Flax is soothing to irritated tissue and makes a nice vulnerary (healing agent). However, this mucilaginous plant has amazing drawing power as it dries. In my experience, it works better as a poultice than other herbs to pull out broken glass embedded in the skin. Flax rates right up there with clay for drawing out all manner of thorns, splinters or other small items that are stuck in or under the skin. You mix a little water with the flax to make a paste. Mixing just enough to cover the area that needs the poultice, you then apply it over the area with a bandage to hold it in place. When it dries you remove it and apply another poultice, repeating the process as often as necessary to pull the item out. Often it takes just a couple applications unless the item is deep or it is a glass splinter. Glass is usually harder to remove than wood or even metal splinters. In these cases you need to be more persistent.
Flax is also a wonderful bulking laxative. Its oil content additionally helps with lubrication.
It is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
High concentrations of lignans are found in flaxseed. Lignans bind with low affinity to estrogen receptors and they have weak estrogenic activity. The phytoestrogens from Flax were found in the urine of women after eating Flax no matter if it is raw or cooked flax seed. They appear in the urine 9 hours after initial dosing (25 grams were used in the research) and remained high for at least 24 hours afterward. Soy phytoestrogens do not last as long in the body as the Flax phytoestrogens. After several days of dosing, plasma concentrations of lignans were maintained at an elevated level even when the flax was ingested only once daily.
The latest research indicates that high levels of lignans are associated with lower breast cancer risk.
Clinical trials with flaxseed show that 25 g/day (with 25 mg lignans in the flax) for 32 days reduces tumor growth in breast cancer patients and lignans given at 50 mg/day for 1 year reduces risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women.
May You Walk in Beauty,
Sharol Tilgner ND
Sharol's books available at website