Origin: Eastern Mediterranean

Family: Linaceae
Subfamily: Linoideae
Scientific Name: Linum usitatissimum

Folk Names: Common flax, flaxseed, linen, linseed, lint bells


Element: Fire
Day: Wednesday
Planet: Mercury
Zodiac: Gemini
Deities: Athena, Brigid, the Fates, Freya, Frigg, Minerva, the Norns

Parts Used: Seeds, fibre

Magical Properties: Divination, psychic work, sexuality, prosperity, psychic awareness, healing, strength, protection, balance, change


Part Used: Seeds
Extraction Method: Pressing and solvent extraction
Flash Point: 206°C

Perfume Use: Base oil
Shelf Life: 6 months
Scent Description: Buttery and slightly nutty

Active Constituents: alpha-Linolenic acid (over 50%) and omega-3

Aromatherapeutic Uses

Flaxseed oil is a slow-absorbing, super-moisturising and anti-inflammatory. It helps with dryness, resoring tired or stressed skin and can be very healing.


Linum usitatissimum is only known as a cultivated plant, and may have been domesticated from pale flax (L. bienne).

Type: Annual
Plant size: up to 1.2m tall
Leaves: Grey/bluish-green, 2-4cm long and 3mm wide
Flowers: Pale blue flowers 15-25mm across, with 5 petals
Fruit: Dry, round capsules 5-9mm in diameter, containing several small seeds

In the Garden

Type: Annual herb
Sow: Year-round
Light: Full to part sun
Soil: Well-drained, rich soil

Companion Planting: Potatoes and carrots