The Origins of Flax Plant Production Essay

The Origins of Flax Plant Production Essay

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The flax plant is thought to be one of the oldest crops in the world and one of the first crops domesticated by man (Oplinger, 1997). Originating in Mesopotamia around 3000 BC, the flax plant has been around since the stone ages. Flax plants were cultivated and used for many different things since every part of the flax plant could be used. The seeds were used to make foods or added to foods for flavor. The seeds could also be made into oil and was commonly used to make medicines, for use on the skin, and as wood preserver. The stems of the flax plant have very strong fibers in its straw, which would be extracted from the stems and woven into linen fibre and used to make ropes and cloths (Mehta-Jones, 2005). The linen cloths made from flax plants were commonly used to wrap mummies in ancient Egyptian tombs. Since the plant was first domesticated, it was known of its therapeutic benefits. In the 8th century, King Charlemagne passed a law that enforced everyone to consume flaxseed ("Flaxseed: A smart," 2014). The Babylonians introduced flaxseeds to North America in 1617 and since then, it has been of great importance for human culture, due to its claimed benefits (Karg, 2001).
The scientific community is becoming more enthusiastic about the healing and health effects of flax as they continue to study the plant. Herbalists, scientists, and doctors claim that flaxseed relieves many gastrointestinal tract conditions such as ongoing constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, enteritis, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, and colon damage caused by laxative overuse. Flaxseed also helps with heart diseases such as atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure. It is also used to redu...


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...XSEED.aspx?activeIngredientId=991&activeIngredientName=FLAXSEED&source=2 ("Flaxseed supplement," 2013)

Karg, S. (2011, October 16). New research on the cultural history of the useful plant linum usitatissimum l. (flax), a resource for food and textiles for 8,000 years. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00334-011-0326-y/fulltext.html
(Karg, 2011)

Lignans. (2013, August). Retrieved from http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21801 ("Lignans," 2013)

Magee, E. (n.d.). The benefits of flaxseed. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed (Magee)

Mehta-Jones, S. (2005). Life in ancient mesopotamia. (p. 16). New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (Mehta-Jones, 2005)

Oplinger, E. S. (1997, November 18). Flax. Retrieved from http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/flax.html (Oplinger, 1997)

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