Folklore and Customs
Flax Seeds As a Plug for Drains
During the Manitoba Flood of 1997, old-timers suggested making a temporary block for drains by partially filling a sock or pantyhose with flax seeds and dampening them with water. A string tied to the end of the sock or pantyhose makes future removal easy. The water-soaked parcel expands, effectively sealing the opening into which it is placed. It is removed after the threat of sewer back-up is over.
Linseed Oil As a Rust Preservative
A practise common among farmers is to coat shovels, axes and other implements with linseed oil as a rust preservative. Linseed oil seems to dry and seal the surface without running off or evaporating.
Flax As a Poultice for Boils and Skin Abscesses
Roll about 3 tbsp of flax seeds in a 6-inch square of clean, white cloth. Twist either end tightly to contain the seeds. Holding the flax parcel by each of its two ends, dip the middle portion into a small bowl of boiling water. Wring it out, and place the poultice on the infected area. Cover it with a dry cloth. The flax seeds retain the heat, providing relief to the infected area. Remove the poultice when it has cooled.
Flax As a Gel for Hair
An Albertan says that when she was young, women used to boil flax seeds in water and then use the liquid as a setting gel for their hair. It apparently worked very well!