Breathe Easy with Boiled Flax-seed Oil

Flax is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world, grown as early as 7000 BC. It is grown for its seed and fiber. Flax grows best in cool climates, Russia and Canada being two of the leading growers in the world. It is planted after the danger of frost has past, and is harvested at different stages, depending on whether it is being grown for the seed or fiber. 1

The fiber is used to make linen fabric, rope, thread, high quality paper, and a variety of other products. The seed contains linseed oil, which is used commercially, to make varnishes and paints. In recent years, flax seed has been promoted as a health food, being high in fiber and protein.

There is another, lesser know, use of flax seed, that I would like to share with you:

Boiled Flax-seed Oil has the ability to clear the lungs of mucus, and help the body rid itself of disease.

1 World Book Encyclopedia; 1990 edition.

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Boiled Flax-seed Oil is different than the Flax-seed Oil you can buy at the store. It affects the body differently, and one is not a substitute for the other.

My Story

Last spring, I visited a friend of mine, who is skilled in herbs and naturopathy, to see what she would recommend for lung problems associated with West Nile. My brother-in-law had contracted West Nile four years earlier, and was having ongoing problems due to it.

His lungs were the main source of irritation, always hurting, always susceptible to flu and cold. He could not work a full day without getting sick, and was often sick for a month or more at a time.

She recommended some basic herbs for strengthening the lungs, then paused and asked if we had tried flax-seed oil. She went on to explain that boiled flax-seed oil turned mucus to water, making it easy for the body to absorb and dispose of. She told me how to make boiled flax-seed oil, and strongly suggested we try it, before purchasing anything else.

That evening, I tried it out on my family. We all had stuffy noses and a cough, so I figured we would be the guinea pigs. After all, it couldn’t hurt anything. The next morning found every one breathing freely and all coughs gone. I passed the information on to my sister, who made her husband try it. He began getting better right away. It has not been a total cure for him, as his lungs are badly scared, but he can now work a full day, without getting sick.

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How to Make

Boiled Flax-seed Oil


  • 1 ½ cups filtered Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Flax Seed


  1. Place flax seed and water in small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil for eight minutes.
  3. Remove from heat.

The oil is now ready for use. It is the consistency of egg whites, and has the same binding properties. It can be taken directly or used in recipes, several of which I have listed below.

Having the consistence of egg whites, my family prefers it mixed in something else.

Flax-seed oil goes rancid quickly, so keep refrigerated and use within two days.

Clear Lung Infection with an Onion Poultice

Onion poultices have long been used to clear the lungs of heavy congestion and infection. Here is an excerpt from a Norwegian book:

"Then she asked for a kettle and opened her bag; first she took out four large onions; these she cut into tiny bits and dumped into the kettle; then she opened a bottle of vile-smelling stuff and poured some of its contents on the onions; at last she set the kettle over the fir and let it boil awhile. From this mixture she made thick poultices, which she put on Hans Olsa’s back and chest; but before she put them on she took out of her pocket a small rusty crucifix, mumbled some words over it, and stuck it into the poultice which was to lie on his chest. As she fixed these applications she made the sign of the cross over his chest and back. All the while she was muttering strange words, in a language they did not understand—whether a prayer or something worse they could not say. These poultices were to be kept on for twelve hours, … and hot cloths must be put over them to keep them warm. When the twelve hours were gone they must make a fresh poultice. …how to make it—with onions, a cup of linseed oil, one cup of fresh milk, and some flour. …"

--From Giants in the Earth, page 425


Our Results

Within a few hours, everyone was breathing easily. The coughs disappeared overnight.

I kept the treatment up for a few days, to make sure everyone was healthy.

After about three days of use, we began to notice a detoxifying affect. Our joints seemed to be releasing old hurts. Then, my husband and I began to get sick with virus like symptoms. It appears, that in all the detoxing, our bodies were releasing old viruses. (Viruses are stored in the spine, ready to attack when the immune system is weak.)

We upped our immunities with vitamin C, and cut back to using Flax-seed Oil every other day, until all symptoms where gone. Since then, we have used the Flax-seed Oil when ever a stuffy nose hits or a virus threatens, and remained well.

* These are my observations and my experience. 


Serves 6

  • 4 cups Milk
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 recipe Boiled Flax-seed Oil
  • Cinnamon to taste

In a blender, mix all ingredients until thoroughly blended. Serve.

Icy-Orange Drink

Serves 6

  • 3 cups Ice Cubes
  • 6 oz. Orange Juice Concentrate
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 recipe Boiled Flax-seed Oil
  • 2 ½ cups filtered Water

In blender, crush Ice Cubes. Add remaining ingredients, and blend thoroughly. Serve.


Other Uses

  • Add to any shake or blended juice you enjoy.
  • In quick breads and cakes: Replace half of the eggs with Boiled Flax-seed Oil, substituting 1/3 cup Oil for each egg.
  • Add to soups, as a thickener or just for the health benefits.
  • Mix into mashed potatoes.
  • Stir into Oatmeal.
  • Add to rice, before serving.
  • I have successfully used it when baking Cheesecake when I was out of eggs.

Warning: Do NOT cook with grains. The flax binds the water, making it impossible for the grain to absorb it and cook properly!

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Comments 41 comments

Meggin 7 years ago

i did not know that about flax seed. Although We have been enjoying some flax seed crackers to keep our "plumbing" regular. Thanks! I have been suffering from sinus crud and earaches.

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

Meggin: Flax is so amazing, especially for its unassuming, road-side appearance. Breathe easy.

MindField profile image

MindField 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Excellent hub. I've used flax for several years now and have completely eliminated (whoops, unintended pun) all digestive problems. It's been a miracle find. I'm definitely going to try your concoction for lungs/coughs and your recipes sound yummy. By the way, could you tell me exactly what you mean by "filtered" water? Thanks, Christa.

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

MF:  By filtered water, I mean some sort of Chemical free water, but not distilled.  I specify this, because I know many people who will only drink filtered/spring water, but cook with tap water which reeks.  If you water is good enough to drink, then it is fine for the recipe.  (Maybe I should change that to drinking water.) 

Thanks for stopping by.

Profmaggy profile image

Profmaggy 7 years ago from Boston MA

How much would oil do you recommend taking as a daily dose?


Looking forward to trying this tomorrow!

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

Hello Profmaggy, I take 2-4 Tablespoons at a time, 1-3 times a day, depending on how sick I am. When I take it as a precautionary means, I take 1 Tablespoon a day.

Thanks for reading, and let me know how it works for you!

Sara W. Harding profile image

Sara W. Harding 7 years ago from South Carolina

I will have to add this to my stash of natural remedies! My sister also made a pillow filled with flax seeds that can be a cold or warm soothing compress.

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

I have always filled the pillows with rice, but I bet flax would be more comfortable.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

This info on boiled flax seed is new to me. Thanks so much! I plant to link your hub to my flax seed articles...well, I think I know how. Still learning!

Looking forward to reading your other work!

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

RTalloni, I'm so glad you found this information useful, and thank you for the links. I'll have to check out your articles.

chasboyuno 6 years ago


Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 6 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

Chasboyuno, my naturopathic doctor recommended this treatment for any time there is a mucus build up in the lungs, resulting in difficulty breathing and/or coughing.

I do not know about bronchiectasis, so I will ask on Monday. Personally, I don't see how it could hurt, but as with any disease, ask your doctor first. I know that it greatly helped to heal my brother-in-law's lungs, and has continued to keep lung infections under control.

Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Very helpful! I will put this info to use! Thank you!

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 6 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

Okay. Third try.

Michael, I love to know how it goes for you.

Chasboyuno, I finally tracked down my doctor's wife today, and she said they have never had a patient with bronchiectasis. If you decided to try it, I would love to know your observations.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hey Christa, I'm enjoying your un-alterego hubs. I especially like flax seeds for cooking but I have never tried boiling it. I had a nasty lung clogging cold a few months ago and I would have loved to try it. If it comes back I will--or maybe use your one tablespoon preventative method. Do you think you can freeze the mixture and then thaw it when needed? Cheers =:)

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 6 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

Thanks Winsome. I have never frozen it, but was actually wondering the same thing myself. I'll give it a try, and let you know. :)

Wrath Warbone profile image

Wrath Warbone 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

I have a lung problem so I will try it. Thanks. You may have helped me a lot. Thanks for including recipes too.

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 6 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

You are welcome, Wrath Warbone! May you enjoy the results.

Linda 6 years ago

Thank you for the recipes and article. I know several people who could benefit from the flax seed oil for their lungs.

I have a box of flaxseed that I have stored in my pantry that I have had sometime. I noticed this morning I was supposed to refrigerate it after opening. The box is about half full, and I really don't want to just throw it away.

What do you think? Should I discard it?

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 6 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

Hi Linda~

If your box of flax seeds are whole, they should be just fine. There is no reason whole seeds should go bad, however, if they are cracked or ground, then they are most likely rancid and I would throw them out. When I open a package of seeds I store them in a in a canning jar in a cupboard, where they won't get too warm or be exposed to sunlight. They have never gone bad on me.


LILI 6 years ago



Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 6 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

Lili, my muscle testing (applied kinesiology) and my experience tell of nothing harmful in boiled flax seeds, when prepared and used as described here.

I would never BUY boiled flax seed for human consumption, because the oil does go rancid very quickly. I always use what I make within 12 hours, to avoid it being rancid.

Steve O 5 years ago

I am a big fan of whole flax seeds, ground flaxnseeds and flax seed oil but have never considered this method of boiling the whole flax seeds for better digestion. What a great idea! Now I will be better able to absorb the oil inside the whole seeds and not mostly just pass them through. Thanks!!

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 5 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

You're welcome Steve O! I am glad to be of assistance. :)

Wen 5 years ago

I read somewhere that boiling flaxseeds destroy the omega 3 in it and so it becomes useless oil. Is it true?

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 5 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

I have never tested boiled flax seed for its omega 3 content, but that is also not the purpose of boiling it.

I know some claim that any heating of things destroys the oils. And while it may destroy some of them, I really doubt it destroys all of them. If you are truly concerned or using flax seed for the omega 3 content then use some raw.

Wardy 5 years ago

Hi all,

I have used this for my chest infections and coughs.

It is pleasant with apple juice or in a smoothy, other than that the taste is yuk!

I find that it reduces the cough slightly but no where near to the levels that others say. In fact I have double the dose and find no side effects :)

Wanda 5 years ago

When boiling the seed with water, do you eat the seeds too?

Richard 5 years ago

Very interesting I will try this on my mom and sister,both

use oxygen,,wonder if it will help them??

Also,if I take 1 table spoon of oil a day,,what would be the equal to that in ground seed?

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 5 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

Wanda, I usually use the seeds and the liquid when I use this, especially if I am adding it to baked goods... however, when adding it to a drink, I don't always. It seems to work well either way.

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 5 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

Richard, Let me know how it goes with your mom and sister. There are so many different reasons people are on oxygen.

The boiled flax-seed oil, the flax oil you can buy for consumption and ground flax seed all affect the body in different ways. From my research, I don't think they are substitutable.

Cattalk 5 years ago

I have been boiling the seeds and drinking the liquid for gallbladder symptoms. It is amazing. I saw this online and have been using it for 3 months. Boil 5 cups of water, add 2 Tbls. Raw flax seed. Boil for 5 minutes. Then steep for 10 minutes and strain. There is really no taste so I heat it and add some sugar free syrup like u add to lattes. It stores well in the fridge. I use it a couple of times each day especially before a meal to help digestion. My gallbladder is basically not functioning.

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 5 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

I'm glad to hear it is working for you Cattalk! I wish we had known about this when my mom had sever gallbladder problems.

Sapna 4 years ago

This winter season has been awfull for me. This is the 3rd time I had bronchitis. Recently I had a abdomen surgery so this time it felt horrible. I had a bad hacking cough & felt like my stitches are going to rip open. Nothing seemed to work. I tried your recipe of flaxseed oil added lemon & honey & oo la la. Within few hours I stopped having hacking cough instead just small coughs. 2 days of using this & already feel 75% better. Thank you so much.

Furniture Removal 4 years ago

Nice recipe, will try it today.

carla 4 years ago

I boiled the faxseeds and find that i cant separate all the oil "egg white mixture" from the seeds ". Did i over boil or add too much faxseed i used a heaped tablespoon. since im doing this for my chidren (4 and 2 yr old), who have had runny noses flu, flem all winter id like to try to clear them once and for all. i dont know if they would eat the seeds, maybe hidden in food. From th eposts above i see its okay to eat the seeds too correct?

Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 4 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America Author

Eating the seeds is perfectly fine. I have only 'strained' them by not using the oil that surrounds them.

Love 4 years ago

Hello I just want to share about boiling flax seed it is very effective for indigestion specially when I having gallbladder attack .

dchealthcoach profile image

dchealthcoach 4 years ago

The Flax Nog recipe defeats the whole medicinal property for the boiled flax oil/gel because of the 1/2 cup of sugar. Refined white

sugar and other highly processed sugars all suppress the immune system .

And 1/2 cup is way too much!

Alternative would be to use Coconut Palm sugar or stevia...

The flax oil drink is good for constipation too, FYI... =)

Abundantjoy profile image

Abundantjoy 3 years ago

Thanks Christa, this is great info. Came to the link by way of a homemade hairgel conversation. Quick question, you warn against using distilled water. Would you elaborate?

lynne 17 months ago

i have COPD and i just made some up ..will try it in my smoothies i've been using raw seeds so this should up my game ..have you heard of it helping COPD..

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