Common Names - flaxseed, linseed

Edible Uses:

Flax seed food uses are for ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, breakfast drinks, salad dressings made with cold-pressed flaxseed oil, salad toppings, biscuits, meat extenders, crackers, soups, bagels, fiber bars, and cakes. Feeding flaxseed to laying hens increases the omega-3 fatty acid in the egg by 6 to 8 times, making one egg equal to 113 g (4 oz) of cold water fish as a source of the omega-3 fatty acids.


Per 100 g, the seed contains 498 calories, 6.3–6.6% H2O, 18.0–20.3% protein, 34.0–37.1% fat, 33.6–37.2 total carbohydrate, 4.8–8.8% fiber, 2.4–4.5% ash, 170–271 mg Ca, 370–462 mg P, 2.7–43.8 mg Fe, 0–30 mg -carotene equivalent, 0.17 mg thiamine, 0.16 mg riboflavin, and 1.4 mg niacin. The hay (ZMB) contains 7.8% protein, 3.3% fat, 81.7% total carbohydrate, 46.2% fiber, 7.2% ash, 0.72% ca, and 0.11% P. Crude linseed oil contains 0.25% phosphatides, the component fatty acids being 11% palmitic, 11% stearic, 4% hexadecenoic, 34% oleic, 20% linoleic, 171 linolenic, and 3% unsaturated C20–22. There is some wax in the crude oil containing 18.7% stearic acid, 32.5% cerotic acid, 43.1% ceryl alcohol, and 7.0% hydrocarbons. The essential amino acids are (g/16 g N) 8.4 g arginine, 1.5 histiding, 2.5 lysine, 1.5 tryptophan, 5.6 phenylalanine, 2.3 methionine, 5.1 threonine, 7.0 leucine, 4.0 isoleucine, and 7.0 valine.

The ash of linseed contains:

The tough hulls of linseed contain:

The cake (97% DM) contains: 30.5% protein,

with per 100 g 0.57 mg thiamine, 0.33 riboflavin, 4.1 thiamine, 1.2 mg pantothenic acid, plus a little Vit. E. Lacking Vit. A, C, and D, the cake contains 0.37% Ca, 0.86% P, 1.24% K, 0.11% Na, 0.04% Cl, 0.38% S, 0.58% Mg, 0.017% Fe, and 3.95 mg/100 g Mn and 2.65 mg/100 g Cu (CSIR, 1948–1976). Seeds also contain 15% mucilage, along with wax, resin, sugar, Phosphates, acetic acid, and a small quantity of HCN-glucoside, linamarin.

Medicinal Use -

Flaxseed has been used to treat a number of conditions including heart disease. Research has been done to test the effectiveness of flaxseed and flaxseed oil in reducing high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Generally, in animal studies and small human studies, flaxseed produced modest-to-significant reductions in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and/or low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the “bad” type of cholesterol. Then as now, flaxseed was used for the laxative effect of the mucilage the seeds give out when soaked in water. Flaxseed oil (now called linseed oil) was pressed from the seeds and used for food and other purposes: "Syreniusz recommended it for healing blotches and blemishes, herpes, scabs and even rough fingernails"

Contra-indications - The immature pods of flaxseed are poisonous. Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil can spoil if they are not kept refrigerated. Some possible side effects include diarrhea, gas, and nausea.

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