Benefits of Flaxseed Oil: Is it Good for Your HealthLOADING...
WHAT IS FLAXSEED OIL
New Zealand Flax also known as Phormium tenax and Phormium cookianum are distinct and different in the appearance to the Northern hemisphere Flax. The New Zealand Flax is a perennial plant that grows naturally in New Zealand and the Norfolk Island, but is commonly found throughout the world. The plant is used ornamentally but mostly for its medicinal properties.
The leaves of this evergreen can grow up to 3 metres in length and range in colour from dark green, to pink or dark bronze. The stem alone, can reach up to 5 metres in height. In New Zealand, when the plants are mature, they produce a dark red clump of tube-like flowers that generate a large amount of nectar. Once the flowers are pollinated, they develop seed pods, each one containing 100 seeds which are dispersed with strong winds.
Flax or linseed has been used by people around the world to treat all manner of illnesses. It is one of the highest sources of lignans, omega 9, omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, being especially high in alpha-linolenic (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA). Lignans are a type of phyto-estrogen that has powerful properties that fight disease. With the combination of its medicinal strengths, it is no wonder that it is labeled a “miracle plant”.
Flax is predominantly used in its oil form as a nutritional supplement. The oil is derived from the dried ripe seeds of the flax plant and is thick and yellowish in appearance. Linseed oil contains almost 50% more omega 3 fatty acids than fish oil, so it is commonly substituted.
- Seeds: are cold pressed in order to extract the oil that is used for the health and cosmetic supplements. The seeds can also be ground up used in food preparations, or boiled in water and used as an external poultice application for boils, and infections.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT FLAXSEED OIL
- Linseed oil is commonly used as a carrier in oil paintas it makes the paint become more fluid, transparent and glossy.
- For centuries, Maori had collected the abundant nectar from the flowers to make a crude honey and to generally sweeten foods.
- Flax oil is used as a wood finish, as it soaks into the pores, leaving a shiny but not glossy surface that shows off the grain.
- During the early Musket Wars and later New Zealand land wars, Maori used large, thickly woven flax mats to cover entrances and lookout holes in their pa fortifications.
- Juice from the pounded roots was widely used as a disinfectant, and taken internally to relieve constipation or expel worms. It was also applied to bullet or bayonet wounds.
- The handmade flax cording and ropes had such great tensile strength that they were used to successfully bind together sections of hollowed out logs to create huge ocean-going canoes. It was also used to make rigging, sails and lengthy anchor warps, and roofs for housing.
- Splints were fashioned from bases and flax leaves, and thin strips of the fiber were disinfected in the gel before being used to stitch wounds. Flax leaves were used as bandages and to secure broken bones much as plaster is used today, and the pulp of pounded leaves was applied as dressings.
- The gum-like sap produced by flax contains enzymes that give it blood clotting and antiseptic qualities to help healing processes. Though unaware of the enzymes, Maori were fully aware of its curative properties and that it is a mild anaesthetic, and widely applied the sap to boils and various wounds, to aching teeth, to rheumatic and associated pains, to ringworm and various skin irritations, and especially to scalds and burns.
The flax seed oil is taken internally and beneficial for many different ailments.
Flaxseed Oil Internally:
- Helps asthma
- Eases weight loss
- Helps PMS sufferers
- Improves liver function
- Alleviate some allergies
- Helps rheumatoid arthritis
- Stimulates metabolic rate
- Increases energy and stamina
- Helps inflammatory bowel disease
- Improves the absorption of calcium
- Reduces inflammation, water retention
- Shortens recovery time for fatigued muscles
- Accelerates the healing of sprains and bruises
- Can improve eyesight and perception of colors
- Improves the mental function of mature aged people
- Lower cholesterol, blood pressure and blood triglycerides
Flax Seed Oil when taken internally, also affects these external problems.
Flaxseed Oil Externally:
- Dry Skin
- Strong Nails
- Reduces Inflammation
- Healthy hair, nails and skin
NUTRITIONAL COMPOUND INGREDIENTS
- Vitamin E
- Sterols: Beta-Sitosterol
- Carotenoids: Beta-Carotene
- Phospholipids: Phosphatidulcholine
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids: Oleic Acid
- Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Linoleic Acid
- Lignans: Matairesinol, Secoisolariciresinol
- Superunsaturated Fatty Acids: Alpha-Linolenic Acid
- Saturated Fatty Acids: Arachidic Acid, Behenic Acid, Myristic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid
ORALLY:- Take supplement as directed by the product recommendations. Flax can also be ground (stored in the freezer, and used to sprinkle on breakfast cereal, salads and used within cooking. Due to its combining nature, flax seed mixture can be used in place of eggs (I tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water=1 egg).
STORAGE:- Linseed oil should be kept out of direct sunlight, and stored in the refrigerator in order to prevent the oil from becoming rancid
PREGNANCY:- Flax Seed Oil can be taken by the mother and then breastfed to the infant. Children can have flax oil, just follow recommended dosage.
MEDICATION:- If you are taking medication, ask a health professional first before commencing use
- This product contains Omega-6 properties, so it should NOT BE USED if you have a seizure disorder as there has been reports that these supplements can induce seizures.
Finding the Best Organic Flaxseed Oil
If your local grocery store has a whole foods section you have probably noticed the packages of fresh ground flaxseed sitting on the shelf. You may have also noticed bottles of organic flaxseed oil capsules sitting in the vitamin and supplement aisle at many local stores. Also, how many times have you seen flaxseed added into waffles and other prepackaged foods? What is it about organic flaxseed oil that makes it so widely available today? It’s very easy to sum up what is so great about the oil that comes from the tiny little seeds of a plant known as Flax: essential fatty acids and disease fighting lignans!
Essential ALA Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely important to virtually every process that goes on automatically inside your body. Their most important benefit is decreasing the amount of inflammation throughout the body. Since inflammation is one of the leading causes of many of the most devastating diseases currently afflicting the human population, this reduction is extremely beneficial to all avenues of health.
ALA seems most promising as a way to combat particular types of cancer, especially when combined with a healthy diet that balances omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. This happens to also be the type of omega 3 fatty acids that are plentiful in flaxseed.
No other plant can come even close to comparing with flaxseed when it comes to the super high concentration of powerful lignans. Sesame seed contains the second highest concentration, but it still falls far short of what is offered by flaxseed and oils derived from flaxseed. Lignans are really just a very special type of chemical compound found only in very select plant sources, but as you know sometimes the smallest things are extremely powerful.
You are probably familiar with antioxidants already, right? Well, lignans happen to be very powerful antioxidants. They are also a rich source of plant estrogen and combined with the antioxidants, this makes flaxseed extremely beneficial in fighting off heart disease. In fact, studies are showing that lignans and the ALA fatty acids that are so plentiful in flaxseed may reduce the amount of plaque build-up in the arteries.
The Bottom Line
If all of that seems a little complicated, let’s put it in very simple terms: flaxseed oil is beneficial to your overall health because it will protect your body against some very deadly diseases such as heart disease and some of the worst types of cancer. While there are some other health benefits of taking flaxseed oil, just those two alone should be enough to show how potent this one nutritional supplement can be.
While you can purchase ground flaxseed and add it into some of your foods or maybe into homemade smoothies, most people are unable to consistently get enough on a daily basis to really get all of the benefits. That is why it is best to take a daily flaxseed oil supplement to ensure that you get the right concentration that you need for real health benefits every single day.