Common flax (Linum usitatissimum
L.) was one of the first crops domesticated by man. Flax is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region of Europe; the Swiss Lake Dweller People of the Stone Age apparently produced flax utilizing the fiber as well as the seed. Linen cloth made from flax was used to wrap the mummies in the early Egyptian tombs. Presently the major fiber flax producing countries are the Soviet Union, Poland, and France. The seed is analgesic, demulcent, emollient, laxative, pectoral and resolvent. The crushed seed makes a very useful poultice in the treatment of ulceration, abcesses and deep-seated inflammations. An infusion of the seed contains a good deal of mucilage and is a valuable domestic remedy for coughs, colds and inflammation of the urinary organs. If the seed is bruised and then eaten straight away, it will swell considerably in the digestive tract and stimulate peristalsis and so is used in the treatment of chronic constipation. Therefore an effort is made to study its pharmacognosy.