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Linseed is grown along with the winter crops in large quantities throughout India. In the state of Himachal Pradesh the plants are grown at a height of 6,000 feet. Due to the difference in planting location throughout the country there is a difference in the size, color and shape of the seeds. The linseeds are found in different colors like white, yellow, red and black. There are a lot of varieties of seeds as well. The linseed grown in hot climatic areas are considered to be the best for medicinal use.
Family name: Linaceae.
Latin name: linum usitatissimum linn
Sanskrit: Alasi, neem pushpi, Kshuma, Pichhala, Atasi
Hindi: Alasi, tisi
Telugu: Bittu, alasi, atasi
French: Jagira, tukhme kattan
External Form of Linseed:
The one-year-old linseed plant is 2 to 4 feet high, straight and tender. The leaves have stripes, the edges are like spikes and the front part of the leaves are pointed and the leaf consists of three parts. The fruits are sky blue in color, round with five parts, each part consists of shining flat thick brown colored seeds, normally two seeds in one part. The plant bears flowers and fruits during the winter. The fruits become dried in the summer.
Chemical Composition of Linseed:
Permanent oil is found in the seeds. The oil mainly consists of linolic and lirolenic acids and its glycerides and dense fatty acids. The seeds also contain a poisonous glucocide. Due to which the animals consuming the seeds die. The seed also contain protein, musyleze, some wax like substances, phosphates and sugar. The ash contains sodium potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, etc.
Qualities of Linseed:
The seeds are sweet, with mild smell, oily, hot, pungent, heavy, purgative, strengthening, increasing the sexual desire, if taken in little quantity the seeds produce urine, reduce the swelling and in large quantity they reduce vata and cure leprosy, seminal problems, kapha, pitta and eyesight problems.
It is sweet, greasy, cures vata, with mild smell, somewhat pungent in taste, strengthening, heavy, hot, produces faeces, oily, receptive, cures kapha, cough, etc.
It cures cough, kapha, vata, the fresh green linseed leaves vegetable and curry is especially beneficial for the patients of vata dosha.
The flowers are capable of curing blood and pitta related diseases.
Medicinal Uses of Linseed:
Grind the seeds in cold water and apply the lep on the painful area, forehead. This is also useful in case of wounds on the head.
Mix equal quantities of linseed and castor oil, beat it well in a bronze plate and apply in the eye in order to get sound sleep.
Reddishness in the eyes:
Grind the seeds and apply the viscous pulp around the eye to reduce the reddishness in the eyes.
Boil the linseed in onion juice and pour it in the ears to reduce swelling in the ears.
Cough and respiratory problem:
- Take 5 gm of linseed and soak it in 50 gm of water. Drink this water after 12 hours. Drink the old water prepared in this manner, for example, the linseed water soaked in the night should be taken the next morning. This water is very beneficial for patients suffering with respiratory problems, however diet and regimen have to be followed strictly.
- Grind 5 gm of linseed, sieve it and boil in water. Add 20 gm sugar candy and in winters use honey instead of sugar candy. Drink this water in the morning to cure cough and respiratory problems.
- Grind 3 gm of linseed coarsely and soak it in 250 gm of boiling water. Cover it with a lid for one hour. Sieve it and take it with a little bit of unrefined sugar. It is beneficial in cases of dry cough and respiratory problem. It is also helpful for easy urination.
- Grind 25 gm of linseed and soak it in cold water overnight. Sieve it in the morning and heat the water for sometime, add lemon juice and give it to the patient suffering with tuberculosis.
- Roast the linseeds and take it with honey to cure cough.
- Clean the linseeds and roast them i a pan. When the seeds start emitting smell then grind and add equal amount of sugar candy. Take 5 gm of this powder with hot water twice daily in case of cold for relief. It also cures cough.
Roast around 50 gm linseed in a pan and make powder, add 50 gm of sugar candy, 10 gm of chilly powder, beat it nicely with honey and prepare pills of around 3 to 6 gm. Give the small pills to children and the big ones to the elders in the morning to get rid of kapha and vata related problems. Do not drink water till one hour after medication.
Take 2.5 gm of roasted linseed with honey to cure liver enlargement.
- Extract the linseed oil without heating it. Take 4 to 8 gm of this oil for easy bowel movement. It removes the hard stools. This oil is very beneficial in case of weak intestines and constipation and piles caused thereby.
- Gonorrhea and urinary disorder: take 50 gm of linseed, 3 gm of mulethi, grind it coarsely and heat it in 375 gm of water in an earthen pot. Boil till it reduces to 50 gm in quantity, sieve it, and add 2 gm of fiber. Take 20 gm at an interval of two hours for getting rid off burning sensation in the urine. It can be taken in larger quantities for 10 to 15 days.
- Pour 4 to 6 drops of this oil in the opening of the urethra to remove pus from gonorrhea.
- Take equal quantities of linseed and mulethi and grind it. Put 40 to 50 gm of this powder in an earthen pot and pour 1 liter of hot boiling water, cover it for one hour. Sieve it and add 20 to 30 gm of fiber and store it in a bottle. Take 25 to 30 gm of this medicine at an interval of three hours to cure burning sensation in the urine, painful discharge of urine, obstructed urination, bleeding urine, pus, and other such problems.
- Take 10 gm of linseed and 6 gm of mulethi, grind it nicely and add 250 gm of water and boil it till it reduces to one-fourth the quantity. Take 25 gm of this kwath at an interval of three hours with 10 gm of sugar candy to reduce the burning sensation and give clear urine.
Linseed poultice is the best among all other poultices. Take 4 parts of grounded linseed, and pour it in 10 parts of boiling water and stir continuously. This poultice should not be very thick. While applying it rub some oil in the lower part and then tie it. This reduces swelling and pain.
Grind the linseeds with Isabgol and apply on the painful area for relief.
Pain in the Hip:
Heat the linseed oil and add Shunthi powder, massage the back and hip area for relieving the pain.
The poultice of linseed oil is very beneficial in case of swelling in arthritis.
Strengthening the Sperm:
Take linseed along with black pepper and honey to increase the sexual potency and cure the seminal problems.
If the insect bite does not heal then grind the linseeds and apply the lep on the affected area.
Grind linseeds in water and add barley flour, add sour curds and apply the lep on the boil to heal it quickly. If there is burning sensation and pain in the boil caused due to vata dosha then roast the linseed and sesame seeds and boil it in cow milk. Let it cool and grind it in the same milk for quick benefits.
Take pure linseed oil and lime water (lime should sediment in the bottom), mix both the things and beat it well. This will become like a white ointment and is known as carron oil. Apply this on the burnt area to relive the pain. Apply this lep once or twice for immediate relief.
Glands and Tumors:
Mix linseed powder in milk and water, add little bit of turmeric powder and boil it nicely. Place the hot poultice (bearable) on the glands or raw boils, keep a beetle leaf on the poultice and tie it tightly. Repeat this seven times, this heals the boil and relieves the pain and burning sensation. This removes the pus. However the poultice has to be tied on the boil for several days continuously.