Harvesting Linseed and Flax

Flax harst modern 1-600x450

Linseed and flax are grown differently

Both linseed and flax, which are simply different varieties of the same plant, Linum usitatissimum, are traditional crops in the UK but grown for different purposes and the production methods are significantly different Continue reading

Linseed (flax) remedies around the world

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates

Traditional remedies

Throughout history and all round the world linseed is used as traditional home remedies and in natural medicine as a treatment to provide relief for many health conditions. Continue reading

Old linseed & flax remedies

Linseed, liquorice and chlorodyne remedy

Some fascinating remedies from the collection

There is no smoke without fire, there is good reason linseed has been used as a remedy for thousands of years; it works. 🙂

Linseed is useful in many forms. It is especially popular as a remedy for persistent coughs, catarrh and asthma. It has many more interesting uses as a remedy. Continue reading

Growmore leaflet, Ministry Fish & Ag, 1945: “Linseed as a Home-Grown Crop”

A field of ripe linseed
Growmore Linseed. WW2 Leaflet from Ministry Fisheries and Agriculture
Growmore Linseed. WW2 Leaflet Ministry Fisheries and Agriculture

‘Growmore’ Leaflet No.13

Published by The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hotel Lindum, St. Annes-on-Sea, Lancashire, 1945

This leaflet was published during World War 2 when growing linseed became important again as a food for cattle that were to produce the meat to feed the nation during wartime shortages. Continue reading

Linseed & flax on cigarette & chocolate cards

Cigarette card: harvesting flax

Flax and linseed traditionally important crops

Lin, linseed or flax from a French chocolate card
Lin, linseed or flax from a French chocolate card

Due to the importance of the linseed and flax as crops they were popular subjects for 20th century chocolate and cigarette cards throughout Europe. The pictures shown are from French chocolate bars and cigarettes.  It reflects importance of linseed and flax as crops in the first half of the century. The flowers of both crops are the same, both were grown from Linum usitatissium but harvested  at different stages of maturity. Continue reading

The Linseed Lancers: the Royal Army Medical Corps

Scan10010Linseed Lancers, linseed’s medical history

The Linseed Lancers is nickname of Royal Army Medical Corps. It refers to the use of linseed in poultices which was one of their remedies, always available even when they didn’t have anything else to offer.

Linseed poultices

Poultices were used to draw out infection, reduce swelling and pain. Continue reading

Linseed or Flax: what’s the difference?

Both linseed and flax are varieties of Linum usitatissimum

Linseed or flax? They are the same!

But there are some interesting differences!!

Linum usitatissimum

Linum usitatissimum, the plant that gives us both linseed and flax
colour drawing of Linum usitatissimum, the plant that gives us both linseed and flax

The cultivated plant is Linum usitatissimum. “Linseed” and “Flax” when produced as a food or supplement are both exactly the same thing (sometimes!). However the history of the plant, its uses and the marketing of the different names as healthfood in different countries have given rise to much confusion. Continue reading

Chinese medicine: linseed counteracts dryness

Linseed helps prevent dry skin
Linseed helps prevent dry skin from ancient Chinese woodcut

Eating linseed to counteract dryness caused by the weather

There’s nothing new about the beauty benefits of linseed!  Hu Shihui; Ming period (1368-1644) Chinese woodcut,

The picture is of  a farmer, holding a flax (linseed) plant standing in front of a venerable Chinese gentleman with two two attendants. The gentleman is expounding the health benefits of eating linseed in the autumn; evidently they had the same issues with autumn causing dry skin that we tend to get in winter here. Eating the right amount of linseed according to traditional Chinese medicine is supposed to restore moisture to the body and counteract the harm caused by climatic dryness of autumn.

Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil, an easy way to use linseed for dry skin

Flax Farm linseed oil is a rich source of omega-3, (ALA) which is so useful for keeping the skin smooth and supple. It comes in convenient capsules and as oil for adding to food, smoothies and salads etc.  Use 1-6 capsules per day depending on age and severity of problem or 1-4 teaspoons of the oil.

The image is from Wellcome Images in Wiki Commons

Linseed (flax) can be used for supporting supple, healthy skin.   See linseed for the skin.

Linseed (flaxseed) oil

Flax Farm linseed and cold-pressed linseed (flaxseed) oil are available from the Flax Farm shop.