Flaxseed is the seed of the flax plant, which is believed to have originated in Egypt. It grows throughout Canada and Northwestern United States. Flaxseed oil comes from flaxseeds. The most common folk or traditional use of flaxseed is as a laxative; it is also used for hot flashes and breast pain. Flaxseed oil has different folk or traditional uses, including arthritis. Both flaxseed and flaxseed oil have been used for high cholesterol levels and in an effort to prevent cancer.
Whole or crushed flaxseed can be mixed with water or juice and taken by mouth. Flaxseed is also available in powder form. Flaxseed oil is available in liquid and capsule forms. Flaxseed contains lignans (phytoestrogens, or plant estrogens), while flaxseed oil preparations lack lignans.
FLAXSEED OIL BENIFITS
While flax seed oil is most often used by people seeking to lower their risk of developing coronary heart disease, research has show that supplements can assist in treating or preventing many different conditions. For example:
- Since they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, flax seeds are an effective remedy for constipation.
- Flax seed oil is sometimes used in the treatment of skin conditions such as dandruff, psoriasis, and eczema.
- Since it reduces inflammation, flax seed oil benefits people with lupus or arthritis.
- Flax seed oil helps athletes by shortening the recovery time for fatigued muscles, increasing stamina, and providing extra energy.
- Flax seed oil is sometimes used to treat cases of mild depression or to reduce the symptoms of PMS in women.
- Since it’s rich in lignan, flax seed oil reduces the risk of colon and breast cancer.
- Some studies have indicated that supplements can help people suffering from obesity lose weight more easily by increasing the base metabolic rate.
- Flax seed oil may help people suffering from allergies or asthma.
- The Omega 3 fatty acids in flax seed oil may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious condition that leads to blindness by damaging nerve cells in the eyes.
While the benefits of flax seed oil can be quite significant, this dietary supplement is not recommended for everyone. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid this supplement. In addition, flax seed oil is not intended for infants or young children.
There are no known drug interactions associated with flax seed oil, although you should always let your physician know which dietary supplements you are taking. The most common side effect of flax seed oil supplements is mild diarrhea.View our Catalog