Flaxseed (gills)

Herbaceous plant 30-60 cm high. The whole plant is bare, covered with a bluish wax coating that protects the flax from excessive evaporation. The leaves are alternate, sessile, lanceolate-linear. Since the leaves are narrow, slightly shading each other, they sit very densely on the stem. The corolla of the flower is two-lipped, pale yellow, with an orange spot on the lip and with a spur. Stamens 4, 2 shorter, 2 longer. Blooms all summer until autumn.

It grows in weedy, wet places, fields, steppes, among shrubs.

In the southern part, another closely related species grows – dragon-leaved toadflax, which has no medicinal value. The latter differs from the common toadflax in the following features: a plant with an upright paniculate-branched stem in the upper part, also with a bluish wax coating. The flowers are pale yellow, small, collected in sparse brushes. Seeds without membranous margin.

For medicinal purposes, the herb of toadflax is used. Harvesting of raw materials is carried out during flowering, in July-August, cutting grass 5-6 cm from the ground. Dry in the shade so that the raw material has 14% moisture. In the fresh state, the grass has an unpleasant odor, which intensifies with drying, the taste is pungent, salty-bitter.


The above-ground organs of the toadflax (stems and leaves) are poisonous.

The herb contains the alkaloid peganin, an unknown glycoside that cleaves hydrocyanic acid, flavone glycosides linarin, neolinarin, etc., ascorbic acid, and other organic acids.

In medical practice, a liquid extract is used for hemorrhoids and as a laxative; very rarely in skin diseases; the so-called gill ointment is used externally, which is an alcoholic extract from grass mixed with lard (alcohol is removed when heated in a water bath). Flaxseed preparations (extract and infusion) have been tested with a positive effect in the clinic as a laxative for intestinal atony, flatulence and prolonged constipation. In experiments on pig roundworms, their antihelminthic effect was also established. Alkaloid peganin has a powerful stimulating effect on the smooth muscles of the intestines and uterus and has a choleretic effect.

Be aware of the poisonous properties of toadflax and handle it with care.

In folk medicine, toadflax is used as a gentle laxative, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, diuretic, choleretic agent that regulates the functional activity of the stomach and intestinal tract; sore eyes are washed with a decoction, gargle with sore throat; infusion of herbs in warm water make lotions for fungal diseases, from lichen, scrofula and jaundice; for better hair growth, wash your hair in infusion.

It is known that flaxseed helps with constipation, even chronic (if products from it are taken for a long time), with bloating with pain and atony (intestinal weakness). Such products are recommended for diarrhea and urinary incontinence.

People with flatulence, diseases of the liver and kidneys use a decoction and tea from toadflax grass (without dosage, brew about 10 g per 200 ml). In the latter case, it is better to use products from flaxseed mixed with sandy cumin flowers and corn stigmas (corn hair).

Flax herb preparations are sometimes used internally as an antihemorrhoid agent, but most often externally for all kinds of skin diseases and hemorrhoids.


Infusion: a teaspoon of dry grass is brewed with a glass of boiling water, after cooling, filter and drink 1 tbsp. spoon 3 times every day. As a laxative – 2-3 teaspoons at night.

Decoction-mixture for diseases of the liver and kidneys: take equally the herbs of toadflax, sandy cumin flowers and corn “hair”, mix and brew 2 teaspoons of this mixture in a glass of boiling water; use inside 1 tbsp. spoon 3 times every day.

Decoction-mixture for the eyes: 20 g of toad grass, blue cornflower flowers and elder flowers, pour 2 cups of boiling water; leave for 8 hours, strain through the cloth and use as a lotion or drops. These products reduce inflammation, eliminate suppuration and improve vision.

The ointment is simple: mix 2 parts of toadflax grass (in powder) with 5 parts of lard, steam for a long time, then squeeze. For hemorrhoids, give an extract or infusion as a laxative at the same time.

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