Flaxseed is the seed from the plant Linum usitatissimum. Flaxseed oil and linseed oil are the oils that come from flaxseed. Linseed oil is usually used in manufacturing, while flaxseed oil is used to benefit nutrition. Flaxseed oil contains the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
People take flaxseed oil by mouth for constipation, osteoarthritis, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, cancers including breast cancer and prostate cancer, anxiety, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), vaginal infections, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, exercise performance, an ovary disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, weight loss, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), heart disease, HIV/AIDS, high triglyceride levels, high cholesterol and other fats in the blood, high blood pressure, dry skin, dry eyes, and reducing inflammation associated with a treatment for kidney disease called hemodialysis.