Spices Medicinal Herbs - spices of india
Spices of India - Spices Medicinal Herbs

Spices &
Medicinal herbs

Spices of India, Medicinal
Amaranth :: Breadfruit :: Brocolli :: Cauliflower :: Cucumber :: Drumstick :: Hijiki :: Garlic

Mountains where herbs can be found

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Linum usitatissimum

(Common name:- Flax)


Linum usitatissimum

Flax is also known as linseed.


It is a native to the temperate zones of Europe and Asia. Flax has been cultivated for more than 7,000 years in the Middle East as a source of linen fiber and for its oil.

The ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans used the seeds as food, the oil as medicine, and the fibers for clothing and ships' sails.

The Roman legion used bread made from flax and were able to march long distances and then do battle.

The Mountain flax received its nickname of "purging flax" because it was once popular as a purgative.

Plant Description

It is an annual plant growing from 0.3-1 m high. The flowers are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

It produces a slender stem, lance-shaped leaves, sky-blue flowers, and oily brown seeds. The plant flowers only in the morning. The aerial parts of the mountain flax are harvested while flowering.


The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can tolerate strong winds but not maritime exposure.

It is in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The seeds are harvested in late summer or early fall when ripe.

Parts Used

Seeds and aerial parts


The seed contains 30 - 40% oil, which comprises mainly linoleic and linolenic acids. It also contains cyanogenic glycosides (prussic acid).

Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.