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Linum usitatissimum has been cultivated for over 30,000 years. Now completely domesticated, flax is farmed for its seeds and fiber. Flaxseed, also called linseed, can be eaten whole or freshly ground. In northern India, flax seeds are often roasted, giving them a toasty flavor. Flax seed is valued for its beneficial properties and can be sprinkled on salads or added to baked goods, smoothies, and other culinary dishes.

Flax seeds have been used and cultivated since ancient times, and are native to regions of the Middle East and India. The fibers from the flax plant have a rich history of their own, with discovery of their use dating back over 30,000 years. The plant grows to nearly four feet tall with round dry fruits that contain the seeds.

In recent years, flax seed has become popular in the mainstream market. It can be found in a number of forms, including oils, oil capsules, whole seeds, ground seeds, and as an ingredient in breads, cereals, muffins, and breakfast bars. Since 80% of Americans may be deficient in the omega-3 essential fatty acids that flax provides, flax is one of the most important and most widely accepted of the herbal health foods.

The seeds contain fats and nutrients, and have been used as a food source for thousands of years. Flax seeds have proven to be incredibly versatile throughout history, having seen a wide variety of uses. They are often pressed into flax seed oil and are also made into breads, cereals, and muffins. Flax belongs to the Linaceae plant family.

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  • Danielle Lasit