Every article I read these days about omega 3 oils is touting flax seed as a miracle food. Chock full of fiber, omega 3 oils and lignans it's truly a remarkable little seed that left to sprout produces the loveliest little flowers! Flax's only problem? You have to use it as soon as it's ground or pressed or it will begin immediately to oxidize and go rancid. I've had this argument so many times with flax seed aficionados that I've lost count! There is one way to use flax seed though and get all of it's benefits and that is by making it into a tea. I learned about this for the first time as a little girl when I would go over to my riding instructors house. She was a very crusty old Irish woman named Noreen Bailey, with a thick brogue and a way with horses that was more magical than anything I'd ever seen. She was also full of old time herbal remedies for her horses , many of which I still use to this day. flax seed tea was one of them. Use flax seed tea, one cup a day in your horses feed and you'll begin to see amazing benefits in hoof growth, coat health and most importantly digestion!
I'd always go upstairs to get a lovely cup of the Irish breakfast tea that she always had warming on the stove, add some lemon, honey and a tablespoon or two of the gelatinous mess that she always had cooking as well. What was in that pot was a long simmering batch of flax seed tea, more commonly known in the UK as linseed jelly. All it was was several cups of flaxseed simmering for a couple of hours in several quarts of water. After a short amount of time the water begins to turn glutinous as the flax seeds get soft. Simmer it for a few hours and you've got a jelly that's unrivaled in its health benefits and lasts for a few days in the refrigerator.
It also has another wonderful use and that is as a tea. Mrs. Bailey taught me that when you've got a rotten cold the thing to do is put a cup of flaxseeds in a pot of water (about 4 cups) and let it simmer. After it's thickened add 1/2 a cup of port, the juice from one lemon,1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 1/2 a cup of maple syrup and 1/2 a cup of honey. Let it simmer for about 8 more minutes and pour it into a cup. Mrs. Bailey always used Jameson's in hers which is where I may have developed a taste for Irish whiskey early in my life. It will take you a moment to get used to the texture, but I promise that if you have a rotten sore throat you'll thank me. Flax seed tea is very slippery , goes down easily and the seeds will help your digestion when your stomach is a wee bit achy. You can also mix some if this into your morning oatmeal. Do this for a while and you'll really notice the benefits, much more so than if you buy it preground or in its oil form. People ask me all of the time if I have a secret for my long lush hair and this would be it. Try it and see if you don't notice the difference too!
Flax flowers and seeds picture from webmd.