Protective and nourishing
Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is also known as linseed. It is a herb with a tall, leafy stem and pale blue flowers. Its teardrop-shaped, brown or yellowish seeds can be boiled to produce linseed mucilage. It is cultivated in most temperate zones for both seed and fibre.
There are many different varieties of flax and most, including the common flax, are cultivated for their seeds. The plant has probably been cultivated from since 5000BC, though its origins are hard to trace due to its widespread popularity and uses. Linseed mucilage has been widely used in traditional herbal and modern medicine. Folk remedies include: using the mucilage as cough medicine and the preparation of poultices for the treatment of wounds and rheumatic pain. Linseed mucilage creates a gel-like texture. It benefits the hair by adding the seeds’ vitamin and mineral content to the hair. It also helps to protect the skin during shaving and creates a wonderful texture for the products. The outer coating of the linseeds swells when exposed to water, producing a gel. They are rich in protein, oil, vitamins and minerals. The seeds are nutritious and aid digestive health. Linseed consumption is also said to treat acne and troubled skin.