Flaxseed is the seed from the plant Linum usitassimum. The oil from this seed becomes flaxseed oil. The oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce blood pressure and improve regularity. These heart-healthy acids can also assist in treating atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol.
Flaxseed oil's benefits extend beyond positively affecting your heart. It can assist in treating the pain from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties. While it might seem counterintuitive, flaxseed oil may also help to treat both constipation and diarrhea. It acts as a laxative to help promote regularity while at the same time acting as an antidiarrheal agent. If you need digestive and intestinal assistance, flaxseed oil could help you get your bowel movements back on track. Flaxseed oil can also be used to help improve skin health.
A great benefit to using flaxseed oil is that there are numerous ways to make use of its nutritional properties. Flaxseed oil is light without an overwhelming taste, so many people take a spoonful of it straight. In addition, it can be used for cooking, replacing vegetable or olive oils in your kitchen. However, it has a low heat point, so cooking with it could change its nutritional properties.
In terms of skin health, flaxseed oil can be taken orally or applied directly to the skin to help improve smoothness and reduce irritation from skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis. It is always best to consult with your physician before adding anything new to your dietary regimen.