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ATASI - Linum usitaissimum


Linum usitaissimum


Family Linaceae

Latin name : Linum Gk. - linon flax (for weaving, oil for painting); usitaitissimum = common customary.

English name: Flax


Scientific classification: Flax plants make up the family Linaceae. The species grown extensively for its fiber and seed is classified as Linum usitatissimum.


ATASI - Linum usitaissimum


Sanskrit names: Atasi, Pichchita, Devi, Medagandha, Madothata, Uma, Hshuma. Hemavati, Rudraneela, Masruna, Suvalkala.

Botanical Description: This is a herb attaining height of 1 to 1.25 meter.

Leaves —long, narrow.

Flowers — blue.

Fruits — circular in shape with shallow seeds. Depending on the colour of seeds

it is subdivided into 4 types, (1) white (2) yellow (3) red and (4) black.

Habitat In India — Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Ptadesh, Russia, Britain, Holland.

Chemical composition: Seeds have 37 to 44% oil. White seeds have more oil. Fresh oil is more viscous but in fresh air it gets solidified.


ATASI - Linum usitaissimum




Guna  guru, snigdha

 Rasa  madhur, tikta:

Vipaka  katu,

Veerya  ushna


Dosha : vatashamak, kapahpittavardha


 External uses: The poultice of the flour of atasi is used to assimilate inflammation. This external application of atasi is used in deeper inflammation also. The external application of its oil i.e. abhyanga is vatanashak, A mixture of lime water and oil of atasi is very useful in burns.



ATASI - Linum usitaissimum



Internal uses

Digestive system : Fried atasi seeds are astringent and reduce intestinal motility. Oil is a purgative. Flowers are cardio tonic.


Respiratory system : The decoction of the seeds of atasi is useful in cough, pleuritis, pneumonia and whooping cough in children. It works as an expectorant.


Urinary system Hot infusion is useful in cystitis


Dosha Vataghna. pittavardhak, kaphavardhak.

Dhatu Rakta (asthma, cough etc diseases of the lungs), shukra (seeds — avirilizing)

Organs Eyes — oil not useful for eyes, intestines.