Flaxseed, also known as flax oil and linseed oil, is derived from the seeds of the plant Semen Linium usitatissimum.
The Semen Linium usitatissimum plant has supplied linen to ancient cultures for millennia. Its dried seeds and accompanying oil have been used medicinally to treat various ailments including constipation, skin inflammation, stomach, bowel and bladder conditions, chest congestion, and heart problems.
Current research is confirming its traditional use, finding that flaxseed may indeed have health benefits ranging from laxative properties, to certain anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, and anticancer effects. The American diet is often deficient in omega-3 fatty acids (type of oil found within flaxseed). The dietary supplementation with flaxseed may have important nutritional benefits.