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Your Body Loves Linseed Oil

by Durwin Banks(more info)

listed in essential fatty acids, originally published in issue 180 - March 2011

That lovely blue flower linseed, Latin name Linum Usitatissinum, translated for us, means, most useful. It was a big part of all our lives providing not only oil and seeds to eat, (more common in Europe than in England); it made paint, linoleum, cough medicine and a million other things. Its sister plant Flax made linen for our clothes, Double damask tablecloths, napkins, fishing line, mattress thread, the inside of bell ropes and the sails for Nelsons Victory. The by product, linseed oil cake was a mainstay of fattening livestock. You may have seen recently adverts for omega three eggs, well; to get them you need to feed linseed oil to chickens. Charlemagne, when Holy Roman Emperor passed laws to get his people to use and eat linseed; it was so important for health. He is not the only man to recommend the health giving powers of linseed. Linseed could once again be at the forefront of  giving our nation our health and power back. Later on I will tell you more.


Your Body Loves Linseed Oil

Factors Contributing to Ill Health

To my mind it would be helpful and topical to analyse a few reasons we suffer from bad health.
To do this I quote from the business news of The Times recently. This vividly shows that the powers that be, at least the money investing people, know exactly what causes ill health and actively promote it.

Buried, none too deeply in the business pages of The Times recently the headline, China, the physical price of ever greater wealth.

Let's have a quick look at what it says; well in a very matter of fact way with no emotion or outrage is the fact that obesity and diabetes will soon reach the levels of the US, 200 million Chinese morbidly obese by 2015. Hey! It doesn't matter thatthe diagnostic and medical sector can grow at 20% per year to help cure them. £85 billion pounds is predicted to be spent between now and 2013.

My question is why does wealth per se have to lead to this kind of problem?

Can we say or do anything to help prevent the poor people of China taking this dreadful step to ill health and in so doing improve the chances of people here in the UK who also suffer from far too much food induced illness?

The reasons given for the shocking decline of the health of the Chinese people includes rises in sales of:

  • Ice cream - 132%
  • Chocolate - 78%
  • Cakes - 124%
  • Ready meals - 131%
  • Sweet biscuits - 124%
  • Savoury snacks - 113%
  • Sweets - 54%
  • Alcohol - 62%
  • Fizzy Drinks - 81%.

Sugar consumption has gone from 2/3kgs per person per year to 7/8kgs. Also increasing is the consumption of junk oils meat and milk

Taking the responsibility of feeding the family away from mother and giving it to great big multinational companies is a recipe for disaster. The sugar, fats and edible oils, meat and milk from animals, fed in an inappropriate way, feeding that upsets the fatty acid balance of the carcass and therefore us, are the culprits. All these products are the raw materials of the food manufacturing industry; mother would not be using them in her food.

The implied and actual cynical advice of the Times columnist is: watch and invest in the sector that will have to grow to cope with all this ill health.

Providing Food Labelling Information for People

So, now we can clearly see the causes of the obesity and diabetes epidemic / pandemic. It is my view that only through the final realization of people making up their minds to stop doing this to themselves, will we make any progress. The government will not act; as they say they will be accused of bringing in a nanny state. It is my belief that government should act to ensure that the clearly understood food ingredients that are the reason for ill health do not go into the food chain or at least help us to see what is being used so we can make up our own minds. The current food labelling regime actively prevents people from understanding what goes into food and how we might use the information to improve our health.

I would like to see people vote for good health by not buying all food produced by major corporations. Buy local, do not waste food, prepare food yourself; it will in the end, be cheaper and the health benefits of a healthier nation will soon be apparent.

Information about what causes ill health is all we have to try and see the way forward and stop this evil dead in it tracks. We can do it, give us the tools and we will finish the job, to paraphrase Winston Churchill. One of these tools would be to insist that the oils in food are categorized not as mono or polyunsaturated fat which the average person finds hard to understand, but rather the omega 3, 6, or 9 content. If we know these figures, we would be much more able to relate them to how health is affected when these substances are abused.


Your Body Loves Linseed Oil

Balance and Role of Omega Oils

Knowing these figures is so important to us because these omega oils along with saturated fat make up all our cell membranes. As ancient people, the balance of these omegas was 1 to 1 omega 3 to omega 6. Today the common and cheap vegetable oils Sunflower, Rapeseed, Soya and corn oil contain lots of omega 6 so the food industry uses it, lots of it and in everything possible; you only have to read labels to see this. Well, you could if the labels made sense, but they do not, and the result is we have a balance of fats in the body more like 1omega 3 to 15 or 20 omega 6.

The importance of this becomes apparent when you know that amongst the things that the omegas do is they are the raw material for the hormones the body makes and in particular, omega 3, makes anti inflammatory hormones and omega 6, makes pro inflammatory hormones. So you see the answer to the question, what's happening to us? is, we are getting more disease that begins with inflammation.
Rarer oils such as linseed contain lots of omega 3 along with some omega 6 and 9; there is no plant with just omega 3. The reason linseed oil is not used in the food industry is that it must be fresh and as I mentioned, it is more widely known about in Germany, where it used to be delivered like milk, so it was fresh. My oil is sent direct from the farm about four days after pressing and settling, and up to 14 days maximum when new oil is sent, so pressing to order is almost our motto. Linseed oil can help to rebalance the body, and in so doing, aid the production of anti inflammatory hormones.

Now the seeds eaten whole, are pretty indigestible, but soaked overnight they are effective in cases of constipation. When ground or milled the body is able to get and digest all the goodness from the seed. The fibre is still there but it can be used in more ways; for instance use up to 20% in place of flour when bread making, it can be added to smoothies and porridge or cold stewed fruit and yoghurt.

Your Body Loves Linseed Oil

Linseed Muesli Breakfast You can Make Yourself

This is a satisfying breakfast, and because of the hormonal action of the linseed it can help you maintain a balanced diet. Menopausal symptoms can be alleviated and with a few changes to the rest of the diet, some exercise (maybe just fast walking), getting those pounds off can be easier and enjoyable.          

  • 2 Tablespoons porridge oats;
  • Some nutty muesli, I use Dorset brand;
  • 2 dessert spoons High Barn Oils linseed meal;
  • 1 Dessertspoon High Barn Oils Culinary Linseed oil;
  • Some blue berries and chopped banana apple or other fruit to taste;
  • I use orange juice because I don't like milk products;
  • Mix and enjoy, probably enough for two people.

Milled linseed is helpful for many gut problems, but introduce it gently with some oil as well as it contains great fibre is gluten free and low GI. Linseed helps the gut produce good bacteria and get rid of bad things. So linseed for life is no idle boast; trying to get pregnant, you need linseed, pregnant, you are using you own resources of omega 3, so linseed oil and meal puts them back. Linseed helps increase milk flow and can help prevent baby blues and its anti inflammatory action helps prevent congestion or mastitis. All through life, linseed is there to keep you well and even if you have not used it, start, and it can help you get well.

Next time you see those lakes of blue in the countryside you know they are lakes of good healing fats vital for our wellbeing. You have it all now, some history a list of foods that cause disease some ideas on how to change with linseed in you life. Act on it now and you will see how your body loves linseed.


  1. Lisa Delarny said..

    Hello, Is micronised Linseed as good for adding to cereals? I add it to my horses feed, he looks fab on it! It tastes good, would I be better using meal?

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About Durwin Banks

Durwin Banks is the owner of High Barn Oils, suppliers of linseed oil from his family-owned farm in West Sussex. High Barn Oils was founded in 2000; today they supply linseed pods and culinary linseed oil direct to customers throughout the United Kingdom.
A growing number of resellers, from health and well-being practitioners to beauticians are now ordering their linseed products too, but although the demand for High Barn Oils linseed has grown dramatically in the last eight years, Durwin is pleased to say that little has changed on the farm itself. They remain a very hands-on family business, and enjoy making sure that their customers really do benefit from a genuine personal service. Durwin may be contacted on Tel: 01403 730 326; Fax: 01403 732 749;

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