Thursday, September 20, 2012

Natural Hair Agenda Series-Flax Seeds a Chemical-Free Alternative to Hair Gel

Flaxseed or linseed comes from Linum usitatissimum, a blue flowered plant. Flax seeds are thought to have originated in the ancient Middle East during biblical times. Historians have traced its cultivation in Babylon as early as 3000 BC.

Since 1994, Canada has held the position of the world's leader in the production and export of flax.  They are an important source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including Omega-3, plus Magnesium, Zinc and dietary fiber. Flax seeds can be bought in health food stores and can be found in grocery store health food sections. 

Flax oil from flax seed is the richest known source of linolenic acid. Flax seed contains protein, mucilage, phytosterols and lignans, which are naturally included at 100 times the level of wheat bran (the next best source). The benefits of eating flax seed include lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

It is also helpful in conditions related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including high cholesterol, the treatment of sore throat, upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and can be applied to the skin for acne, burns, boils, eczema and psoriasis.

Many natural hair wearers have been making their own styling gel from flax seeds. Flax Seed gel is a great alternative for those seeking a natural hair gel. It enhances curls, controls frizz and does not flake or harden.

The mucilage in the seeds produce a gel when the seeds are boiled. Aloe vera or carrier oils can be mixed with flax seed gel for added moisture, as well as essential oils which will enhance the gel’s properties and preserve the mixture for up to three weeks.

Make your own flax seed gel …

1 cup water
2 tablespoons of flax seeds
Measuring spoon
Stocking cap or Cheesecloth
Container with lid
Essential oils/additives - Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, lavender,

Line your container with the stocking cap or cheesecloth and set aside. Bring water to boil, stir in flax seeds. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 mins, while stirring. You will notice the mixture thickening, and foam/gel beginning to form. After 10 mins remove from heat (your mixture will continue to thicken as it sits).

Pour mixture into your lined container, while it is still hot for easier straining. Carefully remove the liner from the container. While holding the liner filled with flax seeds over the container, use the tongs - to protect your fingers - to strain the gel directly into the container.

After the gel cools, mix in your additives. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of lavender or your favorite essential oil to add fragrance. If you are adding both essential oils and a carrier oil - mix these separately adding 1 drop of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil, before adding to your gel. If you are adding aloe vera, add one part Aloe - to three parts flaxseed gel.
Dependent upon whether you added essential oils - that will act as a preservative - the gel can be stored in the refridgerator for up to three weeks. The flax seeds can be put into a separate container and frozen, to be used again until they no longer produce mucilage.

More information (click links below)
FlaxCouncil of Canada
Goldenvs. Brown Flax Seed 
PurchaseFlax Seed Online Texas Natural Supply
Howto Video Naptural87 
FlaxSeed Gel Thyroid Warning

Stay tuned for more articles from the Natural Hair Agenda Series.

Guest Blogger Laquita Thomas-Banks is one of the Natural Hair communities most noted writers. Her credits include writing for Clutch magazine and its sister site Coco and Cream, the as the DC Natural Hair Examiner. She also writes natural hair articles for Pumpsicle, AfroGlitz, Living No Lye, Sanata International print magazine, and a guest blogger on Kinnks.She was also featured during BOND Inc’s Spotlight.

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