Botanical Name: Linum usitatissimum
Components: Used and cultivated since ancient times, this blue-flowered plant grows to nearly four feet tall and produces round fruits that contain the revered seeds.
Overview: Flax seed is one of the best sources of an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic (ALA), a close relative of the essential fatty acids found in fish oil. Fatty acids such as this have proved highly beneficial against everything from inflammation and immune system dysfunction to kidney problems, heart disease, and cancer.
Uses: The seeds, whole or ground, are often added to foods. They are also pressed into flax seed oil, which may be taken directly, encapsulated, or added to food.