Flaxseed Oil Treats a Variety of Health Conditions
Throughout history, flaxseed oil, linum usitatissimum, has served medicinal purposes. The flax plant, which originated in Egypt, is a blue flowering plant. Its brown seeds are pressed to produce flaxseed oil. In Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States, people collected flaxseed oil and created medicine to treat cuts, burns and inflamed skin. Historically, flaxseed oil has been used to treat medical problems from constipation to infertility. Today, people continue to use flaxseed oil to heal variety of health conditions and skin conditions, such as psoriasis.
Flaxseed Oil Provides Essential Fatty Acids
Flaxseed oil contains a large amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid. Omega 3 can protect the skin against ultraviolet light damage from the sun. An effective wound healer, essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce itching and soothe irritation in psoriasis, rosacea and eczema. Flaxseed oil's omega 3 fatty acid reduces inflammation by preventing the formation of thromboxane A2 and helping the formation of thromboxane A3. Essential fatty acid also soothes sunburned skin and helps regulate sebum production in oily, acne-prone skin. The regulation of sebum keeps skin from getting too oily or too dry.
Flaxseed Oil Contains Lignans
Flaxseed oil also provides lignans (plant estrogens) which provide antioxidant and hormone support. Flaxseed oil's lignans serve as an antimicrobial and antibacterial and fight fungi, bacteria and viruses. The lignans in flaxseed oil have been credited with healing cold sores and soothing shingle rashes.
How to Use Flaxseed Oil for Skin Ailments
People can use flaxseed oil to treat skin conditions by consuming it or applying it directly to skin. Flaxseed oil is available in liquid and capsule form for human consumption. Flaxseed oil can be taken as a vitamin supplement or mixed with food such salad dressing, yogurt or baked goods. One teaspoon of flaxseed oil daily is the usual recommended dosage.
Flaxseed oil can be applied directly to skin. Use a cotton ball or fingertips to apply a thin film of flaxseed oil to the skin. Flaxseed oil is gentle enough to be used daily or as needed for treating skin conditions.
Consult a Doctor Before Using Flaxseed Oil to Treat a Health Condition
A doctor's consent is important when using flaxseed oil to treat a skin condition. Flaxseed oil can interfere with the absorption of some medications. People who have difficulty swallowing should not take flaxseed oil orally because it can block the esophagus. Take flaxseed oil with plenty of water to prevent severe constipation or intestinal blockage. Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers should not use flaxseed oil. Women with hormone-related conditions or men with prostate cancer should get a doctor's permission before using flaxseed oil.
- Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons, Public domain photo
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