(Linum usitatissimum, fam. Linaceae)

The seeds are flat, shiny, with an extended egg-like appearance. It is pointed at the top, and round at its base. The hard shell it is covered with contains mucilage and, when seeds are steeped in water, it swells. It has no aroma, while the taste is slimy and oily.

It contains mucilage, oil, proteins, and cianogenetic heteroside – linamarin.


Due to the swelling feature of the mucilage, the seeds are given as laxative. Two or three spoons of seed are put in a glass of water. It has been identified as a good emollient in cases of gastritis, hyperacidity, abdominal distension. Fine grinded seeds, applied externally as poultice (cataplasm) or prepared with mustard seeds in honey, soothes intense coughing, not only because of the mucilage, but also due to the oil contained in the seed.