Antitumor effects of flaxseed in Iranian traditional medicine and contemporary medicine; a brief review

Document Type : Review


1 Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Cancers are the result of uncontrollable multiplication of abnormal cells. In order to control progression of cancers, various therapeutic regiments are used that have side effects and are costly. Iranian traditional medicine (ITM) contains comprehensive subjects regarding cancerous tumors. In the present study, the nature and development of cancer from ITM point of view and the effect of flax as an easily accessible medicinal herb which has been mentioned in several ancient prescriptions and has been used in the management of dropsies and tumors has been discussed. In a library search through the valid ITM references and Avicenna and other scholars texts, explanations of ITM regarding cancer has been investigated and flax and its therapeutic effects in the cancer management has been described. A number of medical databases were searched for contemporary medicine articles; finally, the findings in these two systems of medicine were compared. Flax possesses a cleansing effect in the whole body according to ITM and can be used for management of dropsies inside the body especially hard tumors and cancers. The present work has shown its uses in cancers of breast, prostate, ovary, small intestine and colon as well as its analgesic effects. New studies have approved the anti-cancerous effects of flaxseed that have been reported by ITM scholars. Since they believed that flax was beneficial for tumors of all organs, investigations of its effects against cancerous tumors of other organs is recommended.


Main Subjects

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