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My experience with flax oil occurred about six years ago when I was living at home. I have been vegetarian since the age of twelve, and this was something that my mother opposed for many years (still does, in fact). Being so young when I decided to make the change, she was concerned that my health would suffer due to my not getting enough of the vitamins and other nutrients provided by meat and fish. However, since the day I altered my diet I was more than aware of the care I would have to take, and incorporated all the correct foods into my routine to ensure I achieved a healthy balance. My mother however, was not convinced and forced some flax seed capsules on me, which I used for around three months.
The oil contained in flax seed capsules is derived from two main types of the seed; brown and gold. Flax oil is also known as linseed oil, and is extracted from the tall flax plant, which is known for its charming blue flowers. Flax oil is often seen as beneficial to those who do not eat fish, as they can provide some of the omega oils that fish are plentiful in. Flax oil contains omegas three, six and nine. All are essential fatty acids, and omega three is said to lower cholestorol and prevent heart disease, while the lignans in flax seed have been shown in some studies to provide some degree of protection against certain cancers such as breast, colon and prostate. Some say it can also relieve constipation and hemorroids, too. Flax oil is, if claims are to be believed, some kind of miracle remedy, for the list of ailments it is said to aid is extensive to say the least. Some of the conditions it is said to help are:
- Water retention
- Function of the liver
- Multiple Sclerosis
As mentioned above, I would not have purchased this product for myself, and had I been aware of the list of wildly different ailments it is said to aid, I would have been deeply suspicious of its effectiveness. I have tried a number of herbal remedies and have yet to find one that delivers the effect it promises to. However, there have been many studies in the past ten years that have gone some way towards convincing people of the benefits of omega oils on brain activity and aiding the immune system, so this was why I was willing to put the capsules to the test.
The main thing I disliked about the capsules- which were purchased from Holland and Barrett, although most jars of flax seed capsules are the same in this respect - is the size of them. They are large, bullet-shaped tablets that are golden in appearance. The oil is enclosed by a thick, clear skin that is digestible. I was very worried about the skin bursting to let the gloopy oil settle in my mouth, but in all the time I took the capsules this did not, thankfully, occur. They also have a peculiar smell, which I did not find entirely disagreeable. It reminded me a little of corn and cereal, and I can imagine that this odour may put some people off. One capsule should be taken per day with water. I dislike taking tablets, and being so large I found these capsules often difficult to swallow. It often took a few attempts for the capsule to go down, and it does feel sizable when it moves down your throat. The skin of the capsule must be quite strong, as I never felt it burst here, either.
In addition to the omega oils, flax seed oil also contains fibre, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B. I would imagine that you would have to take the capsules for a number of months for their effect to build up and become noticeable. Certainly I did not feel the capsules had any detriment to my health in a general way - I did not feel lethargic or contract viruses any more frequently than was usual. In terms of whether the flax oil had any effect on the condition of my heart or cholesterol however, I couldn't say. What I will say is that if it did, the effect would probably be very slight. I do not doubt for a moment that flax oil and the omega oils it contains are beneficial to the body - particularly those who miss out on the omega oils in fish - but I would always prefer to gain vitamins and minerals from foods naturally, where possible. A jar of sixty flaxseed oil capsules is available online from the following sources:
£6.14 from chemistdirect.co.uk
£6.99 from hollandandbarrett.com
£7.49 from boots.com
I would not purchase flaxseed oil capsules again, but I know several people who use them regularly and say the oil has improved their energy levels and left their hair and nails in an improved condition. I will continue to gain my omega oils from the likes of nuts and seeds, as it has never done me any harm thus far.
I like many others needed to increase my intake of omega 3- and being a vegetarian this was not easy to do thru my diet. So when a friend introduced me to granovita organic virgin pressed flax seed oil- I was more than wiling to give it a try.
Flax is one of the richest sources of Omega 3 which is essential for our general health, assisting the body in cellular growth and helping maintain a healthy heart.
It costs me £6.95 for a 260ml bottle but this lasts me for a month of regular use so not too high a price to pay for health.
I personally buy mine in the special diets section in Sainsbury's.
They recommend that you take one teaspoonful of the product twice a day, but I found I was not able to do this "neat", as it became like taking a nutty flavoured oily medicine that I didn't particularly enjoy. So I add it to salad as a dressing. The suppliers also recommend it as a cereal additive or as an addition to ice cream. They also recommend it as an alternative to vegetable or olive oil. The bottle contains 52 teaspoons - so I manage to eke it out so that I am just buying one bottle a month.
I guess the most important question is - are you feeling any better for it and the answer is that I didn't until I was on my third bottle and now it is a once a month purchase.
We started using flax seed oil when the boys were babies added to a small amount of breast milk daily. Fine. Well that was until they were weaned after that you could not get them to take it for love nor money. try it yourself after the first spoonful its hard to work up to the second one.
How do we do it?
Well you cannot cook with it because heat distroys the omega3 oil but it can be very effectivly hidden in fruit smoothies. One desert spoonful to a liquidizer ful of juice.
You can rub it on just cooked meat and leave to stand for a few mins
It can be added to salad dressing
If you can come up with other ways to hide it let me know
Flax Oil, also known as linseed oil, is a very useful dietary supplement. It is high in Omega -3 fatty acids, making it a useful alternative to fish oils for those worried about cruelty, or about pollution in the seas. It is rated 3rd most healthy oil by expert Udo Erasmus, (if you want to know, one is his own blend, and two is hemp oil, from the dreaded cannabis plant). Some tips: Do not take it continuously. Two months on and one off is about ideal. Don't be put off by people talking about the taste. It's not too bad at all, and if you don't like it, you can diguise it by spreading it on bread, or using it to make salad dressing. It is available from a certain well known high st health shop, so wait for the two for one sale and stock up. Don't use the stuff they sell for putting on cricket bats, get the cold-pressed type! Finally, don't expect it to sort your health out if the rest of your diet is rubbish! Use it as one step, not the whole staircase. I can't personally say that it's made a huge difference to my life, as I'm doing umpteen other healthy things these days. Overall, I feel awesomely well, but I can't put it all down to this stuff. I'm sure it helps, though.
This is a little publicised remedy. Flax oil (linseed oil) is one supplement that just isn't common knowledge yet. It tastes not too good (rather like drinking ear wax), but is excellent for eczema. It is also reputed to prevent cancer, but I'm not sure about that, as a lot of things are being promoted as cancer-prevention nowadays. For eczema, it works wonders, and is well worth the taste for the relief it brings sufferers. It comes in bottles at around £10-£15 a half litre (500ml). Only buy oil in dark glass (light reduces the effectiveness), and rather like oliove oil, cold-pressed oil is best. You can NOT add it to food, as heating it destroys the effectiveness. You need to add it to food or drink it cold.
Also known as Linseed oil, flax seed oil is a yellowish drying oil derived from the dried ripe seeds of the flax plant. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acid, which appears to be beneficial for preventing heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and a variety of other health conditions.