Common flax

An annual herbaceous plant up to 60 cm high or more. The root is white, taproot, thin, long. Stems erect, round, smooth, branched at the top. Leaves alternate, narrowly lanceolate, sessile. The flowers are large, blue or blue, in thyroid racemes on long peduncles. The fruit is a multi-seeded, almost spherical capsule. Seeds flattened, brownish, smooth, shiny. Blooms from June to August. Fruiting from the end of July.

Flax is cultivated as a field crop in the northern and central regions of the European part of Russia. In the wild, it is occasionally found in all areas along roads, in crops, in waste places.

Medicinal raw materials are seeds and oil extracted from them. Seeds pointed at one end and rounded at the other, heavier than water, odorless.

The fresh herb is poisonous and is not recommended for internal use.

Flax seeds contain up to 40% fatty oil, 24% proteins, 6-8% mucus (in seed coats), glycerides, carbohydrates, organic acids, enzymes, vitamin A.

The mucus of the seeds has enveloping and softening properties, moderates the irritating effect of all kinds of substances taken orally or applied to the skin. It is used orally to reduce irritation during inflammatory and ulcerative processes on the mucous membranes, especially in the gastrointestinal tract (gastric and duodenal ulcer), with colic in the abdomen. Mucus is also prescribed for poisoning with various caustic substances, for catarrhs ​​of the respiratory tract, to soften the taste of all kinds of sharp and acidic substances, to slow down the absorption of easily soluble medicinal products, to enhance their action.

Fresh flax seeds are taken orally as a mild laxative. Swelling in the contents of the gastrointestinal tract, they mechanically irritate the receptors of the intestinal wall and thereby increase peristalsis.

Flax seeds are used externally for local inflammatory processes in the form of compresses and poultices, which slow down evaporation, prevent tissue drying, soften and moderate inflammation.

Flaxseed oil is externally used as an ointment for burns, it is widely practiced in the diet of patients with impaired fat metabolism, also with atherosclerosis. In pharmaceutical practice, it is used for the preparation of liquid ointments.

In folk medicine, the seed is boiled and the decoction is drunk, boiled seeds are eaten for stomach ulcers, gastritis, chronic catarrhs ​​of the stomach, bronchitis (as an expectorant), for coughs, colic, shortness of breath, and kidney diseases; strained broth is drunk with milk in case of pulmonary tuberculosis, seed is eaten in case of leukemia; used for diarrhea; the seed is used for slimy drinking. Outwardly – the seed is hovered, used for sore throats, applied to abscesses, on tumors, used for all kinds of poultices, frostbitten places are lubricated with oil. A decoction of the seeds is recommended for the treatment of wounds and ulcers in the mouth (gargling).


A decoction of equal amounts of flaxseed, bean pods (without grains), blueberry leaves and oat straw, chopped into chopped. To prepare a decoction, take 3 tbsp. spoons of the mixture, pour 3 cups of cold water, boil for 10 minutes, then stand and take strained 1/4 cup 3 times every day for sugar disease, inflammation of the bladder.

Infusion of flax seeds: 1 teaspoon of the seed to 1 cup of boiling water. The infusion is recommended to be taken before going to bed, 1 cup for chronic constipation, without filtering, along with the seeds.

From the strained broth of flaxseed (1 tablespoon of the seed in 1.5 cups of water, boiled over low heat for 12 minutes), enemas are made for diarrhea.

Decoction of seeds: 1 part unground seeds to 30 parts of boiling water, or 2 teaspoons to a glass of boiling water, shake for 15 minutes, then strain through a dense cloth.

To soften the skin and accelerate the maturation of abscesses, hot compresses are made from the powder of crushed seeds soaked in boiling water.

For the treatment of burns, a mixture of linseed oil with an equal part of lime water is used.

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