae

Origin : Mediterranean region

A stiff, upright annual, about 1 to 2 feet high; stem usually solitary, cylindrical, quite smooth, green, corymbosely branched in the upper part. Leaves alternate sessile, linear-lanceolate, attenuate at each end, entire, smooth, faintly ribbed. Flowers solitary at the ends of the branches. Fruit capsular, surrounded at the base by the persistent sepals, globose, with a sharp-pointed apex, smooth imperfectly 10 celled. Seeds flattened-ovoid, with rounded edges and an abolique blunt beak at the upper end.

Many temperate and tropical parts of the globe including India and Great Britain.

Parts Used : Flower, seed oil and plant

Herb Effects
The seed is analgesic, demulcent, emollient, laxative, pectoral and resolvent; increases nerve strength (flower); emollient, expectorant, reduces fever, laxative, aphrodisiac, diuretic and carminative.

Active Ingredients
Beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, neolinustatin and linustatin (seed); apigenin, chlorogenic acid and its isomer, luteolin, tocopherol (plant); vitexin (leaf).

Medicinal Use
For increasing nerve strength and as a cardiac tonic (flower); gout and rheumatism (seed oil); cancer, colds, constipation, corns, cough, intoxication, pulmonary disorders, sclerosis, spasms, tumors, gallstones, urogenital diseases and as a poultice, soothes irritated tissues, controls coughing and relieves pain.

For promoting bowel regularlity, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of whole or ground flaxseed is taken one or two times per day, accompanied by a full glass of water.
Infusion: 1 or 2 pints daily.
Oil: 2 fluid ounces twice a day.


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