Flax (also known as common flax or linseed) (binomial name: Linum usitatissimum) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. This is called as Jawas/Javas or Alashi in Marathi. Flax was extensively cultivated in ancient Egypt. New Zealand flax is not related to flax, but was named after it as both plants are used to produce fibers. Flax is an erect annual plant growing to 1.2 m tall, with slender stems. The leaves are glaucous green, slender lanceolate, 20â€“40 mm long and 3 mm broad. The flowers are pure pale blue, 15â€“25 mm diameter, with five petals; they can also be bright red. The fruit is a round, dry capsule 5â€“9 mm diameter, containing several glossy brown seeds shaped like an apple pip, 4â€“7 mm long. In addition to referring to the plant itself, the word "flax" may refer to the unspun fibers of the flax plant. Flax is grown both for its seeds and for its fibers. Various parts of the plant have been used to make fabric, dye, paper, medicines, fishing nets, hair gels and soap. It is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens.  Flax seed Brown Flax Seeds Flax seedFlax seed Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy 530 kcal 2230 kJ Carbohydrates 28.88 g - Sugars 1.55 g - Dietary fiber 27.3 g Fat 42.16 g Protein 18.29 g Thiamine (Vit. B1) 1.644 mg 126% Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.161 mg 11% Niacin (Vit. B3) 3.08 mg 21% Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.985 mg 20% Vitamin B6 0.473 mg 36% Folate (Vit. B9) 0 Âµg 0% Vitamin C 0.6 mg 1% Calcium 255 mg 26% Iron 5.73 mg 46% Magnesium 392 mg 106% Phosphorus 642 mg 92% Potassium 813 mg 17% Zinc 4.34 mg 43% Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient database Flax seeds come in two basic varieties, brown and yellow or golden, with most types having similar nutritional values and equal amounts of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called Linola or solin, which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3. Although brown flax can be consumed as readily as yellow, and has been for thousands of years, it is better known as an ingredient in paints, fiber and cattle feed. Flax seeds produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed or linseed oil, which is one of the oldest commercial oils and solvent-processed flax seed oil has been used for centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing. One hundred grams of ground flax seed supplies about 450 kilo-calories, 41 grams of fat, 28 grams of fiber, and 20 grams of protein. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds and three tablespoons of water may serve as a replacement for one egg in baking by binding the other ingredients together. Ground flax seeds can also be mixed in with oatmeal, yogurt, water (similar to Metamucil), or any other food item where a nutty flavour is appropriate. Flax seed sprouts are edible, with a slightly spicy flavour. Excessive consumption of flax seeds can cause diarrhea. Flax seeds are chemically stable while whole, and milled flaxseed can be stored at least 4 months at room temperature with minimal or no changes in taste, smell, or chemical markers of rancidity. Ground flaxseed can go rancid at room temperature in as little as one week. Refrigeration and storage in sealed containers will keep ground flax from becoming rancid for even longer.