Originally from Egypt, this plant is now cultivated in the U.S. ( Linseed )
The fiber of linseed has been used for centuries in the manufacture of textiles. The roasted seeds are eaten as a food by the Abyssinian’s, and the cake which remains after the expression of the oil is used as a highly nutritious food for cattle.
Both the SEEDS and the OIL expressed from them are official. They have a mucilaginous taste, slightly unpleasant and without odor.
The mucilage obtained by infusing the entire seeds in boiling water, in the proportion of 1/2 oz. to 1 pt., is very useful in | catarrh, dysentery, nephritic and calculous complaints, stranguary, | and other irritated and inflammatory affections, especially of the mucous membrane of the lungs (respiratory tract), intestines (alvine tract), and urinary passages. For the respiratory tract, it promotes expectoration. For coughs and colds, use the sweetened hot infusion. Take in wine-glassful doses.
For the alvine tract, use it cold. It is soothing, healing, and a tonic in dysentery, diarrhea, and cholera infantum.
The decoction forms a superior laxative enema.
The ground seeds are sold under the name of flax-seed meal.
The meal mixed with hot water forms an excellent poultice. For bronchitis, ulcers, abscesses, and boils, add a little powdered lobelia seed. For general use combine with red elm bark.
The oil meal (what is left after the oil has been pressed out of the ground seed) is frequently used as a poultice. In bronchitis and pneumonia, it is excellent for the lungs. Lobelia, mullein, or cayenne may be added as desired. For boils and abscesses, add red elm bark.
The raw oil is very valuable. Internally it will prove cathartic. Combined with pulverized red elm, it is a most valuable preparation for an external application on bums and scalds. Never allow the surface to become uncovered or dry until thoroughly healed. Wipe off any pus that may accumulate, remove dead flesh, and cover again with the above. Good also on gunpowder bums. Use nervines, if necessary.
An excellent linseed tea is made with 8 oz. each linseed and rock candy, 3 lemons, pared and sliced, added to 2 qts. boiling water. Strain after it has cooled.
The usual infusion is made with 1 t. seed steeped in 1 C. boiling water.