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Nom scientifique : Linum usitatissimum

Synonyms : linseed

Part(s) used

Seeds (whole or ground) and seed oil

Principal constituents

Essential fatty acids (flax seeds are a very rich source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), also known as omega 3 fatty acid) and phytoestrogenes (lignanes)

Recognized therapeutic effects

Ground seeds

  • Attenuates menopause-related vasomotor symptoms, especially hot flashes
  • Prevents cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces cholesterol level

Flaxseed oil

  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduces cholesterol level

Whole seeds

  • Relieves chronic constipation

Traditional use

  • Treatment of gastritis and enteritis
  • Treatment of respiratory infections
  • Treatment of urinary tract inflammation
  • Used externally as a poultice, to relieve local inflammation

Contraindications

  • Intestinal occlusion or inflammation
  • Ovarian or breast cancer, history of hormono-dependent cancer in close relatives. The lignan contained in flax is a phytoestrogen, and can directly stimulate the growth of an estrogen-dependent tumour
  • Drug interactions

None documented

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