Linseed oil is obtained, as you can easily guess, from the seeds of the homonymous plant: it is a substance that is particularly rich in triglycerides of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids.
This concentration of these triglycerides is essential since they are nutrients that must be guaranteed to our body from the outside, since they are not automatically produced by our body.
The use of linseed oil is especially effective when it is necessary to give a greater balance precisely between the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids: very frequently, due to an incorrect diet, this balance does not occur or is strongly limited.
Precisely for this reason, linseed oil can be effectively used, which performs a better beneficial activity than olive oil and common seed oils are able to do, even if it has a degree of effectiveness a little lower in comparison to fish oils.
The large concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids within flaxseed oil certainly has the disadvantage of making this oil much less storable.
In fact, linseed oil has the particular characteristic of becoming rancid in a very short time and must necessarily be extracted through a complicated cold pressing procedure, since the fatty acids could undergo considerable alterations at higher temperatures.
Linseed oil is sold on the market in particularly limited bottles (between 250 and 500 ml) and has, for the reasons we have just explained, a very low level of conservation.
On the market we can often find flaxseed oil also in the form of pearls or capsules, which provide, however, a reduced amount of essential fatty acids inside them.
Linseed oil is obtained by pressing the seeds of the homonymous plant, which must previously be subjected to a roasting operation.
There is also another particular process, which foresees how linseed oil is obtained from a cold pressing process of raw seeds (the one that is used in the cosmetic and therapeutic field), in such a way as not to affect any way the concentration and quantity of essential fatty acids that can be found within this oil.
Following the cold pressing of flax seeds, the oil that is in a "raw" state is characterized by being subjected to a large number of clarification and filtering procedures: among the most common, we must emphasize certainly the phase of direct exposure to sunlight, inside particular vases made of crystal which are hermetically sealed.
Linseed oil is characterized by being among those few oils in which the concentration of vitamin F is three times unsaturated and is greater than that of vitamin F twice saturated.
Precisely for this reason, flaxseed oil treatment is recommended to all those people who have particular omega 3 deficiencies.
A correct diet, which obviously also includes linseed oil, allows you to have a skin that is always soft and contrasts scaly skin; among the main beneficial activities of linseed oil we also find the fact of fighting abnormal thirst, continuous constipation and bloating.
We often hear about flaxseed oil in the cosmetic field too: in most cases, these are products that guarantee particular effectiveness in terms of hair care and well-being.
Flaxseed oil, due to its peculiarity of having a high concentration of omega 3 fats, is perfect for giving a greater nutritional supply to excessively dry or brittle hair.
It is obviously important to check the product made with linseed oil very well before purchasing: it is advisable to always choose a product that is absolutely pure or, in the worst case, mixed with other types of natural oils.
Flaxseed oil is an extremely effective solution for hair treatment, since it can be effectively used as a real pre-shampoo pack.
To carry out this beneficial action, it is necessary to apply flaxseed oil with light massages, leaving it to act quietly, waiting at least thirty minutes before washing the hair.
In addition, another widespread method of use is that which uses linseed oil as a restructuring mask: on this occasion, it is advisable to make a compress with the oil and leave it on the face for several hours.
Linseed oil is still particularly popular as a styling product: for this reason, it is sufficient to pour a very small amount on the tips of the hair before styling and we will have hair that will denote greater softness and brightness.
Flaxseed oil: where to buy it and price
After discovering what the multiple properties of linseed oil are and how to best use it to exploit its potential, a question arises. Where to buy the product? On the market we can find both seeds and products already packaged with oil. Today, an optimal solution to reduce waste of time is to buy online but for the most skeptical, it is better to go to the herbalist shops in the area, supermarkets and organic shops.
As for the price, this varies a lot according to the quality of the product and the quantity of the same. However, we can say that the cost is quite low and affordable for everyone. The price of a bottle, for example, can be around 10-15 euros, always taking into account the brand and quantity you buy.
Flax seeds, all the benefits you don't expect
Before talking about flax seed, ofuse and gods benefits, let's get to know this plant better. The scientific name of flax is Linum usitatissimum: it is a herbaceous plant of the Linaceae family that grows spontaneously, but which is also cultivated (it was one of the first plants to be cultivated). It is used for both seeds and fiber: flour andlinseed oil, used both as dietary supplement as well as for wood finishes or as a thinner for paints. It is also used as a base for soaps and hair gels. And let's not forget that it can also be used as an ornamental plant.
Seed oil: is it really bad?
While continuing to prefer olive oil, seed oils are not to be demonized. In particular, when choosing, it is necessary to orient oneself towards cold-pressed and organic oils which guarantee us a quality product and an excellent source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) and of Vitamin E, which has a powerful anti-inflammatory action on blood vessels and cells.
The importance of purchasing cold-pressed organic oils is due to the fact that non-organic oils are made thanks to a process of discoloration and deodorization of the seeds that deprives them of any nutritional principle. Therefore, choosing untreated seed oils will allow us to benefit from all the virtues of these products.
Let's now see the main seed oils and their positive action on our body.
- Shake well before use.
- Dilute the product at a dose of 5-10 ml per liter of water
- Mix vigorously and thoroughly wet the vegetation (taking care to also spray the underside of the leaves), branches and trunk.
- Carry out the treatment in the coolest hours of the day.
- If necessary, repeat the treatment after 5-10 days.
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Packaging: bottle 280 ml
Flax Seeds: Whole or Ground?
Many experts or presumed such recommend the consumption of ground flax seeds, discouraging the ingestion of whole flax seeds, in fact, they would be poorly digestible, with the risk of expelling a large part of the dose taken with the faeces, without absorbing the nutritional.
Whole Linseed (Above) and Ground (Below)
Although this recommendation is quite widespread, there are no important experiments in the literature to support this hypothesis. Instead, a study seems to confirm that: the fatty acids and lignans in NON-GROUND seeds taken through bars would ANYWAY be absorbed and metabolized.
To clarify the subject, we could say that a lot depends on the purposes for which the flax seeds are taken:
- if the purpose is to regularize the intestine and reduce the absorption of dietary fats, flax seeds can be taken both whole (preferably) and ground, with the foresight to accompany them with generous doses of water to promote swelling of the mucilage
- if the purpose is to increase the intake of omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid) it is preferable to take ground flax seeds in this regard, remember that, once ground, the product tends to perish quite quickly, due to the oxidation of omega-3s (rancidity). Therefore, whenever possible, it is preferable to grind the whole flax seeds in person, keeping the product in the refrigerator, in tightly closed containers for no more than a few days.
Properties and Benefits
It can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide 3.
Studies show that people who eat a lot of fish have much lower rates of heart disease 4, 5, 6.
Human studies have found that daily consumption of flaxseed - or flaxseed oil - can reduce cholesterol by 6-11%. These studies also indicate a 9-18% reduction in the number of LDL (bad) cholesterol particles 7, 8, 9, 10.
Numerous studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids improve heart health, with benefits such as reduced inflammation and lower blood pressure 11, 12.
However, consider that the consumption of ground flax seeds adds to the benefits of the omega-3 contained in the oil, those of mucilage (soluble fibers that can reduce the intestinal absorption of cholesterol, further improving lipidemia).
- A study of 59 people compared the effects of flaxseed oil to those of safflower oil, a type of oil rich in omega-6 fatty acids.
In this study, supplementing with one tablespoon (15 mL) of flaxseed oil for 12 weeks resulted in significantly lower blood pressure levels than supplementing with safflower oil 13.
- Flaxseed oil can also improve the elasticity of the arteries.
Both aging and increased blood pressure are generally linked to decreases in arterial wall elasticity, which in turn represent an important cardiovascular risk factor 14.
It can reduce inflammation
Inflammation is a defensive mechanism that the immune system triggers to fight infections and heal injuries.
It is therefore a useful and important mechanism however, chronic inflammation is associated with serious diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, depression and heart disease 15, 16, 17.
Reducing inflammation can therefore theoretically help treat the symptoms of these diseases.
- Animal studies have found that flaxseed oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties 18, even comparable to standard aspirin 19.
- An analysis of 20 studies found insufficient evidence that flaxseed and its derivatives have a beneficial effect on inflammation in the general population. However, significant reductions in C-reactive protein levels (a marker used to measure inflammation) have been observed in obese people 20.
- Some studies indicate that the anti-inflammatory effects of flaxseed oil are equivalent to those of olive oil.
For example, a study of 37 people showed that flaxseed oil supplements did not affect any inflammatory markers in healthy, normal-weight adults, to a greater extent than olive oil produced significant reductions in levels of total cholesterol (-5.0%) and LDL cholesterol (-6.7%) 21.
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It can fight constipation
One study investigated the effects of three different oils (flaxseed oil, olive oil and mineral oil) in 50 constipated hemodialysis patients.
After four weeks, flaxseed oil increased stool frequency and improved stool consistency. In addition, it was found to be as effective as olive oil and mineral oil 22.
However, to combat constipation it would be preferable to consume whole flax seeds rather than their oil.
The mucilages contained in the seeds, in fact, once they have reached the intestinal lumen are able to absorb large quantities of liquids, swelling in doing so, stimulate intestinal peristalsis and promote evacuation.
If the main purpose is to exploit the laxative action of flax seeds, these should preferably be consumed whole and accompanied by generous quantities of water, to promote the swelling of mucilages.
Generally, it is recommended to take whole or bruised seeds at a dose of one dessert spoon, to be administered with at least 150 ml of water two to three times a day, preferably after meals.
Can Prevent Cancer
Although current research is limited to in vitro and animal studies, there is some evidence that flaxseed oil can help reduce the growth of cancer cells.
In one animal study, mice were given 0.3 ml of flaxseed oil for 40 days. This surgery has been shown to prevent the spread of cancer and the growth of lung tumors 23.
In another small study, flaxseed oil was shown to block colon cancer formation in 24 rats.
Additionally, test-tube studies have produced similar results, with several studies showing that flaxseed oil reduced the growth of breast cancer cells 25, 26.
However, while these findings are promising, more research is needed to determine how these findings might translate into humans.
Against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Research suggests that applying flaxseed oil to the wrist twice daily for 4 weeks improves symptoms and wrist function in people with mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome who wear a brace at night 27.
Against Diabetic Ulcers
Research shows that taking flaxseed oil by mouth (1,000mg twice daily for 12 weeks) can help foot ulcers heal faster in people with diabetes 28.
The study also found improvements in glycemic control parameters, such as increased insulin sensitivity, as well as a decrease in C-Reactive protein.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Early research suggests that taking flaxseed oil in combination with vitamin C could improve attention, impulsiveness, restlessness and self-control in children with ADHD 29.
Flaxseed oil: benefits and properties
From flax seeds it is possible to obtain an oil that can be used for various purposes, including food. The fatty acid composition is as follows:
- saturated fatty acids: 5.3 g palmitic acid and 4.1 g stearic acid
- polyunsaturated fatty acids: 12.7 g linoleic acid (omega 6) and 53.3 g alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3)
- monounsaturated fatty acids: 20.2 g oleic acid.
Given the considerable presence of alpha-linolenic acid, flaxseed oil is often recommended as an excellent source of omega 3 in fact, the alpha-linolenic acid is converted into EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) only for a small percentage (research goes from 0.2 to 8%) which further decreases in case of bad lifestyle and with age. From these data, for non-vegetarians, the importance of linseed oil is marginal as an EPA-DHA conversion (docosahexaenoic acid), it is much earlier to eat fish! Therefore, the cardiovascular health benefits are vastly overrated.
One of the problems of linseed oil is the difficulty in preserving this type of oil, in fact it tends to oxidize very easily and its consumption must take place within a month at most from when the bottle is opened for the first time. It should be stored in the refrigerator, in closed containers that, above all, do not let light through. The best quality linseed oils are those obtained by cold pressing carried out with Baglioni method (Amilcare Baglioni, born in Parrano, in the province of Orvieto, was the creator of a particular method that allows the treatment temperature to be kept below 27 ° C, allowing the chemical composition of the starting product to be maintained). Linseed oil is absolutely not suitable for frying and must therefore only be used raw (for example, to season vegetables or white meats). Good intake of vitamin E (17.5 mg / 100 g).
Flax seeds, from which the oil is obtained, are also used alone to dress salads or yogurt or in bread dough
INFO AL. - Protein: 0 fat: 100 carbohydrates per difference: 0 (fiber: 0) ash: 0 water: 0 cholesterol: 0 sodium: 0 calories: 884.
- Peanut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Fish oil