First used by the ancient Egyptians, flaxseed oil comes from a herb that has long been used for both health and medicinal purposes. The seeds and the oil that flaxseed contains both have a number of health benefits. Both the seed and the oil, sometimes referred to as linseed oil, are very rich in essential fatty acids, which are necessary for the healthy functioning of the body. EFA’s protect the cells and help to keep harmful substances at bay. The body does not produce essential fatty acids by itself, so they must be obtained from an outside source.
Flaxseed Oil Benefits
The body needs what are known as omega fatty acids to function properly and there are two groups of these known as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. A healthy balance or both of these two is required, although some researchers say that two to four times more omega-6 fatty acids are needed in relation to omega-3 fatty acids. Even so, a severe imbalance of either could lead to a variety of inflammatory disorders.
Flaxseed oil is composed of an omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid, which helps to lower cholesterol and is good for the circulatory system. Flaxseed oil is also composed of an omega-6 fatty acid known as linoleic acid. Omega-3 is readily found in fish such as salmon and tuna while omega-6 is plentiful in vegetable oils.
Flaxseed Oil and Cancer
Flaxseed oil is also rich in a substance called lignans or lignins, which are excellent at keeping many kinds of cancers at bay as well as fighting many viruses, fungi and bacterial related infections. Flaxseed in its powder form provides the body with an extra dose of fiber and therefore aids the digestive system in working its best. Lignan consumption is especially advisable for women as it decreases the presence of too much estrogen in the body and by so doing, decreases the chance that breast cancer will result.
Uses for Flax Seed Oil
Flaxseed has a remarkable amount of benefits to the healthy functioning of the human body. For instance, it helps to decrease the level of cholesterol in the blood while also controlling high blood pressure and protecting against heart disease.
Flaxseed oil is valuable in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease or IBD and plays an important role in decreasing discomfort for those suffering from gallstones, hemorrhoids and constipation.
Flaxseed oil can reduce the swelling and inflammation that occurs when a person has fibrocystic breasts, gout or lupus. It is also beneficial for those suffering from arthritis as it decreases tenderness in joints as well as stiffness experienced in the early morning hours plus it can improve mobility.
When it comes to diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis flaxseed oil cuts down on the damage that is done to the nerves, not to mention the tingling and the numbness.
It helps to encourage the growth and development of fingernails, toenails and hair and is beneficial in treating skin disorders such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and sunburn.
Flaxseed oil contains high qualities of vitamins B1, B2, vitamin C, Vitamin E, carotene, iron and zinc and smaller but no less valuable quantities of the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.