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.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
No change on levels of alanine (Ala), glycine (Gly), serine (Ser), threonine (Thr), lysine (Lys), arginine (Arg), histidine (His), isoleucine (Ile), leucine (Leu), phenylalanine (Phe), valine (Val), or aspartic acid (Asp) was observed in the LM of Hanwoo steers fed rice bran, flax seed, and sunflower seed during the finishing period (Table 5).
Flax seeds exhibit antioxidant property (Rhee and Brunt, 2011), and are useful in preventing hyperlipidaemia and diabetic complications in rats (Makni et al., 2011).
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.
Flax seeds are a rich source of lignans, which are also believed to benefit digestive and heart health.
* Sprinkle your oatmeal or smoothie with a couple table-spoons of flax seed meal.
Udo Erasmus, nutritional writer and proponent of healthy fats like flax seed oil, calls them "Nature's ancient superfood".
Flax seeds are particularly high in omega-3 fats, but there's a problem with them that most people overlook.
"Inspiration for our biofunctional derived from flax seed comes from the process pertaining to skin's own lipid production in the stratum corneum, which goes beyond a physical barrier function to include a biochemical shield against the proliferation of undesirable microorganisms."
Flax Seed Oil is perfect for vegetarians seeking an alternative to fish oils as it is rich in Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA).
These flax seed crackers are quite good and are loaded with nutritional benefits.
For breakfast we usually eat chopped or cut up in-season fruit, a big dollop of the sweet flax oil and quark, a spoonful of ground flax seed and a spoonful of ground pumpkin seeds.
Available in most health shops and some supermarkets, flax seed can be used as a salad dressing and incorporated into the daily diet.