Flax has been grown since the beginnings of civilization, and people all over the world have celebrated its usefulness throughout the ages. Cultivated flax, L. usitatissimum, is of two types: one is grown for the seed and the other for fibre production. In North America, it is primarily the oilseed varieties which are produced commercially.
Historians weave the magic of flax into ancient history. Records show that the human race has eaten this seed since early times.
|About 3,000 B.C.
||Flax is cultivated in Babylon.
Burial chambers depict flax cultivation and clothing from flax fibres.
|About 650 B.C.
||Hippocrates writes about using flax for the relief of abdominal pains.
In the same era, Theophrastus recommends the use of flax mucilage as a cough remedy.
|About 1st Century A.D.
||Tacitus praises the virtues of flax.
|About 8th Century A.D.
||Charlemagne considered flax so important for the health of his subjects that he passed laws and regulations requiring its consumption.
|About 15th Century A.D.
||Hildegard von Bingen used flax meal in hot compresses for the treatment of both external and internal ailments