Flaxseed oil - useful properties, contraindications
Flax is one of the oldest cultures cultivated by mankind. This plant has a rich historical past - it was respected in Ancient Egypt and Colchis, and the great healer Hippocrates used flaxseed oil to treat wounds, burns and stomach diseases. In Russia, flax is known from the II millennium BC, and cultivated it from the X-XIII centuries. Flax was used to make butter, clothes were made from it, and also eaten. Today, this culture is cultivated in many countries of Europe and America, and linseed oil is often called “Russian”.
Why does this product remain popular for thousands of years of human history? What are the benefits and harms of flaxseed oil and how to take it to preserve youth and health?
The composition of flaxseed oil
Let's start with the fact that linseed oil has a unique composition, which somewhat distinguishes it from similar plant products. Immediately make a reservation that we are talking about cold-pressed oil, produced without the use of modern technology.
This product is made from flax seeds. Dry grains are pressed and an oily liquid is obtained. The first grade is used in food, and the second has found wide application in industry, in particular, it is used to make drying oil and quick-drying varnishes.
How to choose flaxseed oil in the store? Quality product has a yellow-brown or caramel color, light is transparent. It is pleasant to the taste, not bitter, with a delicate specific aroma. The product is rapidly oxidized during storage, therefore it is packed in small glass bottles of dark color. It is better to buy unrefined linseed oil - it is more useful than refined.
The benefits to the body of flaxseed oil are due to the content in the product of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which the body cannot produce itself and should receive with food. They are also known as vitamin F.
Flaxseed oil has the optimum ratio of acids:
One tablespoon per day completely covers the human need for polyunsaturated fatty acids. Here is the approximate ratio of fatty acids in flaxseed oil:
- linolenic (omega-3) - from 44 to 61%;
- linoleic (omega-6) - from 15 to 30%;
- oleic (omega-9) - from 13 to 29%;
- saturated acids - from 9 to 11%.
By the way, alpha-linoleic acid omega-3 in such quantities is contained only in fish oil, so the smell of high-quality linseed oil resembles this medicine. In addition, it found a significant amount of tocopherols, hormone-estrogen phytohormones and folic acid. In small doses, the product contains magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C.
What is the use of flaxseed oil
Useful properties of flaxseed oil are determined by the action of unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants on all body structures. With regular use of the product in food, the following effects are noted.
- The level of cholesterol in the blood decreases, normal blood viscosity and elasticity of the vascular wall are restored. The risk of diseases such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, thrombosis, atherosclerosis and cardiac arrhythmia is reduced.
- The work of the digestive system is normalized, constipation, inflammation of the intestine and stomach disappear, and the functioning of the liver improves. Also this product has antiparasitic action for the organs of the gastrointestinal tract.
- In women, hormones are restored, and during menopause, all changes are easier.
- Flaxseed oil for men is useful in that it improves blood circulation in pelvic organs, increases potency and reduces the risk of prostate diseases.
- Faster tissue regeneration occurs, which is important in the postoperative period, with wound healing, muscle recovery after intense physical exertion, to increase skin elasticity and joint flexibility.
Participating in fat metabolism, it helps to reduce the amount of fat deposits, speeds up the metabolism, prevents the development of diabetes and endocrine disorders in the body.
- Favorably affects the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract in asthma, pulmonary diseases, dry cough, rhinitis.
- There is evidence that regular use stimulates the immune system, including against cancer cells. Revealed a positive preventive effect in breast cancer in women and the prostate gland in men, cancer of the rectum.
Also, flaxseed oil is widely used in cosmetology to rejuvenate the skin and improve hair health.
To fill the needs of the body and prevent many diseases, it is enough to take 1-2 tablespoons of linseed oil a day. This can be done separately from other food, and you can replace them with traditional vegetable vegetables for salad dressing and cereals - sunflower, olive, corn. If an unpleasant sensation occurs in the abdomen or the stool is relaxed, reduce the dose, but do not stop taking it. Side effects should disappear in 3-5 days.
For therapeutic purposes, you can take the drug in capsules, which is sold in pharmacies.
Let us consider in more detail how to take flaxseed oil to influence certain body systems.
When indigestion or inflammatory diseases of the stomach and intestines take flaxseed oil on an empty stomach.
- For constipation, 1-2 tablespoons twice a day before meals.
- For inflammation in the mouth, “rinse your mouth” for a few minutes, then spit it out. Repeat several times a day.
- To maintain the liver, doctors recommend drinking at doses of 15 to 40 grams per day, but no more.
- When gastritis combined with drugs that reduce the acidity of gastric juice. Take 1 teaspoon three times a day, washed down with warm water. The course of treatment is three months.
For the heart and blood vessels
And here is how to take flaxseed oil for medicinal purposes with cardiovascular diseases.
- When atherosclerosis of the vessels is 1 tablespoon twice a day for three months.
- With ischemia of the heart for 4-6 months.
- For prophylactic purposes, to reduce cholesterol levels by courses of 2-3 weeks, 2-3 times a year.
Weight loss is achieved by normalizing the work of the intestine, improving liver function and accelerating fat metabolism. In addition, many women noted that if you drink flaxseed oil for weight loss, the skin and hair condition improves significantly.
- Reception begins with 1 tsp per day half an hour before breakfast.
- After 10 days, the dose is gradually increased, bringing to 1 tablespoon.
- After a month, they take a break for 1-2 weeks, then repeat the course if necessary.
- In joint diseases, a massage with heated linseed oil is recommended.
- For skin diseases, a moistened cloth is applied to ulcers and poorly healing wounds for several hours. You can also do with trophic ulcers and burns, but first consult with your doctor.
- Flaxseed oil for the skin has a softening and regenerating effect. It is added to masks and creams or used in its pure form. Mix well means with honey, sour cream, kefir, egg yolk, lemon juice. Abrasions and peeling can be lubricated with clean oil several times during the day.
- Linseed oil for the face is used for dry or aging skin. It is applied overnight with a thin layer, except for the area around the eyes. For exfoliating effect, make a mask using together with flax oil oat flakes.
- Flax oil for hair is used because of beneficial effects on the scalp and the very structure of the hair. It is perfectly absorbed, so it can be added to masks for any type of hair. Masks are rubbed into the skin, evenly distributed on the hair and wrap the head with plastic and a towel. Stand for 1-1.5 hours. Mixtures with burdock, castor oils, egg yolk, onion juice, honey work well.
Linseed oil has found its place in the treatment of joints, skin and hair diseases, in cosmetology. The use of flaxseed oil for women is rejuvenating.
Linseed Oil Harm
In some cases, the use of linseed oil inside may be harmful. Poisoning, possibly with the use of a rancid product, as it accumulates oxidized substances decomposition of polyunsaturated acids. They have a bad effect on the liver, causing nausea, pain in the right hypochondrium and diarrhea.
Flaxseed oil can not be heated and even more so fry on it, since the beneficial substances thus acquire carcinogenic properties. Store this product in a dark, cool place in a well-closed glass container.
The damage to linseed oil can also occur if the product is misused. In case of individual intolerance or exceeding the dosage side effects are possible:
- allergic reactions;
- during lactation, the laxative effect of the product is manifested in the child;
- increased clotting of blood due to increased platelet levels.
With caution should drink flaxseed oil for pregnant women and people taking drugs:
- lowering cholesterol;
- affecting blood clotting;
- contraceptive and hormonal agents.
In this case, it is necessary to agree the reception of this product with the attending physician.
Flaxseed oil has contraindications. This primarily refers to the presence of chronic diseases:
- polyps in the uterus and appendages.
Summarizing all of the above, we note that flaxseed oil is an exceptionally useful product. It is taken in food in small doses for the prevention of many diseases of the heart and blood vessels, stomach and intestines, female and male sexual problems. In cosmetics based on linseed oil, various masks and creams are made, and dermatologists successfully use it to treat skin diseases. You can eat only a high-quality cold-pressed product. It is unacceptable to heat the flaxseed oil, use it expired or rancid - in this form the product can cause poisoning.