Flax and Flax Seeds
Flax's name in Latin is Linum usitatissimum, meaning "most useful", which is exactly what it is. Remnants of cloths made with
flax found in Switzerland date back to 7,000 B.C.. In ancient Egypt flax grew along the shores of the Nile, it was used to weave linen for clothing, for boat sails and to wrap mummies. The seeds too have been recognized since ancient times as having medicinal properties. Hippocrates recommended an infusion of flax seeds to treat innumerable ailments.
Throughout history and all over the world, flax has always been considered a plant with a good karma, one to bring good luck and ward off the evil eye.
European flax was introduced to Massachusetts together with the spinning wheel and its cultivation spread with the expanding frontiers.
Linseed oil is still used to protect leather or wood surfaces or to mix with oil paints. The smell is heavenly, it really is what gives expensive leather the "expensive" smell.
Flaxseed is rich in lingans, which are believed to have anti-cancer properties. It's also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which provide many nutritional and medicinal benefits. Flaxseed flour can be added to crackers, muffins and breads.
Flax seeds are an essential ingredient of "emoliente", which is a hot beverage made of flax seeds, barley, apples, and some medicinal herbs, sold in Peruvian markets at dawn, and guaranteed to keep you going until noon.