What is flax?

What is flax ()? The use of flax in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.Flax is also known as Linum usitatissimum, flaxseed, linseed, lint bells, linum, and winterlien.Flax has been used most commonly as a laxative. Flax has also been used to reduce cholesterol levels, to slow prostate cancer growth before surgery, and topically for skin irritation.Flax has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of flax may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.Flax may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.