We must be familiar with flax in textile producing, but beside this plant is also known as food plant with its oil from the seeds – a good and healthy oil type to human.
Flax seed or linseed is seed of flax plant – a member of Linaceae family. This plant is cultivated in cool areas and is popular in the west as a fiber source to produce linen in textile producing.
Flax plant is high about 1.2 m, with slender stem, slender glaucous, green leaves, pale blue flowers, and small glossy seeds. Linseed is a little larger than sesame with the color ranges from yellow or golden to brown. Among these, the yellow type is better-known as oil extracting than the brown.
In farming, flax stem will give fiber to textile and the seed will give oil to different purposes of consuming. Fiber from flax is known as high quantity with smooth and straight character and also stronger than cotton. The oil on the other hand is very nutritional and considered very healthy.
Wild flax was known to use by human perhaps from 30 millennia ago. It may be first used as fiber to textile than food.
Around 7 millennia BC, it was domesticated in Syria and then spread to Switzerland and Germany around 4 millennia later. At the same time as Switzerland and Germany, it was also cultivated in China and India.
This plant was also widely planted and used in ancient Egypt and even considered as pure symbol there. The years later, flax was spread to other regions of Mediterranean, Europe and other areas till early of the 20 century – the time when cotton became the replacement for its cheaper cost in farming and manufacture.
Since when it had been domesticated and cultivated as crops, it run as both fiber source to textile producing and food.
Nowadays, beside a healthy food and good material in textile industry, flax especially flax oil is also popular in wood-finishing products, painting or printed-ink producing…and in planting as ornamentation in the gardens.
Flax oil is extracted from flax seeds and known as flaxseed oil or linseed oil and is used commercially from the very first time. With a rich source of vitamins, minerals and especially lowering bad-cholesterol ability, this oil is considered good for our health. It is better used directly (by drinking, adding to salads…) than cooked, for the high temperature in cooking could reduce its good effect.