Overview

Flaxseed is the seed from the plant Linum usitatissimum. Flaxseed oil and linseed oil are the oils that come from flaxseed. Linseed oil is usually used in manufacturing, while flaxseed oil is used for nutrition. Flaxseed oil contains the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In foods, flaxseed oil is used in salad dressings and in margarines. Flaxseed oil is also used as a medicine.

Flaxseed oil is used for carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetic foot ulcers, and dry eye. It is also used for heart disease, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work ?

Flaxseed oil is a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid. The alpha-linolenic acid and related chemicals in flaxseed oil seem to decrease inflammation. That is why flaxseed oil is thought to be useful for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory (swelling) diseases.

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