(L-R) Linseed and Flax
Our Linseed isgrown to produce oil but the seed is used in an array of food products and is classed as superfood due to it's rich content of essential fats Omega 3 and Omega 6, but all the Vitamins and Minerals and the fact it is High Fibre, Low Carbohydrate, Gluten Free, Low GI (glycemic index) and has the highest content of lignan than any other seed. This is why fresh linseed should be a part of everyone's diet!
Linseed has been grown and used for thousands of years and can be dated back to the neolithic times. Used as an addition to food in either whole or ground form (Milled for us, as the husk of the seed needs breaking to release all the goodness inside. The whole seed will pass through as roughage otherwise) or the seed can be cold pressed to produce linseed oil (also sold as flaxseed oil).
Linseed was one of the original medicines, used by Hippocrates the Greek physician as a relief to intestinal abdominal pains. Hippocrates famously quoted “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”!
Muhatma Gandhi quoted "Wherever linseed (Flaxseed) becomes a popular food item amongst the people, there will health"!
Click here to find out more on the Health Benefits from Linseed.
The Flax plant (not the linseed plant) is a plant grown for its stem, it has far fewer seeds than linseed and was pulled by hand before the seed ripened. People growing it would save a part of their crop so future seed stocks were available. Flax is a fibre plant and therefore very good for making rope, string and obviously linen and a whole array of other uses. It dates back as far as the neolithic times some 6,000 years ago. In ancient Egypt the mummies would have been all wrapped in a linen made from flax.
The five processes of making linen to flax are: Pulling, Retting, Breaking, Scutching, Heckling (Hackling) and Spinning.
Also in 1895, to celebrate 111 years of Progress they issued a set of 12 dolls to be collected which we have in our Linseed & Flax museum and thought we would share with you.
Flax Spreading in Northern Ireland
The Sails and Bow ropes on Admiral Lord Nelsons fleet would have been made from the fibres of the flax plant. A strong connection with this is the village of Coker in Dorset, a well known area for growing flax, which is where Nelson would have sourced for his entire fleet.
The fibres that are produced from the stem of the flax plant are so strong and versatile. Below is a picture of a close up which shows the fine arrangement of the fibres.
A close up of the Spirals in flax fibres