Psyllium seed husks also known as ispaghula, isabgol, or psyllium, are portions of the seeds of the plant Plantago ovata, (genus Plantago), a native of India. They are soluble in water, expanding and becoming mucilaginous when wet. Ayurveda science of medicine recommends its use for colon cleansing as well as for better blood circulation.
Psyllium seed husks are indigestible in human beings and are often used as a source of dietary fiber. They are used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and diarrhea. They are also used as a regular dietary supplement to improve and maintain regular GI transit. The inert bulk of the husks helps provide a constant volume of solid material irrespective of other aspects of the diet or any disease conditio n of the gut. Some recent research is also showing them to be promising in lowering cholesterol and controlling diabetes.
Other uses include gluten-free baking, where ground psyllium seed husks bind moisture and help make the bread less crumbly.
The husks are used whole in their natural state, or dried and chopped or powdered for easier consumption. In either of these forms, one takes them by mixing them with water or another fluid.
It acts as a demulcent, cooling, laxative, mild purgative, natural lubricant, other parasitic motile bacteria are useful in the treatment of inflammatory affection.
Mechanism of Action / Pharmacology
Psyllium contains up to 70% of soluble and 30% of insoluble fibers. Recent study report of USFDA states that regular intake of psyllium husk effectively reduces constipation, cholesterol level, diabetes and can be used in colon cancer.
When psyllium Husk is mixed with water or other liquids like juice, it forms a gel like gelatinous mass It moves down the digestive organ soaking up toxins and harmful residues, it flushes out toxins of the body through stools.
Soluble fibers content of Psyllium husk has ability to bind with bile acids - an important player in digestion of fats found in our body from cholesterol. This process lowers circulating blood cholesterol level, by excretion of those facts.
• IN CONSTIPATION :
It increases the passage to the bowel content through formation of bond water. Psyllium contains gel-forming fibers composed of micro-polysaccharides and cellulose.
This plant starch is hydrophilic in nature, hence they add moisture and bulk to stool in colon. The gel like starch softens the feces making hardened stool easier to eliminate without any kind of damage to bowel wall.
The mucilage forms a temporary gelatinous layer that protects intestinal walls from irritation caused by caustic material in the intestine,. Thus allowing the repair of adjoining tissues.
• IN DIARRHOEA :
The mucilage contents forms bond with water and hence creates a surface of mucous membrane, forming a sticky masses, which are not easily distributed. Hence this avoids watery outlet during diarrhoea and dysentery.
• IN CHOLESTEROL CONTROL :
The content has cellulose fiber, which is responsible for decreasing the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream. They also add the filling of fullness without adding calories.
• IN DIABETES :
The fiber content reduces the release of dietary sugar from the digestive tract into the blood stream, thus assisting in the stabilization of blood sugar level.
• IN COLON CANCER :
Insoluble fiber content dilutes cancer-causing bile acids or moves feces out of the colon more quickly, hence it reduces contact-time of feces in digestive system reducing chances of producing carcinogens (cancer-causing substance).
• ETHNOBOTANICAL / TRADITIONAL USES :
It has also been used in traditional herbal systems of India and China to treat diarrhea, hemorrhoids, bladder problems, Diverticular diseases, Urinary disorder, Coronary heart diseases and high blood pressure.
Psyllium was also used topically to treat skin irritations, including poison ivy reactions and insects bits and stings.
Regular dosage of 5-7 grams of pure psyllium is preferred. Ample intake of liquid should be accompanied the dose (125-150 ml/5gm).
NO SIDE EFFECTS - if consumed with proper administration of designated therapeutic category.
If diarrhoea persists for more than 3-4 days, please do consult physician immediately