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Psyllium Husk (Plantago Psyllium)

Psyllium Husk Benefits

Psyllium is quickly becoming one of the top recommendations for people using low-carb Atkins-style diets. It is very difficult to get enough fibre in a diet when you eliminate the carbohydrates in cereals, whole grains and fruits. Psyllium capsules are an easy way to take care of this problem. It fills you with fibre, reducing appetite without overstimulating the nervous system; a much healthier approach than formulas containing ephedra such as Herbalife or Metabolife.

Psyllium is the husk of the seed of the Plantago and is a top herb used in weight control and for general intestinal health. It contains a spongy fiber that reduces appetite, improves digestion and cleanses the system, making it an excellent choice for healthy dieting. Psyllium can provide the fiber that is missing on low carbohydrate diets. Every 100 grams of psyllium provides 71 grams of soluble fiber; a similar amount of oat bran would contain only 5 grams of soluble fiber. Only recently have scientists learned that soluble fiber has unique effects on metabolism. Just take one or two capsules with a glass of water or Yerba Mate diet tea, half hour before meals. The herb also provides a feeling of fullness that is helpful before meals. Psyllium is one of the simplest, healthiest and most effective herbs for weight control.

Psyllium has also been used for irritable bowel syndrome (a stress-related disorder with alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation). Because it will produce easy bowel movements with a loose stool, Psyllium is used by patients with anal fissures (cracks in the skin near the anus) and hemorrhoids and is often recommended following anal or rectal surgery, during pregnancy and as a secondary treatment in certain types of diarrhea.

Psyllium soaks up a significant amount of water in the digestive tract, thereby making stool firmer and, under these circumstances, slower to pass. Psyllium also has the additional advantages over other sources of fiber of reducing flatulence and bloating. It may be recommended by a physician to help soften stool and reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids.

In a study of people with ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disorder), psyllium seeds were as shown to be as effective as the prescription drug mesalamine in decreasing recurrences of the disease. In addition, a physician may recommend the use of psyllium as a bulking agent for mild to moderate cases of diarrhea from either ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease (another type of inflammatory bowel disorder).

Research reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes that the use of soluble-fiber cereals is an effective and well-tolerated part of a prudent diet for the treatment of mild to moderate Hypercholesterollaemia. Soluble fibers such as those in psyllium husk, guar gum, and oat bran have a cholesterol-lowering effect when added to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Studies reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown psyllium to be quite effective in lowering total as well as LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels, which can be helpful to those with high cholesterol and those at increased risk for developing hypercholesterolemia, such as people with type 2 diabetes.

Studies and clinical reports suggest that psyllium may enhance the sensation of fullness and reduce hunger cravings. For these reasons, incorporating psyllium and other sources of fiber into the diet may aid weight loss.

For those simply wishing to improve digestion and intestinal tract health, a single capsule per day is all that is needed.




Psyllium Husk Herb Notes / Side Effects

Latin Names

Plantago psyllium, Plantago isphagula

Common Names

Sand Plantain, Flea Seed, Ispaghula, Psyllium Seed, Indian Plantago, Spogel

Properties

antidiarrheal, demulcent, emollient, laxative

Indicated for

Constipation, Diarrhea, High cholesterol, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Colon Cancer, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Hemorrhoids, Diabetes, Hypercholesterolemia and Obesity. Treatment of dysentery, catarrhal conditions of the genito-urinary tract, inflamed membranes of the intestinal canal etc. The oil in the seed embryo contains 50% linoleic acid and has been used as a preventative of atherosclerosis.

Do not use Psyllium if you have a bowel obstruction or a disease that causes narrowing of any part of the digestive tract.

Diabetics should avoid Psyllium if they are having problems keeping blood sugar levels under control.

Take with plenty of water.

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Has Psyllium Husk worked for you?

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Larry 's avatar  Larry 01/01/2011 18:34

I used Psyllium for cholesterol control. Eating oatmeal nearly every day for breakfast didn't help. Adding to that regimen a heaping teaspoon of Psyllium husk for a year lowered my total cholesterol by 32 points. I take the Psyllium an hour or so before the evening meal. I continue to use it to see the effects of the second year.
Larry

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Marietjie 's avatar  Marietjie 19/10/2010 08:10

I had problems with irritable bowel since taking Psyllium Husks the problem is solved. it is wonderful try it it works.!!!!!!!!!! Marietjie

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Sue 's avatar  Sue 16/02/2011 01:01

To start the day on a top note try this for a delicious breakfast - mix 3 tspns psyllium husk with 1/2 cup water, add 1/2 cup tinned fruit salad and 1/2 cup yoghurt. Wash it down with large glass water.

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joe 's avatar  joe 03/12/2010 00:19

It does work to clean you out and make you feel better. For me, everyday, two tablespoons with two glasses of water 20 minutes before breakfast.

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DMartinezusa 's avatar  DMartinezusa 19/08/2011 16:09

Sorry, I accidently hit the wrong key!!  I was saying that I agree with most here in this forum Psyllium Husk is great for helping with many things including cholesterol and regularity. One thing I will recommend for someone who might consider taking it, is to drink plenty of water or liquids after. In fact I've found it less "bloating" if you drink a glass of water 15 minutes before taking a spoonful in 8oz of liquid. Another thing that has helped me tremendously to avoid the "bloating effect" is to NOT sit or be stationary after drinking it.  A long walk does wonders! Good luck.

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Doc 's avatar  Doc 17/04/2013 18:25

I have taken psyllium for many years and recently was told that they may reduce the absorption of vitamins and minerals...is there any truth to this?

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