Many different holistic medicine and health food professionals are extolling the benefits of flaxseed oil and milled flaxseed. The flaxseed plant is also called Linum Usetatissiumum. The plant, originally found in Europe, has been used as a source of fiber for many years.
The Flaxseed contains lignans, which are used to counter hormone related problems and also to ward off the ill effects of bacteria and fungi. There are several studies that show the benefits are extensive while there are other scientists who claim the research isnt conclusive and more studies are required before physicians should recommend the use of flaxseed oil for specific ailments.
The dietary fiber in flaxseed, both the oil and the seeds, has been used to help treat people with constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticular diseases. By helping the stool to be softer and pass more easily through the colon and exit the body flaxseed helps to decrease the consistent trauma to the colon and anus.
There is some research and case studies that point to the benefits of flaxseed oil and the EFAs (essential fatty acids) to decrease the inflammation with acne, eczema, psoriasis, sunburn and rosacea. The Omega-3 fatty acids also help to keep your hair healthy and your nails strong.
Other studies point to the benefits of flaxseed oil within the neurological system. It appears to help reduce the severity of nerve damage and aids in triggering nerve impulses. There is some belief that it also helps to combat the damage done to the nervous system by Parkinsons Disease.
Flaxseed can be used as oil, a capsule or as milled or whole seeds. The whole seeds can be sprouted and added to salads but the benefits are not as concentrated as the oils. There are some uses of the oil and capsules on the outside of the body as people use it to moisturize the skin. However, flaxseed oil also has a bit of a fishy odor so smearing it all over your skin may make for some interesting conversation!
The benefits of flaxseed oil are from the ingestion of the oils. You can use the oil in salad dressing, sprinkle crushed seeds over your salad or use the crushed or milled seed in breads.
In the 1950s Dr. Johanna Budwig began research on the benefits of flaxseed oil. Her research comprised mostly of case studies in which she found using cottage cheese and flaxseed oil would help people who were suffering from cancer. The use of her concoction continues to this day with repeated case studies that prove positive outcomes. Her recipe is: 1 cup organic cottage cheese, 2-5 Tbsp of flaxseed oil, 1-3 Tbsp of freshly ground flaxseed (coffee grinder works well), enough water to make it soft and a bit of cayenne pepper. All of this is run through the blender and taken each day.
Most recently research has been done to confirm the benefits of flaxseed oil and the potential to prevent kidney damage in patients with lupus. More studies need to be done on this particular use and others before it can be recommended for use. However, there dont appear to be side effects from taking flaxseed either.
As a cautionary note flaxseed is sold for uses other than ingestion or external use for humans. It can be used in plantings and gardening. These particular products are not meant for humans and should never be used as such.
The benefits of flaxseed oil are many and varied. It is almost too good to be true. Except that it is a natural product that appears to have years of case studies to back up the varied claims. The decision is yours as to how you would use flaxseed oil and the milled seeds but the side effects are minimal to none. So the question that begs to be asked is why not?
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