Linseed: Uses, herbal medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Linseed: Uses, herbal medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Flax is an ancient crop native to Western Europe and the Mediterranean regions. Today, the plant is cultivated worldwide, with the so-called hybrid flax often used as a variety. The medicinally used flax seeds are imported from Morocco, Belgium, Hungary, Argentina and India.

Flax and linseed in herbal medicine

In herbal medicine, the ripe and dried seeds of flax (Lini semen) are used. In addition, the oil and fibres of the plant are also used.


Characteristics of linen

Flax is an annual, up to 1 m tall, delicate plant with erect, slender stems. The leaves of the plant are narrow, needle-shaped and hairless. The pretty light blue corollas only open when the sun shines.

The fruits contain light brown capsules containing several reddish brown, smooth seeds. Some varieties are only cultivated for flax fibre production; others are used exclusively for the production of linseed.

What are flaxseeds exactly?

The medicinally usable material consists of flax seeds. These are shiny, (reddish) brown, flat seeds, slightly wider at one end than the other. The seeds also have a small, laterally curved beak on the narrower side. The seeds are about 4-6 mm long.

If you put them in water, a thick mucous membrane forms around them.


The smell and taste of flaxseed

Flaxseeds are odourless in their uncrushed form. The seed tastes mildly oily, with a slimy taste when chewed.

apply flaxseed

Used internally or externally, flaxseed is suitable for treating several gastrointestinal and skin diseases. When used internally, flaxseed has a positive effect on constipationirritable bowel (irritable colon) and damage to the large intestine caused by the abuse of laxatives.

Especially in older people, protrusions of the intestinal wall (diverticula) sometimes occur in the intestine, which can become inflamed – this is referred to as diverticulitis. This clinical picture, which is often accompanied by severe abdominal pain, can also be treated with flaxseed.

The seeds can also be taken as a broad preparation for inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis) and the intestines (enteritis). Poultices can also be made from linseed, which can be applied to the skin in the event of local inflammation and can thus provide relief.


Application in folklore

Flax seeds have been a popular laxative in folk medicine for centuries. In the case of acute and chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa, they are taken to protect the gastric mucosa.

Flaxseed ingredients

Leinsamen enthalten eine sehr hohe Menge (25 %) an Ballaststoffen. Etwa 10 % der Ballaststoffe sind schwer verdauliche Polysaccharide und daneben kommen Stoffe wie Zellulose und Lignin vor. Zu weiteren 30-45 % bestehen die Samen außerdem aus fettem Öl und daneben aus Eiweiß, Linustatin und Lignanen. Für einen therapeutischen Effekt sollte die Droge in ausreichendem Maße Schleim und außerdem zu mindestens 52 % ungesättigte Fettsäuren enthalten.


Leinsamen: Bei welcher Indikation?

Leinsamen kommen bei den folgenden Indikationen zur Anwendung:

  • Verstopfung
  • Reizdarm
  • geschädigter Dickdarm durch Abführmittelmissbrauch
  • Divertikulitis
  • Gastritis
  • Enteritis
  • lokale Hautentzündungen

Leinsamen: Dosierung und Darreichungsform

Als Abführmittel können 10 g der unzerkleinerten oder frisch geschroteten Leinsamen (1 Teelöffel entspricht etwa 4 g) mit viel Flüssigkeit jeweils zu den Mahlzeiten eingenommen werden.

Zur Behandlung von Darmentzündungen ist das Vorquellen mit reichlich Flüssigkeit empfehlenswert. Bei Gastritis können Leinsamen in Form von Schleim eingenommen werden. Hierzu 5-10 g der unzerkleinerten Samen mit 150 ml kaltem Wasser ansetzen, etwa 20-30 Minuten ziehen lassen und dann die Flüssigkeit abgießen.

Es empfiehlt sich, trotzdem immer noch etwas Flüssigkeit hinterher zu trinken.

Für die äußere Anwendung können 30-50 g Leinsamen zur Anfertigung eines feucht-heißen Breiumschlages verwendet werden.


Leinsamen in fertigen Produkten

Im Handel existieren außerdem zahlreiche pflanzliche Arzneimittel, die Leinsamen enthalten. So können diese beispielsweise in Form von Kapseln eingenommen werden. In vielen Kombinationspräparaten sind Leinsamen als Füll- oder Hilfsstoff enthalten.

Mittlere Tagesdosis

Innerlich kann 2-3-mal täglich je ein Esslöffel (1 Esslöffel entspricht etwa 10 g) der unzerkleinerten oder “aufgeschlossenen” Samen, zusammen mit jeweils etwa 150 ml Flüssigkeit eingenommen werden. “Aufgeschlossen” bedeutet, dass die Samen nicht geschrotet, sondern lediglich angequetscht werden.

Alternativ, besonders bei Entzündungen des Magen-Darm-Traktes, können auch 2-3 Esslöffel der geschroteten oder zerkleinerten Leinsamen zu einem Schleim verarbeitet werden (siehe unter “Darreichungsform”). Kinder zwischen 6 und 12 Jahren sollten jeweils nur die Hälfte der angegebenen Dosierung anwenden.


Leinsamen – Zubereitung und Aufbewahrung

Eine Teezubereitung aus Leinsamen ist nicht üblich.

Leinsamen sollten trocken und vor Licht geschützt aufbewahrt werden.

Wann darf man Leinsamen nicht einnehmen?

Flaxseed must not be taken if there is an existing or impending intestinal obstruction or if there is stool retention. Other contraindications for use are:

  • Narrowing of the esophagus (difficulty swallowing!) and other intestinal sections
  • akut-entzündliche Darmerkrankungen wie Morbus Crohn oder Ulcerative colitis
  • Diseases of the stomach entrance
  • Abdominal pain of unknown cause
  • nausea
  • Vomit

What should you pay attention to when using it?

When taking flaxseed, you should always make sure to drink enough fluids. A guideline value is 150 ml per single dose of flaxseed taken. If this measure is not followed, flaxseeds can swell prematurely and block the throat or esophagus.

If constipation  and stool irregularities as well as problems in the gastrointestinal tract of unknown origin persist for a long time, a doctor should be consulted. a>

For external use, if there is severe redness of the edges of the wound, discharge of pus and excessively weeping wounds, a medical consultation is also required.

Flaxseed – Synonyms

German plant name: flax

German synonyms of the plant: flax, seed linseed, oil linseed, common linseed, real linseed, cultivated linseed, fiber linseed, flax berry, flax, glix, hair lentils

Lateinischer Pflanzenname: Linum usitatissimum L.

Latin synonyms of the plant: Linum humile Miller

German drug name: linseed

Latin drug name: Lini semen

English name: Flax, Common flax, Cultivated flax (plant); Linseed (drug)

Plant family Latin: Linaceae

Plant family German: Linaceae


Flax seeds and their effects

Flaxseed is a typical bulking and bulking drug that stimulates intestinal movement and therefore has a laxative effect. After ingestion, the seeds are transported into the large intestine. There, due to the high water-binding capacity of the mucous cells, water is stored in the seeds, causing them to swell to 4-8 times their volume.

The increased volume increases the pressure, which triggers reflexes in the intestinal wall. This in turn leads to stimulation of intestinal movement and faster elimination of stool. The protective effect on the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract comes about, among other things, through an increase in the bacterial flora.


Flaxseed side effects

Sometimes flatulence can occur when taking flaxseeds and hypersensitivity reactions occur very rarely. However, if the correct dosage is observed and, above all, sufficient fluid intake is taken, approximately in a ratio of 1:10, no further side effects are currently known.

Interaction and contraindications

As with many mucilaginous drugs, the use of linseed can disrupt the adequate absorption of medications taken at the same time into the blood. Therefore, flax seeds should always be taken at least 1 hour before or after swallowing other medications.

In addition, bulking agents and anti-diarrheal medications that inhibit the natural movement of the intestines must not be taken at the same time as flaxseed, as this can lead to intestinal obstruction.

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