Flaxseed is the seed from the plant Linum usitatissimum. Oil from the seed is used to make medicine.
People try flaxseed oil for many different conditions, including rheumatoid arthritisand high cholesterol. It is also tried for treating osteoarthritis, anxiety, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), vaginal infections, dry eyes, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Some people use flaxseed oil as a laxative for constipation, for weight loss, and to prevent breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Flaxseed oil is also applied to the skin to sooth irritations or soften roughness.
In foods, flaxseed oil is used as cooking oil and in margarines.
In manufacturing, flaxseed oil is used as an ingredient in paints, varnishes, linoleum, and soap; and as a waterproofing agent.