Linum usitatissimum

Atasi consists of dried, ripe seeds of Linum usitatissimum Linn. (Fam. Linaceae), an erect annual herb, 0.6-1.2 m high, extensively cultivated throughout the plains of India upto an altitude of 800 m, capsule ripen by end of June, dried seeds separated from capsule by thrashing.

Sanskrit : Umi, Kshumi
Assamese : Tisi, Tusi
Bengali : Masina, Atasi
English : Linseed
Gujrati : Alshi, Arasi
Hindi : Alsi
Kannada : Agasebeeja, Semeagare, Agasi
Kashmiri : Alsi
Malayalam : Agastha, Agasi, Cheru charm
Marathi : Atshi
Oriya : Atushi
Punjabi : Ali
Tamil : Ali, Virai
Telugu : Avisa
Urdu : Alsi, Katan


a) Macroscopic
Seed small, brown, glossy with minutely pitted surface, about 4-6 mm long and 2-2.5 mm in maximum width, elongated-ovoid, flattened, rounded at one end and bliquely pointed at the other, near which on one edge, a light depression enclosing hilum and micropyle, embryo consisting of two yellowish-white, flattened planoconvex cotyledons and a radicle, nearly fills the seed and completely surrounded by a thin, whitish endosperm, both endosperm and embryo oily, testa mucilaginous when soaked in water, odour, characteristic, taste, oily when chewed.

b) Microscopic
Transverse section of seed shows testa consists of isodiametric cells with mucilaginous outer walls, collenchymatous cells of middle layer of seed coat cylindrical, single layered, yellowish brown, longitudinally elongated, about 120-190µ long and 14-17 µ wide, thick, lignified and with pitted walls, single layer of flattened polygonal pigment cells with reddish-brown contents, aleurone grains in the cotyledons, upto 20 µ in diameter, each with globoid and crystalloid, abundant globule of fixed oil and occasional starch grains present.

CONSTITUENTS – Fixed oil, mucilage and protein.

Rasa : Madhura, Tikta
Guna : Guru, Snigdha
Virya : Ushna
Vipaka : Katu
Karma : Vitaghna, Acakshushya


THERAPEUTIC USES – Krimiroga(Antihelmenthic), Kushtha, Prameha, siroroga

DOSE – 3-6 g of the drug in powder form.