Linseed, also known as Flaxseed Oil (Linum usitatissimum – Linacaea) is a viscous, yellow green oil – with a slightly green, medicinal metallic scent. The oil is harvested from the seeds which contain linolene and palmotine and its main commercial use is in paints and furniture polish, varnish and in conditioning willow cricket bats!
Apart from its ‘industrial’ uses Linseed is without doubt one of the most extraordinary oils available. A “super food” when taken internally – it has many therapeutically dynamic qualities. When taken orally as a general tonic, it is highly recommended for improving general well being and whole body nutrition. It is considered to be nature’s richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids – which make up around 50% of its constituents – and it contains double the amount found in fish oils. It is particularly recommended as an excellent source of EFAs and nutrients for vegetarians and vegans.
Some indications that you may be deficient in omega 3 fatty acids include:
- Dry skin
- “Chicken skin” – tiny, rough bumps that are usually found on the backs of the arms
- Dry or unruly hair
- Soft, fraying, or brittle nails
- Menstrual cramps
- Premenstrual breast tenderness
The next extraordinary feature of Linseed / Flaxseed Oil is its additional levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid that is beneficial for a variety of health conditions. It is highly recommended to help combat constipation, and help improve the absorption of Calcium, leading to stronger nails, bones and teeth. Rich in fibre, it also contains omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, lecithin, magnesium, protein, and zinc!
And it doesn’t end there – the oil also contains a group of chemicals called ‘lignans’ that play a role in the prevention of many forms of cancer. Lignans are substances known to stimulate immune activity. They can also help restore the body’s natural balance of good and bad prostaglandins. In addition, Lignans help combat inflammation, allergies, asthma, diabetes, cancer, and can help prevent certain diseases such as heart disease and arthritis. What a body tonic! It is recommended that the oil is taken at around 1000 mg 3 times daily, but it is reputedly best taken in the form of ground seeds which can be added to cereal, smoothies and yogurts (try Linwoods Milled Organic Flaxseed from your local supermarket or health shop).
When applied topically to the skin, Linseed Oil’s high levels of EFAs make it excellent for helping to maintain healthy skin, hair and eyes.
It is a supremely moisturising and nourishing oil and makes an excellent anti-wrinkle agent. It lubricates and softens the skin, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If used regularly at 20% in a facial oil the results will be better than anything else you’ve tried!
Flaxseed oil also soothes inflammation, helping provide relief to skin that is dry, in addition to other conditions, such as rosacea, eczema and acne. It is also a valuable aid in healing scars and burns, including sunburn.
Note: This oil should be kept refrigerated as it will oxidise quite quickly.
Recipes using Linseed (Flaxseed) Oil:
For Cracked Heels:
Blend in 20ml Flaxseed Oil to 80ml Moisturising Cream, add 4 drops Neroli, 6 Benzoin, 10 Tea Tree and 20 Lavender. File excess dry skin before a bath or shower and massage cream into feet regularly.
For Arthritic Joints:
Have a regular full body massage with 5ml Flaxseed Oil, 25ml Sweet Almond Oil, 2 drops German Chamomile, 4 Juniperberry, 2 Eucalyptus and 7 Lavender. You can also take Flaxseed Oil as an oral supplement too – visit your health food shop for options. Please note that Base Formula’s Flaxseed Oil is not suitable for internal consumption.
For Dry Mature Skin:
Use this rich, nourishing facial oil 3 times a week: 5ml Flaxseed Oil, 15ml Apricot Kernal Oil, 2 drops Neroli, Rose, Roman Chamomile, Benzoin and Geranium.