Flaxseeds have their beginnings as an ancient crop that has survived into the modern day. As a fibre, Linum usitatissimum has been a highly prized historical commodity. It was deemed such a pure material that it was only fit for priests and other high dignitaries. As an oil, commonly known as Flax, Flaxseeds are pressed to release their goodness. Here at Indigo Herbs we offer Golden Flaxseeds and Brown Flaxseeds. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, the nutritional benefits of these seeds in cooking or raw can be enjoyed at any time. We also stock Organic Flaxseed Flour and you can choose from Flaxseed Oil or Flaxseed Capsules among our guest brands.
The very first evidence of the linum species being used by humans comes in the form of fibre. As far back as 12,000 years ago flax fibres were used from the original wild flax variety in Georgia. Domesticated Flax has been cultivated since Neolithic times with findings stretching from the Middle East to the outskirts of the Mediterranean. Linen was thought to be one of the best fibres for use as clothes and later, through the production of flax fibre in Egypt, the Romans used linen for the sails of their ships. With the decline of the Roman Empire the production of Flax as an oil and fibre declined. It was the Emperor Charlemagne who reintroduced linen and flax oil back into Europe publicising the benefits to health from the consumption of the oil. Colonists introduced linseed to the Americas where it was a primary crop until cotton became cheaper to produce. In the modern era linen has lost all of its competiveness in the market with cheaper stronger synthetic fibres being favoured.
The blue flower of Linum usitatissimum is very distinctive with depictions of flax blooms used in many Egyptian murals. There are some differences in the distinction of the different flax species. Whereas commercial flax is an annual plant while other species are perennial. Generally they are thin slender plants reaching heights of about a meter or just over. The fruit is a round brown pod that is dry and contains a set of Flaxseed.