Almost all vegetable oils are endowed with healing properties, but linseed oil occupies a special place among them. Even Hippocrates used it to relieve pain in patients, to treat stomach, wounds and burns. Ancient Egyptian beauties produced cosmetics from linseed oil in the forms of creams and ointments. They even wrapped themselves with linseed oil!
In Rus’ linseed oil similarly to bread was the staff of life. Our ancestors used it as food and cure. The Slavs healed wounds and made anaesthesia with the aid of this oil. During fast, it was an indispensable product. It was added to porridges, cabbage soup and dough to get sophisticated taste and aroma.
Unfortunately, with the development of civilization linseed oil gave way to cheaper and easily produced sunflower and corn oils. Only recently the undeservedly forgotten linseed oil has regained its popularity.
Nowadays there is a boom in linseed oil all over the world. In America it is used mainly as a salad dressing, and flax seeds are included in school meals. The favorite dish of Germans is cottage cheese mixed with linseed oil, salt and cumin. Canadians use linseed oil to produce margarine.
Nutritionists believe that consumption of linseed oil is the first step to a healthy diet, and therefore to human health in general.
Linseed oil has a pleasant smell and colour ranging from golden to brown depending on its degree of purification.
It is abundant in many nutrients, but the presence of omega -3 and omega -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids makes its composition unique. These acids are not produced by the human body but are indispensable for its proper functioning, since all the other essential fats are synthesized from them. While linoleic acid, omega -6, can be found in other vegetable oils, alpha-linoleic acid, omega-3, is in sufficient quantity only in linseed oil.
In addition, linseed oil is rich in lignans, phenolic compounds of plant origin endowed with antioxidant and anticancer properties.
Vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9), found in linseed oil, participates in cell respiration and energy production, supports both physical and emotional health.
Linseed oil contains numerous minerals and trace elements (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zin, etc).
Thanks to high content of irreplaceable fatty acids, linseed oil is recommended by doctors to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Nevertheless, linseed oil is helful for other diseases.
To prevent oncologic diseases, take linseed oil on a regular basis. Its components, lignans, suppress growth of cancer cells and facilitate tumour retardation. Linseed oil is especially useful for women, since it significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer, a fairly widespread modern disease, and regulates oestrogen levels, female hormeones.
People suffering from type II diabetes (insulin-dependent) need to take linseed oil on a regular basis, as it can normalize blood sugar levels.
Linseed oil is very useful for greasy food lovers. Unsaturated fatty acids, contained in this acid, can blunt the effect of saturated fatty acids which are found in greasy food (roast meat, lard, butter, etc.) in large quantities.
Moreover, linseed oil can help to lose weight – a problem that is experienced by nearly half of the world population. This wonderful dietary product regulates lipid exchange, improves cell metabolism, makes favorable impact on digestion and cleanses the body. However, it is necessary to take into account that linseed oil should not be exposed to heat, otherwise it loses its useful properties.
What is more, linseed oil is able to cleanse liver, help the body to ingest calcium, i.e. to strengthen bones and teeth.
Unique composition of linseed oil regulates female endocrine profile, alleviates PMS, treats menstrual disorder and stimulates sexual activity. In men, it improves production of testosterone, male hormone.
Linseed oil should be included into food ration of the pregnant, since its components have a positive effect on the brain of the unborn baby and can alleviate pregnancy.
Linseed oil is indispensable for sportsmen and people regularly taking physical exercise, because vitamins A and E as well as fatty acids make you muscles elastic and kill pain after training.
In cosmetology linseed oil can be used as a night cream, but it is not advisable to apply it onto the eye area. Linseed oil is the most helful for peeling and sensitive skin, as it needs polyunsaturated fatty acids which it cannot produce on its own.
Apart from external use, beauticians advise to consume linseed oil internally. In this way you can improve not only your skin, but also your hair and nails.
In cooking, it is recommended to use linseed oil to prepare various cold dishes – vinaigrette, salads and sauces. Note that the oil should not be exposed to heat as it can lose its useful properties. Linseed oil can be mixed with sour cream or mayonnaise, cottage cheese or greens, as well as added to porridge. One or two tablespoons of linseed oil can provide your body with a daily intake of essential unsaturated fatty acids.