Flax in the bedroom.

No, I don’t mean linen sheets, though those are nice too.

Remember the mucilaginous flax seed tea? The slippery-slimy flax hair gel?

What does that stuff remind you of?

Come on, now. Don’t be shy.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, gooey flax tea makes a great personal lubricant!

Homemade lube. How cool is that?

I really should have thought of this before. The lovely Vermont herbalist Dana Woodruff mentioned it to me the other day, and I just about smacked myself in the forehead, cartoon-style. Of course! (It’s exactly the texture of . . . well . . . ovulation!)

Dana got the idea from Sheri Winston, sex-ed teacher / retired midwife (and sister to herbalist David Winston). Sheri’s recipe calls for 1 cup of flaxseeds and 6 cups of water, simmered for 6 minutes and left to infuse for 6 more before straining.

My first response to that recipe is that the quantities are way too large (unless you plan to give some away to all your friends). We’re talking about a perishable product here, so I’d suggest making only a cup or two at a time.

And I don’t think you need such a high concentration of flax seeds in the mix, either. A little goes a long way, especially if you simmer it for longer.

Here’s my recipe:

Simmer 1 tablespoon of flax seeds in 1 cup of water until it’s reduced by half (maybe 20 minutes). Strain immediately. (If you let it cool, it’ll be too thick to strain.)

Store it in the fridge when you don’t need it — it’ll only keep for a couple of days unrefrigerated.

You could experiment with scents and flavors — just add herbs or spices to the simmering pot! (Start with small amounts, though — too much of a strong herb or spice could cause burning in sensitive areas. I’d avoid essential oils for the same reason. And though it might be tempting, I’d stay away from sugar, as it can lead to infections.)

According to Sheri, the basic lube is condom-safe (it’s completely water-based). But if you do plan to use it with condoms, be sure not to add any ingredients that might damage the latex — i.e., nothing oily or caustic.

Have fun!


  1. El said,

    February 22, 2008 @ 8:25 pm

    HILARIOUS as I can completely see this with flax. So thanks! But really, I was rather intrigued about the linen in the bedroom teaser you had made. I lived in France for a while and the sheets on my bed were linen. What was fascinating was my sheets were something like 70 years old, but were amazingly soft and thick and…well. The point of your post puts it well. They were sexy. When I moved back, I had to have some…

    But now I know I can resort to my flax supply for other needs!

  2. Michelle said,

    February 23, 2008 @ 7:34 am

    I’m wondering about shaving creme. Is there a good replacement for it that will work on legs, faces, and heads?

  3. Emilie said,

    February 23, 2008 @ 1:27 pm

    What spices would you recommend?
    How with all of my jokes and mutters about your flax goo could it haven’t taken so long to connect? What’s next? I don’t see why it wouldn’t make a great shaving cream as long as you rinsed your razor often, and squeaky doors– why not? And that lovely sex wax for surf boards: why not use flax for snowboards, leave little snail trails in the snow.

  4. yarrow said,

    February 23, 2008 @ 2:29 pm

    What a great idea! I just may try it. Thanks.

  5. Angie Goodloe said,

    February 24, 2008 @ 10:43 am

    Of course! Why didn’t I think of that LOL! I will never look at flax the same way again ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice post!

  6. crabappleherbs said,

    February 25, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

    Thanks, all!

    Michelle — I sometimes use the flax tea for shaving cream. It doesn’t lather, but it’s very smooth. Plain soap also works well as a shaving cream, though I might not be the right person to ask, as I’m happy to shave with nothing but water.

    Emilie — Cinnamon might be nice. Or mint. And yes, you of all people should know how ridiculous it is that I didn’t think of this before. (Will laughed out loud at the image of snowboards leaving snail-trails in the snow.)

    Angie — Isn’t it hilarious, and so obvious? Why we all didn’t think of it long ago I have no idea.

  7. Kiva Rose said,

    February 27, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

    Elm bark works quite well in a very similar way…. Pure ovulation-like goo…

  8. crabappleherbs said,

    February 27, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

    Interesting, Kiva. You’re using Siberian Elm these days, right?

  9. Kiva Rose said,

    February 27, 2008 @ 8:00 pm

    yep, though I imagine nearly any Elm would act the same way… I use chopped twigs, and it makes nice clear, mild slime ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. linnell said,

    March 1, 2008 @ 11:00 pm

    WOW…I don’t know ow I got here…I was just looking for Under Flax pj’s…You just never know all the different uses for things…Have Fun…

  11. Jan S. said,

    March 4, 2008 @ 10:44 am

    Fascinating post. I am not sure what multinational owns the maker of KY but I suspect it will be in trouble when the news about slippery flax and elm gets out.
    I always love finding simple do it yourself alternatives to commercially made products. This just shows vast the possibilites are.

    For me, olive oil is like that. Everything from squeaky hindges to dry hands or chapped skin in addition to cooking, dips and salad dressings.

    So . . . what’s up for March?

  12. crabappleherbs said,

    March 6, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

    Linnell — You never know what you’ll find on the internet, huh?

    Jan — March… let’s see… I want to finish my common sense eating series, and review a few food books. And I want to write about wild greens.

  13. Urban Herbwife said,

    March 10, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

    And to think I’ve just been using it in my porridge!

  14. Jac said,

    March 21, 2008 @ 8:46 pm

    Must confess… I did think this as I made the gel for hair. It is very lube-like, I thought, ”if I ever need something to help out when…. you know ”… Off to blush-ville, lol!

  15. Barb said,

    April 6, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

    Thats so cool Im gona try this

  16. jennie said,

    May 24, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

    came across another natural alternative to KY this week – i read in “contraceptive technology, 19th edition” that egg whites are a condom-safe/water-based lubricant. i never would have thought to crack an egg in bed, but it does make perfect sense, considering fertile mucus is described as having the consistency of, well, egg whites.

  17. Lavender said,

    December 15, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

    Do you know if there is anything in the mucilage – oil or otherwise – that might weaken latex? Otherwise, this sounds perfect!

  18. Lavender said,

    December 15, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

    Never mind! I read through the article so fast I missed the last blurb!

  19. washingtonian said,

    February 10, 2010 @ 11:14 pm

    hey! thanks for the resource! i am having problems straining this am i just cooking it too long? what do you use to strain it?

    also your blog makes me miss vermont! i love the hardcore DIY attitude up there!

  20. poof said,

    May 25, 2010 @ 10:40 am

    Cheap (very) healthy natural lube that even helps against hair loss (when you drink it ofcourse), what more could a guy want! ๐Ÿ˜› Is it normal for the lube to end up brown though?

  21. Nathan said,

    February 3, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

    This is GREAT!

    I made some with fennel seeds to give it a better smell and taste.

    Next I will try making it with different teas for better smell and taste.

    Has anyone tried this, uh, for a purpose for which lube is REALLY necessary?

  22. Doug said,

    April 29, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    I really like the idea of making my own lube. The part I’m not down with so much is the idea of keeping it in the fridge. I mean…cold lube? Really?

    Ever heard of Shrinkage!?!?

    Nonetheless, I’m going to try this recipe and see how cold lube impacts the mood.

  23. Carolina said,

    August 9, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    This is why I love blogging/ the Internet – you never know what you will find!

    You just made my day. I was researching benefits and uses of flax seed and never expected to find this =)

    I am posting this on my blog and using you as a source – hope you don’t mind!

  24. Blythe Baldwin said,

    September 14, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

    So a friend of mine recently showed me some of this flax lube that someone made for them and brought over after reading this blog post!! I’m a lesbian and the daughter of two gynecologists so immediately my questions went along this nature:

    1- Is this Ph balanced (neutral) so as not to interfere with the vagina’s Ph levels? The vagina is such a fickle mistress, and Ph so important to its health. I use a natural store bought lube that is Ph balanced for this reason after having many unpleasant reactions to other kinds which are not!

    2- I wonder if there is any sugar content in this that might encourage candida growth? I saw that you cautioned blog readers not to add sugar, and I was so happy for this reason when I saw this. Many lubes, aside from nasty chemicals contain glycerine. That ingredient that leaves things tacky and saccharine. I hate that personally as the taste alone makes me feel like I am going into diabetic shock. But it also can encourage candida growth which is a bitch if you have ever had it infect your vagina!! So I steer clear of those lubes that do contain it for MANY reasons.

    3- Since it is in theory oil based (due to flax seeds containing oil) you’d have to refrigerate it as you say to avoid the oil putrefying over time. But how long can it keep in the fridge? Is there a way to tell when it’s gone “past its prime”?

    With all this in mind, when I went over to see my parents for dinner last night I showed my mother and father this recipe and we pondered aloud about it. I am clearly my mother’s daughter, because she had many of the same initial questions I did about Ph balance and refrigeration time. HAHA!

    We all found it interesting that it’s somewhat oil based because Flax contains an element which causes it to be useful as an anti-inflammatory, so we mused as to whether this would be a good thing to use for vaginal inflammation, or if it could help the vagina out after a particularly vigorous “spelunking” mission to recover.

    We’re going to make some of the flax lube together sometime for fun and test it’s Ph levels and refrigeration shelf life. I’ll report back, but I would love to hear the naturalists and herbalists weigh in on these questions if they have anything to contribute!

  25. Lliw said,

    March 16, 2012 @ 4:15 am

    This stuff is absolutely awesome. Pertaining to use as lube, remember that it is still water based. It will wear in a couple of minutes as all water based lubes do, but this really feels good. It is not tacky nor sticky. It literally evaporates as if you never put it on.

  26. Michelle said,

    August 18, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

    I cooked up 2 tbs of flax into 1/2 cup water and used the gel to shave my personal area. I did this because I used to do it with natural aloe vera gel straight from the leaf and so I thought flaxseed would be the same. I used it a while ago as a lube and works out great. I don’t think it’s bad for the vagina. Though I will wash with water in a little while.

  27. Katie said,

    September 26, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    I love this stuff! I don’t actually bother with refrigerating it (yes, Shrinkage, ahem), it usually is good for about a week, so I make half-batches. I can tell when it is going ‘off’ because it seems to loose all slime and turn into plain water. Then I dump it out and make some more.

  28. Philippe said,

    March 21, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

    I wonder if adding a little vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid) or citric acid would help it keep longer? Or would that cause an undesireable Ph factor? And adding lavendar would be a definite plus…..

  29. loraine said,

    March 25, 2013 @ 2:17 am

    Is flaxs seed lube safe, and how can i improve PH of the lube

  30. Yvonne said,

    April 28, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

    Why not just use flaxseed mill?

  31. Shawn Amason said,

    June 7, 2013 @ 5:43 am

    Aloe vera is a succulent plant species that probably native plant originated in northern Africa. The species does not have any naturally occurring populations, although closely related aloes do occur in northern Africa.

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