flax seed

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flax seed

(flaks-seed) ,

Linum usitatissimum

(trade name),


(trade name),


(trade name)


Therapeutic: laxatives
Constipation.Hypercholesterolemia.Menopausal symptoms.Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) nephritis.


Flaxseed contains alpha-linolenic acid which lowers serum cholesterol and reduces platelet aggregation. Ten grams of flaxseed contains 4 grams of dietary fiber which also helps lower cholesterol and increases fecal elimination of bile acids. Flaxseed is an indirect food source of lignans which alter estrogen metabolism to produce less active estrogen metabolites. Flaxseed improves renal function by decreasing blood viscosity, reducing serum cholesterol and reducing inflammatory response.

Therapeutic effects

Reduced serum cholesterol.
Improved renal function.
Increased bowel movements.


Absorption: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown
Half-life: Unknown

Time/action profile



Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity;Gastrointestinal obstruction.
Use Cautiously in: Pregnancy and lactation;Bleeding disorders;Diabetes;Hormone sensitive cancers/conditions.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects


  • hypoglycemia


  • diarrhea
  • bloating
  • flatulence
  • nausea


  • increased bleeding time


  • allergic reactions


Increased risk of bleeding with anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents May have additive blood sugar lowering effects with hypoglycemic agents Increased risk of bleeding with herbs that have anticoagulant/antiplatelet properties including clovegarlicgingergingkoginseng and others.Note: Flaxseed oil contains the alpha-linolenic acid component of flaxseed, not the fiber or lignan components. It may share the purported lipid-lowering properties of flaxseed but not the proposed laxative or anti-estrogenic properties.
Oral (Adults) Hypercholesterolemia—40–50 grams/day. SLE nephritis—15 grams twice daily. Mild menopausal symptoms—40 grams/day.


Oil: Whole or ground seeds:

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess for abdominal distention, presence of bowel sounds, and usual pattern of bowel function.
  • Assess color, consistency, and amount of stool produced.
  • Lab Test Considerations: Monitor serum glucose, triglycerides, alkaline phosphatase, lipid panel, RBC count, coagulation panel, inflammatory markers, hormone panel, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) before and periodically during therapy.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Constipation (Indications)


  • Oral: Administer with food or mix in food.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to follow directions provided with product.
  • Encourage patients to use other forms of bowel regulation, such as increasing bulk in the diet, increasing fluid intake (6–8 full glasses/day), and increasing mobility. Normal bowel habits are variable and may vary from 3 times/day to 3 times/wk.
  • Advise patient that this medication should be used in conjunction with diet restrictions (fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, alcohol), exercise, and cessation of smoking.
  • Advise patient not to use laxatives when abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or fever is present.
  • Instruct female patients to notify health care professional promptly if pregnancy is planned or suspected.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • A soft, formed bowel movement.
  • Decrease in serum cholesterol levels.
References in periodicals archive ?
Against bad cough, common cold, or catching chill, 1 tablespoon of flax seed is boiled in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes; left for soaking for 3-5 minutes, drained and then drunk.
It is possible that Marion Jones really believed that her flax seed oil-enriched running propelled her to Olympic victories.
When making muffins or other baked goods, replace 1/2 cup butter or shortening with 1 1/2 cups flax seed meal.
Available in most health shops and some supermarkets, flax seed can be used as a salad dressing and incorporated into the daily diet.
Flax seed oil is a great vegetarian alternative and ViridiKid Omega Oil, with its blend of organic seed oils and natural vanilla and orange flavour, is great for kids.
Lunch: Tuna sandwich with a side salad of organic baby greens topped with flax seed oil and lemon juice.
Aloecorp has also entered a new product development partnership to produce a line of Value Added Aloe Plus Oils--using vitamin E, flax seed oil and olive oil--that can add fortification to a host of products, such as functional foods, supplements, after-bath talcs and makeup.
Countryside: I would like to thank the person who wrote in with the tip about using flax seed meal everyday as a way to help control metabolism and stabilize hormones.
Flax seed egg replacer is the best overall egg replacer for baked goods around.
There are several sources of food and supplements which contain Omega 3s, such as flax seed, flax seed oil tablets, fish oil tablets, Or liver cod oil.
The Synevo range also includes blends of Lecithin, Milk Powders, Flax Seed, Low Sodium Salt and Vitamin and Mineral blends for a variety of functional applications.
Cracked rye, flax seed, and sunflower seed are sold in some supermarkets and most health-food stores.