What Are the Benefits of Flaxseed Oil?

Flaxseed oil is used as a laxative, to lose weight, to sooth rough or irritated skin, and to prevent breast, colon and prostate cancer, according to WebMD. The omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed oil may also be used to prevent heart disease and improve blood sugar levels.

Flaxseed oil contains ALA and lignans, which both block pro-inflammatory agents in the body, helping to reduce inflammation associated with Parkinson's disease, asthma and other afflictions, according to WebMD. A 2007 study suggests that supplementing food with flaxseed oil may reduce the intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women.

Flaxseed oil is used to treat anxiety, dry eyes, vaginal infections and diabetes. It also may be used to help high cholesterol and blood pressure, ADHD, hardening of the arteries, and certain types of arthritis, states WebMD. Research on flaxseed oil is still ongoing as of 2015.

Austrians have used flaxseed oil as a traditional medicine to treat gout, fever, infections, colds and flu, in addition to rheumatism, respiratory tracts and eye ailments. Flaxseed oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, phosphorous, magnesium and protein, as well as fiber and plant estrogens.

Allergic reactions to flaxseed oil have occurred. Consuming 30 grams or more can cause loose stools and diarrhea, notes WebMD. Because taking flaxseed oil by mouth may be potentially harmful to pregnant or breast-feeding women, it should be avoided. People with bleeding disorders should avoid flaxseed oil, as it may increase the risk of severe bleeding. For this reason, it should not be consumed within two weeks of surgery.