Alsi seeds benefits, uses, and side effects

Alsi (Flax Seeds): Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Botanical name

Linum usitatissimum

Alsi is known as Flax seeds, and it contains the essential oil, which has medicinal importance. Alsi seeds are rich in carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and various minerals. There are two different varieties of alsi seeds, i.e., brown and golden yellow, and the oils of the seeds are rich in short-chain fatty acids (omega-3). Both varieties of seeds are available throughout the year. Ayurveda says that the addition of Alsi seeds in a regular diet improves the digestion system, which can further weight loss.

Alsi seeds, due to their different medicinal benefits, are consumed in raw or roasted form. Nowadays, alsi seed is commonly used in the preparation of energy bars. Alsi seed rich source of antioxidants, which will help in scavenging the free radicals produced by stress. Due to the excellent digestive fiber content in Alsi, it helps in keeping good gut health.

Sources of Alsi

In India, Alsi is grown as a cash crop in different states such as Jharkhand, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Assam, Odisha, West-Bengal, and Karnataka. Besides India, Alsi is also grown in the USA, Canada, Africa, China, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Nutritional composition of Alsi 

Alsi is a good source of different nutrient as given in the below table:

ComponentContent (per 10 g)
Carbohydrate2.89 g
Protein1.83 g
Fat4.22 g
Total calories53.4 calories
Fiber2.7 g
Magnesium65.8 mg
Calcium25.5 mg
Iron0.57 mg
Potassium81.3 mg
Sodium 3 mg

Other Names for Alsi

  • In Sanskrit, it is known as Atasi, Alasi, Kshuma, Neela, Neempushpi.
  • In Hindi, it is known as Tisi, Teesi, Alsi, Alasi.
  • In Marathi, it is known as Javasu, Atshi.
  • In English, it is known as Flaxseed, Flax, Linseed.
  • In Kannada, it is known as Agasi, Agasebeeja.
  • In Tamil, it is known as Ali, Aalsidirai, Virai.
  • In Telugu, it is known as Bittu, Alasi.
  • In Malayalam, it is known as Agasi, Agastha.

Important chemical constituents of Alsi

The Alsi seed oil is rich in omega 3, omega 6 fatty acids, and alpha-linolenic acid. The human body can convert alpha-linolenic acid into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These two acid plays an important role in boosting the immune system and improving memory. Also, these acids are found in marine animals. Still, vegetarian people prefer to consume Alsi seed either in raw form or in roasted form. The whole seed contains important bioactive components such as sitosterol, campesterol, cycloartenol, and dehydroavenasterol.

Medicinal benefits of Alsi

  • Alsi seed contains fibers, and oil has different medicinal properties, and therefore it has many health benefits.
  • The dietary fiber of Alsi is good for intestine health; they help prevent any inflammation in the intestine and helps in relieving the bloating. 
  • Alsi seeds in regular can help in regulating pH and maintaining homeostasis of the body.
  • Alsi can help in correcting the Vata imbalances through its strong inflammatory action. 
  • Alsi is a natural immunity booster, and it has a low risk when consumed regularly in the diet.
  • Constipation and intestinal disorders are related to Vata, and Alsi can help in balancing the Vata.
  • Alsi, from its composition, is a low calorific food. Therefore it is preferred by those who very conscious about their weight gain.
  • Alsi is a boon for heart patients due to its unique ability to manage good and bad cholesterol in the body. 
  • Alsi oil is used to prepare topical formulation since it has excellent detoxification ability, which helps maintain skin better.
  • Alsi oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid. It gets converted to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are very important for better brain growth when it goes inside the body.
  • The hyperactivity disorder in kids can be arrested when they are given the Alsi riched foods.
  • Alsi seed oil is given to patients suffering from disorders like anxiety, depression, and stress. It is beneficial for their treatment.
  • The skeletal problems and joint mobility of patients can be improved when administrated with Alsi seed oil.
  • Alsi is considered a superfood due to its revitalizing and anti-aging properties.
  • There are some reports stated that the Alsi could improve urinary tract health as well.

Alsi and Cancer

Alsi contains different antioxidants. This can help in scavenging the free radicals generated by the body during different physiological stresses. There is scientific evidence showing that Alsi can protect from colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Studies have shown that Alsi oil components such as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid can inhibit the tumor cells.

Alsi and Cardiovascular disease

The omega 3 fatty acids of Alsi oil can help maintain good cardiovascular health through its anti-inflammatory ability. This will also help in normalizing the heartbeats. The amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids of Alsi seed can synergistically protect the body’s saturated fats’ deposition. And this will help in avoiding the hardening of arteries and regulating normal blood flow in the heart. Therefore, Alsi is beneficial in treating arrhythmia.

Alsi and Diabetes

Alsi seed containing lignans, which are groups of polyphenols and scientific evidence, showed that their regular intake could help regulate blood sugar level.

Alsi and Inflammation

Alsi contains lignans and alpha-linolenic acid. They are known to reduce inflammation in the body when patients have Parkinson’s disease and asthma. Alpha linoleic acid reduces the inflammatory reactions in the body. In contrast, lignans are known to leaching of the inflammatory agent from the body. This further helps in avoiding the risk of stroke and heart attack.

Alsi and Hot flashes

The administration of Alsi seed and yogurt or any fruit juice to women for two weeks can reduce hot flashes by 57%. 

Alsi products and their recommended dosages

The ayurvedic dosage of Alsi varies according to its variants. Different forms of Alsi products are:

ProductPreparationDosage/ Day
OilAlsi oil can be directly taken before a meal.1 time
Powder½ teaspoon of Alsi seed powder can be taken with 1 glass of lukewarm water after lunch and dinner.2 times
Capsule1 or 2 Alsi capsules can be taken with lukewarm water after lunch.2 times

Alsi tea

There is Alsi herbal tea available in the local drug stores, and many peoples prefer this to have it in the afternoon.

  • Take 1 cup of water and boil it.
  • Then add 1 cup of milk and tea powder as per taste, allow it to boil again.
  • Add Alsi seed powder into it.
  • Then serve it hot.

Side effects and Precautions While Using Alsi

  • An excess amount of raw Alsi seed through diet is appropriate and can increase bowel movements every day. This can also lead to bloating gases, pain in the abdomen, stomachache, and constipation.
  • Alsi is rich in dietary fiber content, and it can lead to blocking the intestine due to its bulking property. Therefore it is recommended to take it with plenty of water.
  • There are some reports which state that taking Alsi by mouth during pregnancy is unsafe.
  • Some studies provided data that shows that blood sugar level drops drastically below the body’s critical sugar level when consumed along with other medicines. Therefore, in such a situation, proper medical consultation is necessary.

FAQs

Where and how can I get the Alsi?

Alsi is available in different product formats in the market, such as Alsi seeds (Raw and Roasted), Alsi powder, Alsi seed oil, and Alsi capsules. These products are available in the local drug stores and also in online pharmacies.

Can Alsi help in Blood clotting?

Yes, Alsi can blood clotting process. Alsi containing omega 3 fatty acids, and it is a natural blood thinner.

Can Alsi reduce the risk of Heart disease?

Yes, Alsi can reduce Heart disease. Alsi contains lignans, and they help reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels of the body. Also, they help to increase the level of good cholesterol. This can help in reducing the chances of blockage in the arteries.

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