Flaxseed oil benefits
The benefits of linseed oil
Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids – just 1 teaspoon contains about 2.5 grams, which is more than twice the amount most people eat in their diets. Flaxseed also contains omega-6 fatty acids in the form of linoleic acid; Omega-6s are the same healthy fats found in vegetable oils.
Linseed oil contains only alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3 oils) and does not contain the fiber or lignans that the whole plant contains. Therefore, flaxseed oil provides Omega 3 benefits such as lipid lowering properties, but not laxative or anti-cancer properties.
Flaxseed can help lower cholesterol, protect against heart disease, and control high blood pressure.
Several studies show that linseed oil, as well as ground flaxseed, can lower cholesterol, thereby significantly reducing the risk of heart disease. Taking linseed oil may also protect against angina (chest pain) and high blood pressure. In addition, a five-year study recently conducted at Boston’s Simmons College found that linseed oil may be useful in preventing a second heart attack. It can also help prevent high blood pressure by inhibiting the inflammatory responses that cause plaque and poor circulation.
Anti-inflammatory inflammation associated with gout, lupus and cystic breasts – Omega-3 fatty acids appear to limit the inflammatory response associated with these conditions. In the case of lupus, linseed oil not only reduces inflammation in the joints, skin, and kidneys, but also lowers cholesterol, which may be elevated by the disease. Taking linseed oil for gout can reduce the often sudden and severe joint pain or swelling that is a symptom of this condition. In addition, the ability of omega-3 fatty acids to increase the absorption of iodine (a mineral often found in low concentrations in women suffering from cystic fibrosis) makes linseed oil potentially valuable in treating this often painful condition.
Fight constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and gallstones – because they’re high in dietary fiber, ground flaxseeds can help you pass stools more easily and thus relieve constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis. In people with diverticulosis, flax seed can also keep intestinal sacs free from waste and thus prevent potential infection. Flaxseed oil, used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, can help soothe inflammation and repair any digestive damage. In addition, the oil can prevent the formation of painful gallstones and even dissolve existing gallstones.
Treating acne, eczema, psoriasis, sunburn and rosacea – The essential fatty acids in linseed oil are largely responsible for its healing properties. The red, itchy patches of eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea often respond to EFA’s anti-inflammatory effects and general skin-soothing properties. Sunburned skin can also heal faster when treated with oil. In the case of acne, EFAs help to thin the greasy sebum that clogs the pores.
Promote Healthy Hair and Nails – The abundant omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil have been shown to contribute to healthy hair growth (in fact, low levels of these omega-3s can cause dry and dull curls). Hair problems exacerbated by psoriasis or scalp eczema may also respond to the revitalizing and anti-inflammatory effects of linseed oil. Similarly, the EFAs contained in the oil nourish dry or brittle nails, preventing them from cracking and splitting
Minimize nerve damage that causes numbness and tingling, as well as other disorders – The EFAs in linseed oil help transmit nerve impulses, making the oil potentially valuable in treating numbness and tingling conditions. The nerve nourishing effects of the oil can also help treat Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative nervous system disorder, and protect against nerve damage associated with diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Reduce your risk of cancer and protect against the effects of aging – The lignans in flaxseed appear to play a role in protecting against breast, colon, prostate and possibly skin cancer. While more research is needed, research from the University of Toronto shows that women with breast cancer, no matter how invasive the cancer, may benefit from flaxseed treatment. Interestingly, lignans can also protect against the various effects of aging.
One of the EFAs in flaxseed oil, alpha-linolenic acid, is known as an omega-3 fatty acid. Like the omega-3s found in fish, it appears to reduce the risk of heart disease and numerous other ailments.