Both oils come from the flax plant, a plant that goes all the way back to ancient times. Its fibres were used to make linen fabric but that’s not all, it was also revered for its healing properties. Flaxseed was known in early times as an anti-inflammatory agent and an aid for constipation.
Today Flaxseed oil is recognized as a plant source of EFAs – Essential Fatty Acids. Essential Fatty Acids are needed by the body for proper functioning but the body is unable to manufacture them. EFAs have a protective action on cell membrane enabling them to efficiently perform their tasks of admitting beneficial material into the cell and barring potentially damaging ones.
One of the EFAs in Flaxseed oil is alpha-linolenic-acid more commonly known as Omega 3 fatty acid, found in fatty fishes such as Salmon and Mackerel. Flaxseed also contains Omega 6 fatty acid, found in vegetable oils such as Olive oil, as well as lingams, substances that are said to positively affect hormone related problems.
The combination of two EFAs and lingams found in flaxseed and its oil has made it a modern day miracle food. Between folk use and actual research Flaxseed and Flaxseed oil is said to be beneficial in the following ways: It may help lower cholesterol; protect against Angina and heart disease; control high blood pressure; reduce inflammation in gout, lupus and fibrocystic breast disease; correct fertility problems in both men and women, the former by keeping sperm healthy and the latter by improving uterine function; it has a nourishing effect on nerves and as such may be used to ease numbness and tingling due to nerve damage.
But Flaxseed oil is not only beneficial in serious diseases it is useful in acne and any other skin condition of an inflammatory nature, it helps maintain healthy hair, nails and skin, it is beneficial in peri -menopausal and menopausal symptoms and lest the males feel left out, it improves blood flow to the penis thus aiding in the correction of erectile problems.
With such a strong reputation for healing it’s not surprising that Flaxseed oil is enjoying increased popularity. One teaspoon is said to contain approximately 2.5 grams of Omega -3 fatty acid, however the recommended daily dosage is one tablespoon. The oil must be kept refrigerated.