Linum usitatissimum

Linum usitatissimum L.

Linaceae

  • Flax
  • كتان
  • kittan
  • פִּשְׁתָּה תַּרְבּוּתִית
  • pishta tarbutit

Annual

  • Disturbed habitats
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distribution and other botanical details.

Medicinal Complaints / Uses

Linum usitatissimum L.

System/StateTraditional
Complaint/Use
Activity / Interpretation Traditional
Preparation/Administration

Parts Used

Source
Dermatological

Stimulant/ irritant

Rubefacient

Prepare compress/ poultice using either Linum seeds or Linum seeds + mustard seeds. (See NOTES 1 & 2).

FruitZ
Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT)

Tonsilitis

Anti-Infective

Cook seeds in water, mash & spread on cloth/bandage; apply to throat.

FruitZ
Gastrointestinal

Diarrhea/ dysentery

Anti-Infective, Anti-diarrheal

Boil/blanch seeds (Hebrew: "tashlik" (see NOTES 3) or prepare an infusion & drink.

Aerial parts, Fruit, LeafZ
Gastrointestinal

Enterocolitis

Anti-Infective, Anti-inflammatory, Demulcent

Decoct seeds & use as an enema.

SeedB
Infectious Diseases

Gonorrhoea

Anti-Infective

Boil/blanch seeds (Hebrew "tashlik")(see NOTES 3) or prepare an infusion & drink.

Aerial partsZ
Infectious Diseases

Mumps

Anti-Infective

Macerate/ soften seeds in water, prepare a compress & apply to swelling.

FruitZ
Kidney & Urinary Tract

Kidney inflammation/ proteinuria/ haematuria

Anti-inflammatory

Boil/ blanch seeds (Hebrew "tashlik") (See NOTES 3) or prepare an infusion & drink.

FruitZ
Kidney & Urinary Tract

Kidney stones & sand in urinary tract

Anti-lithic

1. Cook seeds + barley or barley + "hilbeh" (Trigonella foenum-graecum) & drink.
2. Boil seeds in water & drink.

FruitZ
Musculoskeletal/ Joints

Gout/ rheumatism & internal inflammation

Analgesic, Anti-arthritic, Anti-inflammatory, Uricolytic

1.Prepare poultice (See NOTES 1) by adding boiling water to powdered seeds or cold water to powdered seeds & boiling. (Admin. not specified but probably applied to affected area).
2. Prepare compress (See NOTES 2) by macerating seeds in water & adding to cloth for external application.

FruitZ
Nervous System

Chronic headache

Analgesic

Mix roasted, ground seeds + sugar & eat x1 teaspoonful mornings followed by raw egg.

Aerial partsZ
Oral Health

Halitosis (bad breath)

Mouth wash

Boil seeds in water & use to gargle.

FruitZ
Respiratory

Cough/ rhinorrhoea (runny nose)

Anti-catarrhal, Anti-tussive

1. Boil/blanch seeds (Hebrew: "tashlik") (See NOTES 3) or prepare infusion of them & drink.
2. Roast seeds over fire, grind + fadi sugar & eat x3 teaspoons/day.
3. Cook seeds + "babunej" (Matricaria sp.) + Althaea sp. + sugar & drink.

FruitZ
Womens Health

Uterine inflammation after childbirth

Anti-inflammatory

Decoct seeds + "khubbazi" (Malva sp.) & use as douche or enema.

FruitZ
Wound Healing

Open boil/ purulent lesion/ wound

Vulnerary

1. Grind seeds, moisten + water or vinegar & bandage affected area.
2. Cook ground seeds in little water, spread over cloth & bandage lesion (softens & opens lesion).
3. Apply powdered seeds to dry purulent lesion after pus is released.
4. Unravel flax/linen (Linum) cloth, dip in cold water & apply flax fibers to lesion for not more than 6 hours. (CAUTION: cloth should not be left on the lesion for too long.)

LeafB

The authors of the Flora Palaestina Ethnobotany (FPE) web site do not take responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of the plants described here. Always seek advice from a health professional before using a plant medicinally or for other purposes

1. A poultice is a soft moist mass of material (e.g.plant or flour) spread on cloth & then placed over the skin.
2. A compress or fomentation is a folded cloth or pad soaked in a strong herbal solution & applied externally to body part.
3. In some preperations the Hebrew word "tashlik" is used. Z translates this as boiling or blanching a plant & mentions that "it probably differs from a decoction in that a shorter boiling time is needed". The watery extract is then drunk.

Seeds & other parts of some strains of Linum usitatissimum contain cyanogenic glycosides which can be toxic if water is drunk at the same time. Contraindicated in oesophageal stricture, slow bowel movement condition & acute gut inflammatory conditions. Can also cause bowel obstruction if fluid intake is inadequte.