Linum usitatissimum L

Nota de alcance

PARTE UTILIZADA= Used part: Semilla, partes aéreas.

ACCION FARMACOLOGICA= Pharmacological action: Las semillas tiene propidades refrescantes, calmantes, diuréticas, depurativas, laxante, antireumáticas y emolientes.

COMPOSICIÓN QUÍMICA= Chemical composition: Aceite graso o aceite de linaza (30-40%): Compuesto principalmente por ácidos grasos esenciales poliinsaturados (oleico, linolénico cis-linoleico y alfa-linoleico) y fracciones del tipo Omega-3. Otros: mucílago ácido (10%), trazas de un heterósido cianogenético: linamarina (hasta un 1,5%), diglucósidos (linustatina, neolinustatina), trazas de ácido prúsico, fibra soluble (pectina), provitamina A, vitamina B, D y E, fitosteroles (estigmasterol, sitosterol, arenasterol, colesterol), lignano (secoisolarici-resinol diglucósido) y una enzima linamarasa.

ZONA GEOGRAFICA= Geografical zone: Uruguay. 

Nota de alcance

DIVERSIDAD GENÉTICA Y MEJORAMIENTO DE PLANTAS MEDICINALES= Medicinal plants and improvement of medicinal herbs:

The 'Appar' flax germplasm was originally released by the USDA Soil Conservation Service as a cultivar of Linum lewisii. The observation that 'Appar' is heterostylic, a key taxonomic character distinguishing Lewis flax from other members of the Linum perenne complex, created a need for further study in order to resolve the taxonomic position of both Lewis flax and the 'Appar' cultivar. We grew 10 plants each of nine European, nine North American, and three putative 'Appar'seed sources, measured 18 morphologic variables on each plant, and examined genetic variation using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). We also performed self- and cross-pollinations within and among source groups. North American collections differed from European collections for 12 of the 18 morphologic variables. 'Appar' collections were morphologically similar to European collections and differed from North American collections for 13 of the 18 variables. RAPD data also showed that 'Appar' sources clustered with European, and both were distinct from North American sources. European and 'Appar' collections were self-sterile and interfertile, whereas North American collections were self-fertile but reproductively isolated from European and 'Appar' collections. We conclude that L. lewisii is a distinct species within the L. perenne complex and that 'Appar' should be classified as L. perenne. This study provides an example of how questions regarding origin and/or taxonomy of plant materials developed for restoration can be resolved.

Nota de alcance (en)

The infusion of the seeds is reported to be an antidysenteric, aperient, and mildly laxative. The infusion is used for skin infections (Cabrera n.d.; Uphof 1968).


Flax has been cultivated widely for so many centuries that no one is sure where the plant originated. The stems of flax produce fibers that are woven into fine linen, such as that mentioned in the Bible, found in ancient Egyptian tombs, and used for the white sails in Homer’s Odyssey. The seeds have been used medicinally. Oil expressed from the seeds has been an additive in cough medicines, used externally for burns, and combined with honey to remove complexion spots from the face. The seeds contain a lignan (SDG that may prove to have anticancer, anti-viral, and antibiotic properties. Linseed oil also has many non-medicinal uses, such as in the manufacture of linoleum, paint, varnish, soap, and ink.

Part used::



Cultivated mainly in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and Rajasthan.


Seed—demulcent, emollient, laxative, antilipidemic, antitussive, pectoral (used in bronchitis and cough).

Flowers—used as nervine and cardiac tonic.

Oil— used in burns, skin injuries and sores.

Nota bibliográfica

1) GONZALEZ, Matías ; LOMBARDO, Atilio ; VALLARINO, Aida. Plantas de la medicina vulgar del Uruguay. Montevideo : Talleres Gráficos, 1937. p. 79.

2) ALONSO, Jorge R. Tratado de fitomedicina : bases clínicas y farmacológicas. Buenos Aires : ISIS, 1998, p. 659.

3) PENDELTON, R.L., et al. Origin of the flax cultivar 'Appar' and its position within the Linum perenne complex. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 2008, vol.169, nº3, p.445-453.

4) Nicholson Michael S. ; Arzhennithe, Charles . Economic Botany. vol. 47 . --p. 184-192 1993

5) Hull, Kathleen; Photog. Hull, Meredith /Indiana Medical History Museum: Guide to the Medicinal Plant Garden./ USA: Indiana Medical History Museum. 2010. -- p. 58.

6) DeFilipps, Robert A.; Krupnick, Gary A. / PhytoKeys, v. 102. - - p. 1 - 314,  2018.

7) Khare, C.P./ Indian Medicinal Plants. -- Nueva Dheli: Springer, 2007 . - p 380.

Linum usitatissimum L
Término aceptado: 19-Dic-2007