Historical Cultivation And Usage

Flax is one of the earliest cultivated crops, with evidence dating from the Stone Age. Early documents indicate that the Phoenicians were responsible for transporting flax into Europe from the fertile valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia (Stephens, 1997) during the period 2500—1200 BC. It is one of the earliest vegetable fibers domesticated by mankind, and as an oilseed (Dillman, 1938). It has been reported that flax was primarily utilized as a source of fiber for making linen cloth. However, there is evidence showing that flax was also consumed as a cereal and valued for its medicinal qualities; the oil, on the other hand, was used for frying food and as fuel for lamps (Vaisey-Genser & Morris, 2003). The earliest production of flax in the United States could be traced back to 1753. During the Colonial era, European colonists transported flax to North America, New Zealand, and Australia (Rosberg, 1996).

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FIGURE 58.1

Chemical structures of the lignan secoisolariciresinol (Seco), diglucoside and its mammalian metabolites, enterodiol (ED), and enterolactone (EL).

FIGURE 58.1

Chemical structures of the lignan secoisolariciresinol (Seco), diglucoside and its mammalian metabolites, enterodiol (ED), and enterolactone (EL).

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Health And Fitness 101

Health And Fitness 101

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