Flowers and seeds took secondary place to the fiber content of is stems at that time, but the Greeks were well aware of its extraordinary medicinal content.
An infusion of the seeds has long been given as Linseed tea for soothing a sore chest or throat in severe catarrh or pulmonary complaints, also the crushed seed is used for making poultices. Even children can be given this tea to counteract wheezing or asthma.
To make Linseed tea, wash two ounces of Linseed by putting them into a small strainer and pouring cold water through it; then pare off as thinly as possible the yellow rind of half a lemon; to the Linseed and lemon rind add a quart of cold water, and allow them to simmer over the fire for an hour and a half; strain away the seed and to each half-pint of the tea add a teaspoon of sugar, or sugar candy with some lemon juice, in the proportion of the juice of one lemon to each pint of tea.
The tea can be drunk during bouts of bronchitis to reduce inflammation of the lungs and prevent spasm.
This linseed tea is drunk by gypsy women during pregnancy to ensure an easy birth. This tea was used in Russian folk medicine for kidney complaints while decoction was taken for dropsy.
The tea can be drunk throughout the day and the remaining thick liquid can be stored in the fridge once it has cooled down, and used for making linseed tea over the next two days.
For people using a diet which is low grains, drinking linseed tea half an hour before each meal can be very useful for giving the correct message to the colon.