Herb of the Day for May 17th is Flax

Herb of the Day

Flax


                                                                         (Linum usitatissimum)



Mecicinal Uses: Flax is used as an aid to achieving cardiovascular health, to help in menopause, and as a mild laxative. The seed and the seed oil are being studied as a possible cure for cancer. The oil helps slow the kidney disease that accompanies lupus.      
                                                                                                                                       
The ground seed mixed with boiling water to make a thick mush is used for poultices. Any herb, such as smartweed, elm bark, hops, mullein, or any other herbs recommended, can be added. Use as a poultice on old sores, boils, inflammations, skin ulcers, wounds, and tumors. Poultices should be changed at least every 2 hours; have a new, hot poultice ready to apply before the old one is removed.                                                                                                  

Also used for female disorders, colon problems. Promotes strong nails, bones, and teeth and healthy skin. A decoction of the seeds can be used for coughs, catarrh, chronic bronchitis, asthma, pleurisy, fever, dropsy, leprosy, pimples, age spots, burns, scalds, gout, inflammation, cystitis, lung and chest problems, and digestive, gastritis, dyspepsia, diarrhea, and urinary disorders. To eliminate gallstones, take 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp. linseed oil and lie down on your left side for a half hour. The gallstones will pass into the intestines and be eliminated from there. Eating the seeds intact is useful for chronic constipation. The seeds swell up in the intestines, encouraging elimination by increasing the volume of fecal matter. For emollient uses and for rheumatic complaints, apply a linseed poultice. The oil was a folk remedy used for pleurisy and pneumonia.                                                                                             

The seed has been used for ages as a medicine. Take 1 tsp. of the whole seed mixed with water, orange juice, vegetable juice, etc., to provide a gentle lubricant laxative. Or use this mixture as an enema.                                       

To remove foreign bodies from the eye: place a grain of whole flaxseed under the lower lid, close the lids. The seed becomes surrounded by a thick, adherent mucilage, which entraps the foreign body, and soon carries it out from the angle of the eye.

Magickal uses: Flax is used to attract money and wealth, and is used in healing spells and rituals. When performinghealing rituals, sprinkle the altar with flax seeds and include in healing mixtures.

Properties: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tussive, demulcent, emollient, laxative, mucilaginous, pectoral, purgative, tonic. Contains Glycosides, gum, linamarin, linoleic acid, linolenic acids, mucilage, oleic acid, protein, saturated acids, tannins, and wax, vitamins A, B, D, E, minerals and amino acids.

Growth: Flax grows in a wide range through North America. Flax is a delicate annual plant 8-22 inches high; the slender, wiry, glabrous, single, leafy, stem has few branches and bears alternate, sessile, simple, entire, lanceolate to oblong, linear, leaves. The numerous leaves are stalk less, alternate, linear with three parallel nerves. Each branch has one or two, delicate, blue or violet-blue, five-petaled, funnel-shaped, slightly overlapping petals (1/2-3/4 inches across), flowers from June to August. The fruit is an 8- to 10-seeded capsule; the seeds are smooth, flattened, shiny, oval beaked, and light brown. Widely cultivated in the United States (mostly the northwestern states), Canada, and Europe but also found wild along roadsides, railroad lines, old fields, and in waste places. Native to Europe.
Author: Crick