Name: Plantago ispagula, Plantago ovata
Names: Ispaghula, Spogel Seeds,Ishabgol, Snigdhajira, Isapghul, Psyllium, Plantago
This herb is found in India and Iran.
Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative and is high in both fiber and mucilage. Psyllium seeds contain 10-30% mucilage. The laxative properties of psyllium are due to the swelling of the husk when it comes in contact with water. This forms a gelatinous mass and keeps the feces hydrated and soft. The resulting bulk stimulates a reflex contraction of the walls of the bowel, followed by emptying.
In addition to its traditional and current use for constipation, psyllium was also used topically to treat skin irritations, including poison ivy reactions and insect bites and stings. It has also been used in traditional herbal systems of China and India to treat diarrhea, hemorrhoids, bladder problems, and high blood pressure.
Demulcent, emollient, laxative, diuretic
irritable bowel syndrome
weight loss and obesity
1-2 tbs. in warm or cool water, stirred until it thickens into a gel.
Many people take 7.5 grams of the seeds or 5 grams of the husks one to two times per day, with water or juice. Its important to maintain adequate fluid intake when using psyllium.
Using psyllium in recommended amounts is generally safe. People with chronic constipation should seek the advice of a health care professional. Side effects, such as allergic skin and respiratory reactions to psyllium dust, have largely been limited to people working in plants manufacturing psyllium products.
No other information about the safety of this herb is available. Use caution. Ayurvedic herbs are often taken in combination to neutralize the toxicity one herb with the opposing effect of other. Do not take except under the supervision of a qualified professional.
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