5 Top Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Of Flax Seed | Linseed | Alasi For Weight Loss, Skin, Hair & Health

Flax seed have been around for a long time and they are the seeds of flax plants. It’s botanical name is Linum Usitatissimum and because of it’s botanical name it is also called as linseed. Flax seeds are called “Aali Vithai” In Tamil and “Alasi” in Hindi. I haven’t eaten or knew about flax seed when I was growing up.

A few years back, I was trying out different recipes for healthy smoothies and one of the recipes that I liked called for flax seed. That was the also the time our local town super market started selling flax seed and I got a small packet for making the smoothy. I thought I won’t like the taste but when I made my berry smoothy, it tasted really good.

I have been stocking a small packet of flax seed in my pantry from then on. Though many use flax seed only for eating, it has wonderful uses for hair and skin care too. For example, flax seed hair gel made using flax seeds and water is quite an effective homemade hair product. Flax seeds can be added to bread, desserts and even in sauces.

Flaxseeds Nutrition:

2 tbsb of milled flaxseeds contains around 50 calories. It has got 4.8 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. Flax seeds are one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids, 2 tbsp contain around 2800mg of omega 3 fatty acids, 850 mg of omega 6 fatty acids and 800 mg of omega 9 fatty acids. It is also rich in calcium and iron.

Where To Buy Flaxseeds?

Here in India, we get whole flax seeds in health stores and it is available very cheap.  You can also order it through online shops. After buying the flax seed, I like to sun dry it spread on a plate, let it cool and then store in an airtight box. We can make flaxseed meal whenever we want by grinding it in a dry mixer.

How To Consume Flaxseeds?

The best way to consume flax seeds is in the form of a powder. The grinding helps to break the outer seed coat where all the nutrients are stored as it is impossible break it by simply chewing on the seeds. When we grind flax seed, our body can digest and absorb it better. I would suggest grinding it fresh each time you use it.

Flaxseeds Side Effects:

Though flax seed have very good health benefits, it also has some side effects. In my humble opinion I think we should never over consume any food even if it is labeled the worlds best health food and it applies to flax seeds too. As flax seeds are high in fiber, it’s over consumption will lead to abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.

People with stomach problems should definitely avoid consuming too much of flax seed. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should never consume flax seed in large amount. People who are on blood thinning medications should be cautious while taking flax seed.

Diabetic patients and people who are on on pressure medications should monitor their glucose and pressure levels, if consuming flax seed on a daily basis as it can lower them. Always drink enough water if consuming flax seeds on a daily basis else you will suffer from flatulence.

5 Top Health Benefits Of Flaxseeds:

 1. Flax Seed For Weight Loss:

Flax seeds are high in nutrients and keeps one satiated longer which makes it the perfect weight loss food. If you are on a weight loss plan, try including flax seeds in your diet. The best way to include flax seeds is by making smoothies as it masks the flax seed flavor completely. Try this low fat, low calorie and yet very tasty flax seed smoothie. This smoothie is full of nutrients yet very filling and keeps one satiated for a long time.

Take 1 cup of low fat, unflavored and unsweetened yogurt, 2 tsp of flax seed powder, few drops of pure vanilla and 3/4 cup of your favorite berries in a blender and blend till smooth. You can sweeten with honey if you prefer. Try to slowly increase the flax seeds in your diet else it will cause stomach problems. If you find it is causing stomach discomfort, decrease the amount.

2. Flax Seed For Constipation:

Since flax seeds are full of fiber, it is very good for people who are suffering from constipation. But please remember to drink lots of water while taking flax seeds and like I mentioned before, slowly increase the dosage. It will be difficult to eat the flax seed powder as it is but with little creativity, it is very easy to include flax seed powder in our diet.

Another delicious way of eating flax seeds apart from smoothie is by using it on toast, toast a whole wheat bread with little bit of butter. Spread a layer of your favorite jam and then sprinkle ground flax seeds on top and eat your toast. Flax seed powder can also mixed in our dosai batter. You can also include it along with the regular ingredients while making chutneys, homemade powders and even in baked goods.

3. Flax Seed For Blood Pressure & Breast Cancer:

A study done for a year long on the effect of flax seeds on blood pressure proved conclusively that flax seeds indeed reduces the blood pressure. For the study, 110 patients of almost the same age, same weight, same body mass index were selected. All the patients were suffering from peripheral arterial disease and almost 75 % of the patients were suffering from high blood pressure and 80 % of the patients were taking medications for blood pressure.

The group were divided into two, one group were given placebo and the other 30 mg of milled flax seeds mixed with food. The results after a year was significant, the flax seed consuming group has significantly lowered both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to the placebo group. This study has proven beyond doubt that flax seeds is indeed very good for pressure patients but please monitor your pressure levels closely and often if you are planning to take flax seeds on a day to day basis.

Another important benefit to note is that flax seeds have been reported to decrease breast cancer in women and even in women who are suffering from breast cancer, mortality rate is greatly reduced. An easily available ingredient preventing breast cancer is very good news for us women…

4. Flax Seed For Hair: Hair Gel

Now for the fun part of making hair gel with flax seeds! Flax seed hair gel is one of the easiest and also one of the most cost effective hair gels you can make at home. If you are looking for a natural hair gel then you will probably like this very much. To make the gel, boil around 500 ml of water with 1/4 cup of flax seeds till the water turns into a gel.

The full gelling will occur somewhere around 7 to 8 minutes in medium flame. But it also varies slightly depending on the size of the pan so keep checking. Once it has gelled, remove from fire and strain using a soup strainer. Wait for it to cool till look warm and add 6 drops of your favorite essential oil.

This is also a very good gift for men, for men citrus essential oils, vetiver, patchouli, cedar wood and nutmeg essential oil are all good choices. Store this gel in the refrigerator and it should last well for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, this hair gel can be used like a regular hair gel to style the hair.

5. Flax Seeds For Skin: Poultice

Flax seeds make an amazing poultice for skin. Flax seed poultice are best used for treating saggy skin. Since ground flax seeds are rich in mucilage, it helps tighten saggy skin very effectively. This poultice is also very gentle on the skin and can be used for treating double chin, cellulite and to reduce puffiness.

To make the poultice, grind the flax seeds in a mixer and mix the ground flax seed meal with enough hot water, it will immediately form a thick paste. Spread the paste onto one half of a thick cotton cloth and fold the other half to seal it. To use, place the poultice over the problem area.

Take a thick towel and dip it in hot water, squeeze the water and place it over the poultice. This treatment can be done weekly twice or thrice for best results. Flax seed poultices can also be used to draw out the infections and also to ease the pain if there is a swelling or pain. This is a very simple home remedy that can be used for both children and adults alike.



  1. Anonymous
    July 20, 2015 / 12:23 pm

    Hi ramya,For weight loss smoothie should we use dry roast flax seed powder or raw powder , instead of yougurt can we use milk . what other fruits can we add like banana, dry figs as well .Regards,Suma

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 27, 2015 / 5:35 pm

      Hi Suma, Just use raw powder and you can use milk too but the smoothie might be a bit runny. Some good fruit options are mangoes, dates, all the berries, apples and chicku…

  2. Anonymous
    August 5, 2015 / 12:01 pm

    Hi, just wante to know if the flax seed powder can be directly applied to skin instead of making a Poultice for sagging facial skin.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 5, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      You can use the flax seed powder directly as a mask too. Try mixing it with clay and apply it as a pack to firm the sagging facial skin….

    • Anna Poorni
      April 11, 2016 / 10:40 am

      Hi Ramya,I dont understand the term, 'clay'.. what is it ?Pl clarify..Thanks

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      May 30, 2016 / 12:17 am

      Natural cosmetic clay's like multani mitti, bentonite clay, etc can be used along with flax seed powder | alasi powder for making the mask…

  3. Anonymous
    October 23, 2015 / 6:07 am

    Can it be soaked in water overnight and the next day we drink the water and eat the seeds.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      October 27, 2015 / 5:33 pm

      Yes, flax seeds can be soaked overnight and had the next day…

  4. sivavasanta
    November 5, 2015 / 8:48 am

    hi ramya, this is siva from bangalore, recently when i was searching detail for nilavembu i happened to read your post on that here and then started searching detail for various medicinal plants here in your blog. great collection and very informative and really i enjoyed reading and collecting information from this blog. and about this flax seed i would also like to share some more information which i gathered and sharing the same here can also if you find it appropriate be of some use . Flax seed was not considered as a food item by our ancient system / our risis. it might have been used to feed their animals. and about the side effect, you rightly pointed out that Flaxseed should not be consumed by pregnant and breastfeeding women and also women who suffer from hormonal imbalance. Flax seed also gives estrogen-like effects, and women taking flax seed regularly may experience changes in menstruation and fertility. also caution is required for Women with hormone-related health conditions. These conditions include endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids, and breast, ovarian or uterine cancer. (courtesy cap ajit vadakayil)

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      November 8, 2015 / 5:50 pm

      Thanks a lot for sharing this information, I am sure it will be helpful for many…

  5. syamnt
    January 5, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    HI Ramya, Can Flaxseeds used for appling blackspots on face? I would like to appreciate your effort in this blog.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      January 28, 2016 / 2:41 pm

      I would suggest applying flax seed oil instead of the ground flax seeds daily, it will greatly reduce black spots on the face…

  6. maniraj narayanan
    March 23, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    If i eat flex seed any possible increase my wight ?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      April 22, 2016 / 2:11 am

      Only calorie surplus will make you gain weight. A tbsp of whole flax seeds has around 55 calories, you can work it into your diet accordingly..

  7. Suresh
    March 24, 2016 / 9:08 am

    Hi RamyaI have gone through in internet stating consuming Flax seeds on daily purpose will decrease the testosterone level in the body for men. could you please confirm

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      April 24, 2016 / 3:06 pm

      I am very sorry for the late reply. Flax seeds does seem to have an impact on testosterone levels (read the study here and here. I would strongly suggest not overdosing on flax seeds especially if taking it everyday….

  8. ansari
    March 31, 2016 / 9:36 am

    hi ramya can flaxseed destroys unwanted storage in intestine. recently i have read an article which indicates that flaxseed cleans your intestine. is it true.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      May 25, 2016 / 2:53 am

      Flax seeds have high amount of fiber so it helps in complete removal of stools from the colon but consuming too much of flax seeds for the sole purpose of cleansing is not good. And most of our traditional Indian recipes are high in fiber too and does just that…

    June 1, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    Does this seeds help to increase sex stamina…..please help….???

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 7, 2016 / 3:56 pm

      I am not sure about the effect of flax seeds on sex stamina…

  10. Prabha
    June 17, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    hi Ramya, At the onset let me tell u that i found ur blog vry informative and detailed.on the subject of flaxseed i would just like to share my personal experience. i hd very severe and chronic psoriasis of the palm. Despite taking heavy medications it did not help. Then i read somewhere that it helps in psoriasis if you take the roasted and ground powder of flaxseeds. It worked like magic. I am sharing this so that u can add this to ur blog so that it may help someone who is suffering like i did.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 23, 2016 / 11:30 am

      Thanks a lot for sharing your experience Prabha….

    • Anonymous
      October 23, 2016 / 6:12 am

      dear prabha could you plz describe how much and when you consume the flaxseed ? It would really help this psoriasis sufferer. More details plzzzz, thk you.

  11. Unknown
    July 10, 2016 / 11:11 am

    Hi miss flax seed will help for endometreosis..

  12. Vanimalar Vanimalar
    July 10, 2016 / 11:12 am

    Will flax seed help to cure endometreosis..pls help

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 15, 2016 / 8:14 am

      Flax seeds will not help with endometreosis, on the contrary it is advised to avoid flax seeds while suffering from endometreosis as flax seeds contain phytoestrogens..

  13. Befeena Francis
    August 11, 2016 / 5:58 am

    Hello, Thank you so much for your great information. I want to know, is flax seed help the Hysterectomy patient to get weight loss after their surgery. Bcoz they are gaining weight after the operation. And how to use the flax seed if its work for weight loss.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 18, 2016 / 5:01 pm

      Hi Befeena, flax seeds are rich in fiber and keeps one fuller for longer so it helps us eat less calories which in turn leads to weight loss. In my humble opinion no ingredient will help us magically shed the pounds without a proper diet and regular exercise…

  14. premlathas
    August 20, 2016 / 7:20 am

    hi ramya, can I take flax seed s kanji with pepper and honey.will it work in weight reduction

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 21, 2016 / 5:57 am

      Dear premlatha, you can sprinkle about 1 tbsp of flax seed powder in your regular kanji and have it for breakfast. Since flax seeds are high in fiber it will keep one fuller for longer and when combined together with regular exercise and a good diet it will lead to fat loss. But having just flax seed kanji (with large amount of flax seeds) daily is not advisable and will lead to side effects like bloating and diarrhea.

    • Rashmi
      June 14, 2017 / 5:13 am

      Hi Ramya am hvng 4month old baby and am breastfeeding can I consume flaxseed,how much quantity I can take and how?

  15. Urmi saha
    October 14, 2016 / 8:04 pm

    Thanks Ramya for sharing such vital information. My mother is diagnosed with her 2+.though with surgery, the cancer tumor is removed from her breast but her2 + is a bad news. Pls tell me if flax seeds will help n how shud she take it? Raw or roasted. Also shud it b roasted after grinding? I will b greatful to you for ur reply. I need to know this asap. She already has diabetes,eschemic heart. Takes ecosprin medicine to keep her blood running. M really in distress n feel miserable. Pls help.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      November 10, 2016 / 6:31 am

      Dear Urmi, sorry for the late reply, was traveling the past few weeks continously and couldn't reply to anyone's comments. I would suggest reading this article regarding flax seeds and breast cancer (http://preventcancer.aicr.org/new/docs/pdf/AICR-InDepth-Issue-01-Flaxseed-and-Breast-Cancer.pdf), it will give you a good idea. Regarding taking flax seeds, I would suggest powdering the flax seeds in a dry mixer finely and using, also I would suggest increasing the dosage slowly. I also find it easier to use it in smoothies and drinks, you can find a recipe for it here

  16. Urmi saha
    October 14, 2016 / 8:09 pm

    Thanks Ramya for sharing such vital information. My mother is diagnosed with her 2 positive. Though the cancer tumor is removed from her breast but her2 positive is bad news. Pls tell me if flax seeds will help. How shud it be taken, raw or roasted? Shud it be grinded after roasting. What dosage as she already has diabetes n eschemic heart. She takes ecosprin av75 to keep her blood thin n running. Pls help. M in distress n feel miserable.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 10, 2016 / 2:57 pm

      Hi Urmi, I am so sorry about your mother and I understand the stress you must be going through. Lignans (a type of phytoestrogen found in flax seeds) has been proven in animal studies to stop the spread of breast tumour growth and spread. Flax seeds is best taken in powder form. To use, powder raw flax seeds really well in a dry mixer and add to smoothies. But flax seeds might interfere with certain medications especially blood thinners and so I would kindly suggest giving it to your mom only after consulting a doctor.

  17. Unknown
    October 22, 2016 / 4:27 pm

    Hi Ramya please let me know flaxseeds is taking for breastfeeding mother. It's good or bad.

  18. Unknown
    October 22, 2016 / 4:28 pm

    Hi Ramya please let me know flaxseeds is taking for breastfeeding mother. It's good or bad.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 10, 2016 / 3:35 pm

      Though I couldn't find any study proving the safety of flaxseeds for breast feeding women, generally flax seeds are taken to increase breast milk production. But actually I found a study contradicting it proving that 4 week of supplementation of flax seeds did not have any effect on breast milk production. I would suggest taking it in moderation after consulting your doctor as I am not sure of the correct dosage for breast feeding women….

  19. Unknown
    November 21, 2016 / 7:24 am

    Hi will this reduce high cholesterol also?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 10, 2016 / 3:55 pm

      Yes, flax seeds can reduce cholesterol…..

  20. Unknown
    November 24, 2016 / 8:11 am

    vanakam Madam Nan kadantha 6 mathangala alli vithai kanji kudithu varukiren weight kuraika.. muthal 3 mathathil 4 kg varai weight kurainjudu.. adutha 3 mathail weight kurayla and hair fall jathiya iruku.. kaalai allathu iravu sapitu mudithu 30 nimidangl kalithu kanji kudthu varukiren.. enaku apdi alli vithai use panaumanu solunga mam ..

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 10, 2016 / 4:42 pm

      Ali vithayai (thaneer serkamal, varukamal) podi pannavum pin ali vithai podiyai moril kalaki, uppu serthu kudikavum. For best results kudave exercise pannavum ….

    • Divya Divi
      May 4, 2017 / 12:43 pm

      Tanx lot Mam … sorry for the late reply.. Now only see tat msg.. Nandrigal Mam

  21. Jeeva R
    December 10, 2016 / 9:57 am

    Flax seed will protect from skin darkening under direct sunlight(Harmful UV Rays)?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 10, 2016 / 4:25 pm

      Omega 3 fatty acids in flax seeds can protect the skin from sunburn but I would suggest using a sunscreen along with consuming flax seeds for best results….

    • Jeeva R
      December 13, 2016 / 1:27 pm

      Whether Flax seed is good for teenage girls aruond 20 years for daily consumption? One more i'm 25 years old male my skin turns black after a few minutes under direct sunlight and within one week if i didn't go under sunlight turns to my normal colour. Please guide me for my problem & any solution too..

  22. kanzul
    February 21, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    hiplease can u verify linseed and flaxseed are same.thank you

  23. Anonymous
    May 2, 2017 / 12:19 am

    Hi Ramya, Hope you are well. I feel embarrassed to say this in a public platform, but I have no choice. I read in an article that having flaxseed reduced Male Boobs. I'm a 29year old & I feel very embarrassed to walk in a street or wear a fit T-shirt. Could you please advise. Thank you.

  24. Anonymous
    May 15, 2017 / 1:05 pm

    Hi Ramya, How i Eat Flax Seeds for Blood pressure and How much i need to take Per day

  25. raj kumar Vinitha
    May 24, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    Hello mam. I would like to know whether itvis useful for diabetes. Because my husband is having diabetes n itbisbin high level with type 2. Suggest me pls.

  26. Sundar Raghunathan
    May 31, 2017 / 4:16 am

    Dear Ramya,My Daily Food Routine Breakfast : Flax seed powder mixed in Hot water Lunch : Raw Vegetables Evening : snacks some fruit Mainly pomegranate & Dinner : 2 Dosa / chappathisWill this effect my Body entirely as am consuming very less food with sply Flax in daily food

  27. Anonymous
    June 27, 2017 / 5:18 am

    Mam flax will improve hair growth? Please help me. Someone told me to use for hair loss and hair regrowth is it real..

  28. Anonymous
    July 5, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    Hi MamI am 26 yrs old and married for 1yr and 8 months,had miscarriage once. So can you please let me know if adding flax seeds in my regular diet will remove my chances of getting pregnant?

  29. spm anumanth housing
    July 23, 2017 / 11:39 am

    hi mam my wife is suffer by poly cystic ovarian syndrome from last five and more weight 92kg . this flax seed solve this problem? how we can take with food and what are the limits? pls reply we are worrying more because of this

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 29, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      Hi, I have a detailed video with home remedies for poly cystic ovarian syndrome, you can see it in the video link in the side bar of this blog. It will give all the remedies that have been proven through clinical research for treating PCOS.

  30. Divya Divi
    August 1, 2017 / 5:31 am

    Hii mam , am taking ceylon cinnamon water everyday (boild 1 cup water with 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder with honey – morning before meals and night before sleeping ) in last 2 months for reducing weight loss .. My friends are suggesting to avoid this for taking regular basis.. it causes any side effects .. continous using cinnamon powder is good for health r not. please suggest me Mam.. Thanks.

  31. Anonymous
    November 17, 2017 / 4:38 am

    Hi Mam,I have fibroids in my breasts.Does consuming of flax seeds help me to control fibroids growth.

  32. Unknown
    February 3, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    Hai Ramya…saw in an article 1 spoon flax seed plus milk plus one banana…if we are taking this juice weight wil come down…i am having umbelical herania starting stage..very minor .5 can i have this drink…my weight 71…hight 5.1..

  33. Sharon
    April 10, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    Hi Ramya,Is it fine to boil the flax seed powder please?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      April 11, 2018 / 2:32 pm

      Hi Sharon, flax seed gel got by boiling the seeds is widely used as egg substitute so you can boil flax seeds but please remember that it will form a gel when you boil it….

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