Linum usitatissimum, Linaceae. The ripe seeds are the part of the plant used.

The seed pods are gathered when they are fully ripe in summer.

Functions of flax


  • can be used for all respiratory system infections, especially bronchitis where there is a great deal of catarrh formed. It is often used as a poultice in pleurisy as well as other pulmonary conditions.
  • as a poultice can be used for boils, shingles and psoriasis.
  • as a purgative it relieves constipation.

Notes on Flax

  • A poultice for the chest combines well with mustard.
  • For boils, swellings and inflammation it combines well with marshmallow root and slippery elm.


Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 2-3 teaspoonsful of dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk morning and evening.

Tincture: take 2-6ml three times per day.


Duke, J. A. 2000, Anti-aging Prescriptions. Rodale.

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Hoffmann, F. and Manning M. 2002, Herbal Medicine and Botanical Medical Fads. The Haworth Press.




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