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Linseed (Linum Usitatissimum)
This is also known as flaxseed, and is an annual herb and one of mankind's oldest cultivated crops. It's known to have been grown in ancient Egypt before its cultivation spread to Europe in about 1000BC. In Britain seeds of this type were certainly gathered during the Bronze Age. It's now grown worldwide for both fibre and oil production.
Linoleum, making a return to popularity, is named after the plant, and only feel out of favour because of its price.
Linseed oil is the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. These essential fatty acids (EFAs) are vitally important for strengthening immunity and preventing many degenerative conditions such as heart disease.
The plant itself, comes in many varieties some with blue, other with white flowers. To purchase linseed oil see our 'Mail Order' section.