They stoked, pounded, crumpled, rattled, tore, crushed, weaved and laid on the table. (Popular saying)
Northern gold was called flax in Russia. His threads sewed clothes, bedding and table linen, made canvas for paintings. In some areas, flax paid dues. In the people, flax was also called northern silk, curls, and long hair.
In the 11th century, flax-growing was so spread in Russia that its patroness was defined - Saint Paraskoveya-flax. This day - November 10 (October 28, old style) - was timed to the end of linen. On Paraskoveyu arranged were bride, in which women showed each other worn out flax-pervak. Parascoveya was also considered the Babysac intercessor, women with their troubles and joys went to the icons with her image, asked for intercession and fertility.
Flax is one of the oldest spinning crops. It is believed that more than 9 thousand years ago in India for the first time fabrics were made from flax stalks. Since then, flax has begun its triumphant march around the world. After two and a half millennia, it began to grow in Assyria, Babylon and Egypt.
Flax was especially valued in ancient Egypt, this plant was considered there as the first blessing of the gods. Egyptian weavers became famous for making the finest linen fabrics, through which the body shone through five layers.
And nowadays, by tradition, the quality of the fiber is determined in the following way: if 10 km of a yarn is obtained from 1 kg of yarn, it is assigned the number 10. Our best yarns have the number 20–40. But the Egyptian weavers received threads with a number above 200! Fabrics made from such threads were worth their weight in gold. The clothes of them had the right to wear only royal persons and priests.
In Egypt, linen fabrics were used to swaddle the embalming of the bodies of the deceased, until today such bandages retained their elasticity and strength.
In the old linen cloth was considered curative. Modern medical research confirms that flaxen fabrics are able to reduce inflammation, reduce body temperature, do not form static electricity. In summer it is cool in linen clothes, and in winter it gives a person warmth.
Long used flax seeds for the treatment of various diseases. In folk medicine, it is recommended to drink a glass of flax seed infusion for constipation at night.
When external inflammatory diseases make a poultice from the seeds. The fatty oil obtained from seeds contains large quantities of unsaturated fatty acids. It is used to make the medical drug "Linetol", which has antisclerotic effect.
An interesting experiment was conducted by scientists for growing flax in the Chernobyl disaster zone. It turned out that only five percent of flax proteins were affected by radiation. This number includes the molecules involved in the process of signal transmission and protection from stressful situations. Also in proteins, the number of molecules involved in the synthesis of glycine betaine, which is a powerful radioprotector, increased.
I once admired the beauty of a blooming flaxseed field and I had this story.
... In ancient times, a lazy tribe lived in these places. In the warm season, people fed on what they would have, and in the winter they were starving and constantly begging for food from Heaven.
Tired of human idleness to Heaven and it said:
- The last time I give you food. In early spring, cultivate the land, and I sow it with a useful plant.
People have done nothing. The winter was harsh that year, but for as long as they did not pray to Heaven for help, it was silent. Many did not survive that winter, and the rest in spring dug up the earth. The next morning on the field sprouts of an unknown plant turned green.
One day, coming out of their dwellings, people in amazement froze in place - in front of them stretched an endless blue sea. It was as if the Sky had come down to earth and, with a weightless cover, dressed the greening stems of a new plant.
Some time has passed. Seed boxes appeared on the stems. People pulled out plants and collected seeds. And what next? They decided that Heaven laughed at them. Roots are like roots — they are unfit for food, and you don’t eat much seed.
At this time the traveler passed through their lands. He looked at what was being done on the field and said:
- What is it that you, good people, are scattered in such wealth?
And the newcomer told how in far India from this plant a beautiful canvas is woven and sew wonderful clothes from it.
Since then, flax has become one of the main human-grown crops.