Follow in the footsteps of greatness by rediscovering the astonishing healing benefit of flax

Mahatma Gandhi once observed, "Whenever flaxseeds become a regular food item among the people, there will be better health." An almost perfect edible, flaxseed has been known throughout history as an exceptionally versatile plant. Not only are linen, paper and oil made from flax, but the seeds are extremely effective in discouraging disease. Cancer, high blood pressure, cardiovascular troubles, diabetes and even depression are diminished by flaxseed. A time-honored plant, flax has also gained recognition in modern medicine for its preventative and therapeutic value.

Traditional cultures around the world have long appreciated the healing and nutritional merit of flax. The Greek physician Hippocrates (460 to 377 BCE), celebrated as the "Father of Medicine," prescribed flax for correcting intestinal disorders. And during medieval times, Russians prepared a nourishing meal of flax and hemp seed with peas during religious fasts. The Greeks baked a nutrient-dense bread of flax and corn, while a dish of fava beans and flax accented with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil was enjoyed throughout the Middle East. Charlemagne, the 8th century King of France, also had a high regard for the plant and urged his subjects to consume flax for health.

Modern benefit

In contemporary times, flax isn't considered any less remarkable. Rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and potassium, research supports the tremendous health advantages of the seed. A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention discovered that prostate cancer patients who consumed 30 grams of flaxseed per day had significant reduction in cancer cell proliferation. In light of the fact that prostate cancer affects one in six men, prevention and treatment with flaxseed is a noteworthy alternative to disease.

Likewise, Dr. Johanna Budwig created a successful protocol utilizing blended cottage cheese and flaxseed oil to heal cancer. Cottage cheese supplies the necessary carrier of sulphur, while flax oil regenerates the electrical charge of cellular membranes, resulting in proper cell function and oxygen utilization. A study at the University of Toronto also found flax to possess anti-tumor properties when tested on animals. The researchers believe the extraordinary levels of lignans in flaxseed are responsible for reduced tumor growth.

But that's not all. Flaxseed also alleviates the following conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Insulin resistance
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Inflammation
  • Gallstones
  • Constipation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Eczema
  • Acne

Daily flaxseed habit

Stumped by how to use flax? The ground seed can be a tasty addition to smoothies, yogurt, cereals, applesauce, omelets and baked goods. It was once believed that high temperatures were harmful to the seed, but it's now known that flaxseed (whether whole or freshly ground) can be safely included in cooking - although it's still necessary to store ground flaxseed in the refrigerator to avoid oxidation.

The gel formed by soaked, whole flaxseed can be used as a healthy egg substitute in baking - 1/4 cup equates to one egg. However, flaxseed oil is perishable and requires refrigeration. Use as a butter substitute and drizzle over cooked vegetables, pasta and rice or as a spread on muffins and breads. Alternatively, flax oil can be mixed into salad dressings and mustard. Due to the delicate nature of the oil, only use as a garnish after food is fully cooked.

For further inspiration, several creative recipes can be found here. In whatever way the seed or oil is enjoyed, introducing this healthy food into your daily diet is a positive step toward defeating disease and encouraging vitality.

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  1. I've always liked flax. But recently I've not been eating it due to concerns about its high content of phytic acid. Some people believe that avoiding phytic acid is important, especially for excellent dental and bone health, because of it's ability to bind with all-important minerals such as calcium and magnesium. What does everyone else think? For sure, phytic acid present in the diet will reduce the levels of minerals that the body can absorb and use... but is it enough to be a cause for concern?

  2. Good point Meeya. From what I have read, flax isn't extremely high in phytates, but you may want to steer clear of the seed if you are wanting to keep levels low. You can also try sprouted flaxseed, which helps to minimize phytic acid and improves digestibility. Navitas Naturals brand has a nice organic version that you can look into.