When it comes to a high fibre diet, Psyllium Husk (Isabgol or Ispaghula) ranks first. Psyllium Husk is obtained from the seeds of Plantago Psyllium plant which grows like weed. Psyllium is not a new discovery although it is gaining popularity as a digestive aid amongst the herb loving population. Psyllium is a great source of fibre which our regular diet shamefully lack in. Commercially cultivated in countries including Spain, France, India and Pakistan, Psyllium is a widely sought after natural supplement at the moment. This list below explains why!
Notable Medicinal Benefits of Psyllium Husk
- An ideal source of fibre for those who cannot tolerate bran. Every 100 grams of Psyllium gives about 71 grams of soluble fibre.
- The most demanded use of Psyllium is for a high (soluble) fibre diet essentially in cases of constipation and piles. Psyllium, on entering the colon, produces a soft mass which increases the stool mass by combining with water. It not only helps the bowel movements but also encourages the expulsion of accumulated toxins. Insoluble fibre is found to irritate several conditions like IBS in some people whereas Psyllium soothes them. Hence, it is advised for people suffering from hemorrhoids, IBS, piles and diverticulosis. Remember that Psycllium Husk cannot cure these conditions but reduce inflammation and pain associated with them.
- In the treatment of diarrhea or loose stools, some people find relief with Psyllium due to its capability to absorb excess water.
- Psyllium is a natural weight loss supplement. It suppresses that ugly fattening appetite of yours. By combing with water fibre becomes bulk and promotes a sense of easy fullness. That too for a longer duration!
- One with high cholesterol can rely on Psyllium Husk. It is unmistakable that a high fibre diet is mandatory to lower cholesterol. Having a careful low fat diet, supplemented by Psyllium and well supported by exercise can give positive results.
- It helps to prevent heart disease.
- Colon cancer, colitis and related health problems can be prevented to an extent.
- Prevents gall stones.
- In Diabetics, it can lower blood sugar levels. Rapid digestion of foods hike blood sugar levels. Psyllium Husk takes its own sweet time checking the rise on BSL.
- With high mucilage it helps those who get frequent heartburn.
- Finally, it is a natural supplement for detoxification.
Dosage for Taking Psyllium Husk (Powder)
It is recommended that you consult your doctor before starting on this herbal remedy. As an adult, you may use 3-6 grams two to three times a day. It can be taken during or after meals with fluids.
Do not take Psyllium without the consent of the doctor if you have any ailments like diabetes, appendicitis etc. You should not take it if you are pregnant or lactating. It may cause blockage in the digestive tract. It may cause dehydration (and resultant constipation) and hence, increased water intake is a must. On seeing any unusual reactions (dizziness, nausea, rashes, abdominal pain etc.) stop taking Psyllium immediately.
It is important to note that not all the health benefits of Psyllium Husk have been supported by studies. Yet, the belief that herbs can’t have as harmful side effects as their drugged counterparts enhances their popularity and demand.
-Aparna K V