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Friday, May 25, 2012

The Flax Plant: Producing Seeds And Oils To Be Treasured

Linseed Oil and flaxseed oil are one in the same in that they come from the same plant, the flax plant. However, flaxseed oil is edible, whereas linseed oil is not.

This is because, flaxseed oil is the raw, cold pressed oil from the flax seeds and is pale yellow in color. 

Flaxseed oil is very valuable for human consumption when it comes to keeping heart disease at bay.

This special oil is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids that boost the livers ability to produce good cholesterol. 

The flax plant is a tall, slender plant with pale blue flowers and thin, green leaves. Each flax blossom has five petals.

The plant is native to a region that extends from eastern Mediterranean over towards India. Linseed oil carries a darker amber color and is heated as well as exposed to some chemical treatments that make it unsafe to consume.

The brown or yellow, glossy seeds are contained inside the fruit of the plant, which is a dry, round capsule. Both brown and yellow varieties of seeds (not the oil) are eatable and very nutritional for their Omega-3 fatty acids. The flaxseed oil is eatable, but is not very popular due to its strong and rather unpleasant flavor and odor.

The brown linseed type is especially known for producing linseed oil that is used in making paint, varnish, putty, cattle feed, linoleum and fiber. The dried, ripe seeds produce a yellowish colored oil.

Linseed oil can become plastic or rubber like when exposed to oxygen and the chemical reaction that takes place for this change releases heat making the substance extremely flammable. Household rags soaking in linseed oil are combustible and can ignite instantly.

It may appear to be dried out, but in actuality, linseed oil in this stage is still very useful for the manufacturing purpose of paint, paint thinners and wood finishes. When combined with wood and cork dust, linseed oil forms the base for linoleum flooring. 

Linseed oil also possesses some rather special qualities. It is naturally an anti-bacterial substance as well as anti-viral. It also resists static and it has been suggested that it may be a good natural pesticide and fungicide.

These features carry over into the product that is made from linseed oil, linoleum flooring. This anti-bacterial benefit of linoleum flooring is very attractive to parents when they install linoleum into their children’s playrooms.

It also makes for a healthier kitchen atmosphere. The linseed oil in linoleum cures over time making it even stronger and long lasting.