Flaxseed (Lini semen)

Published May 12, 1984.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Lini semen, flaxseed.

Composition of Drug

Flaxseed consists of the dried, ripe seed of the collective variations of Linum usitatissimum L. [Fam. Linaceae], as well as its preparations in effective dosage. The various cultivars of L. usitatissimum (L.) Vav. et Ell. are equally acceptable for the indications listed in this monograph. The seeds contain: fiber (hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin), fatty oil with 52 - 76 percent linolenic acid esters, albumin, linustatin, and linamarin.



Chronic constipation, for colons damaged by abuse of laxatives, irritable colon, diverticulitis, as mucilage for gastritis and enteritis. External:

As cataplasm for local inflammation. Contraindications Ileus of any origin.

Side Effects

If directions are observed, i.e., especially if the concomitant administration of sufficient amounts of liquid (1:10) is observed, there are no known side effects.

Interactions with Other Drugs

As with any other mucilage, the absorption of other drugs may be negatively affected.


Unless otherwise prescribed:


1 tablespoon of whole or "bruised" seed (not ground) with 150 ml of liquid 2 - 3 times daily. 2 - 3 tablespoons of milled flaxseed for the preparation of flaxseed mucilage (gruel). External:

30 - 50 g flaxseed flour for a moist-heat cataplasm or compress. Mode of Administration Internal:

As seed, as cracked or coarsely ground seed, in which only the cuticle and mucilage epidermis are damaged; as flaxseed mucilage (gruel) and other galenical preparations. External:

As flaxseed flour or flaxseed expellent. Actions Laxative effects due to increase in volume and consequent initiation of intestinal peristalsis due to stretching reflexes. Protective effect on the mucosa because of coating action.