Linseed oil, extracted from the seeds of the flax plant, is rich in omega 3 and omega 6, useful for the heart and against high cholesterol, and is widely used in the field of cosmetics for the health and beauty of hair. Let’s find out better.
Characteristics of linseed oil
Flaxseed oil is extracted from flax seeds, a plant with beautiful blue flowers that bears the botanical name of Linum usitatissimun. This name is already in itself an indicator of the vast uses that can be made of flax seeds and the oil of their pressing.
The composition of linseed oil is 50% omega 3 and 25% omega 6 which are essential fatty acids for our body and that, not producing them, we must supplement with the diet. It also contains oleic acid (15-18%) and saturated fats (5-10%), vitamin E and vitamin B, lecithin, a good part of proteins and fibers and finally many minerals such as magnesium and zinc.
Properties and use of linseed oil
In the diet it is recommended to use raw linseed oil on dishes to enrich the dishes and our body with its precious nutrients.
Its well-balanced composition of fatty acids favors it as an oil for vegetarian and vegan nutrition and as a natural supplement from an early age: during weaning you can add in the first meals a teaspoon raw to bring all its unaltered properties in the baby’s diet.
For adults the consumption can reach 2 tablespoons a day that can be taken in the morning in yogurt, creams and other breakfast foods, always remembering to use it raw.
In health. Some studies have shown the effectiveness of linseed oil in protecting the heart and against high cholesterol in particular to reduce LDL cholesterol that defined as “bad” .
It also seems to be able to stimulate the immune system and it is recommended to take it in the diet of pregnant women and subsequently during breastfeeding because it has the quality of helping the development of the baby’s brain.
The presence of vitamin E allows to fight free radicals and is able to reduce the oxidation of vitamin F; this in turn is essential to avoid the deposition and accumulation of LDL cholesterol is thus obtained with the presence of these two vitamins a lower risk for cardiovascular diseases.
In cosmetics. Linseed oil is an excellent ally of the skin; it has moisturizing abilities thanks to the presence of linoleic acid which is a regulator of water loss and also gives elasticity and resistance to the fabric.
The application can be useful whenever there are cracks on the skin of the face or the whole body and especially in the driest areas such as the elbows, knees and tibias.
For the hair it is possible to create a compress by moistening the hair in advance, applying linseed oil with a spray and dabbing well the tips of the usually more brittle hair and leaving on for 40 minutes then rinsing. This compress gives shine, restructures the hair fiber that regains elasticity and resistance.
Use in the home. Linseed oil is present in popular history to keep furniture “healthy” and beautiful as well as to polish it and ward off annoying insects and woodworms. As a general protective and as a polish just apply it with the help of a cloth and rub the surface of the wood as long as this wood has been previously treated with impregnating agent or varnish because otherwise it would be absorbed by the fibers of the wood themselves.
In agriculture and in the garden. You can use linseed oil as a base to create an insect repellent oil harmful to the plants we grow. Take a spray, linseed oil and add a few drops of essential oil of malaleuca (tea tree), oregano or thyme and apply to the surface of plants attacked by insects.
This treatment works like white oils that prevent insects from breathing and lead to their elimination quickly and safely. Other plants that contain essential oils are useful for warding off insects such as lavender against ants, woodworms, lice and moths and mint against caterpillars, lice and ants.
Curiosity about linseed oil
The choice of linseed oil is to be done very carefully because if we want all its advantageous properties we will have to choose a high quality linseed oil.
The guarantee of a good oil is given by the extraction method that is preferable both cold, and by the cultivation method for the growth of the plant itself which is more controlled if it is of biological origin, being free from pesticides, synthetic substances or cryptogamics.
Storage must follow the cold chain and keep the temperature below 4 ° C, so it is recommended to keep linseed oil in the refrigerator to avoid alterations. The packages are usually made of dark glass or plastic and must be well resealable so as not to have contact with air and light.
These methods allow you to keep the product for up to a month, preserving it from rancidity and the alteration of its precious principles. After this time of 30 days it is possible to use the oil for external uses and no longer for feeding.
An insect repellent recipe
Take a 500 ml spray and add 250 ml of linseed oil and 250 ml of olive oil. Better expired linseed oil since the properties of its components are no longer needed, but we are interested in this case its oily property and its adhesive capacity. Add 10 drops of tea tree essential oil (malaleuca) or, depending on the insect to be removed, choose the specific essential oil that is most repellent and effective.
The application on the plant must take place during the day without the presence of too much moisture because this would prevent the oil from clinging to its surface and would slip away without bringing repellent effects. On the plant, the points where harmful insects are present are identified and the mixture of oils is sprayed in the area in order to cover them; be careful not to overdo it: even the plant breathes so the areas not affected by insects must remain dry and untreated to ensure perspiration.