Health Benefits and Uses of Psyllium

Health & Wellness

Psyllium (Plantago ovata) || Health Benefits of Psyllium

Psyllium scientifically known as Plantago ovata comes from a shrub-like herb which grows worldwide but is most common in India, which is grown in the rolling fields of the Gujarat and Rajasthan regions of India. It belongs to the plant family Plantaginaceae and is native to Western Asia and Southern Asia, and it’s sometimes called Ispaghula or Isobgol. Psyllium is a native to India and is now also grown in parts of west Asia, USA, Mexico, Russia as well as in Pakistan. This plant is a rabi crop and requires a cool, dry and sunny weather to grow. Psyllium needs a sandy or loamy soil that is well drained and does not let water to stagnate. It takes 5 to 6 months for the plants to be ready for harvesting. India is the largest producer of Psyllium. Each plant can produce up to 15,000 tiny, gel-coated seeds, from which psyllium husk is derived. The shell of Psyllium seeds (known as the husk, dry outer covering) is ground to take a clear and glue-like substance that is called mucilage. This mucilage contains high levels of soluble fiber and many other beneficial components that are used to cure a lot of diseases. The word "psulla" is originated from a Greek word "for a flea", referring to the size, shape, and whitish color of the seed, which is the commercially important part of this plant. The common name in India for Plantago ovata, comes from the Persian words “isap” and “ghol” that mean "horse ear".

The plant has well-developed tap root with few fibrous secondary roots. Leaves are opposite, linear or linear lanceolate 1 cm × 19 cm (0.39 in × 7.48 in). The plant consists of numerous, small, and white which later converted into small seedpods. Seeds which are enclosed in these tiny seedpods are small (1.5–2 cm) and brown or reddish-brown colored. Experts agree that Psyllium, whether black or blond, owes its medicinal properties to the mucilage it contains. Mucilage is a plant substance that swells on contact with water to form a viscous liquid. Apart from the Plantago species discussed in this leaflet, it is reasonable to assume that other Psyllium species have similar medicinal properties, provided they contain the same amount and type of mucilage.

Psyllium is used mainly for medicinal purposes. Apart from this there are a few other uses as well. They are as a thickening agent in manufacturing ice creams and other frozen desserts. This gluten-free substance is now used as a binding agent in bread manufacturing industries. It is also used as a binding agent and disintegrate in making compressed tablets. It is also used for calico printing, setting lotions and in the food industry. Note that the food industry uses the mucilage from the husk of blond Psyllium as a thickener or stabiliser in some prepared foods, including frozen dairy products. Transplanting in woody plants uses technical-grade psyllium as a hydro-colloidal to improve water retention. In fact, Psyllium husk powder has become a staple ingredient for many gluten-free, low-carb, and keto recipes because of its ability to thicken liquids, replace gluten’s binding properties, and mimic the texture of whole-wheat baked goods. However, before we take a closer look at this health-enhancing ingredient and its various uses, we must make a few distinctions.

Psyllium has been an essential part of Western, Chinese, and Ayurvedic medicine for ages, as it is a naturally rich source of fiber. High levels of soluble fiber and many other beneficial components present in Psyllium are used to cure a lot of diseases. For centuries, Psyllium Husk has been used in the ancient traditional medicine of Ayurveda to promote the body’s overall health and well-being. This ancient knowledge has now been proven out by modern science, and today, For over 70 years Psyllium is known as one of the most effective fibers for maintaining regular digestive health. Both, the soluble and the insoluble fiber are present in Psyllium Husk. Soluble fibre comprises 70% while insoluble fibre comprises 30%. Fiber is key in helping keep you regular and also in aiding your body in getting rid of nasty toxins. Here’s why you should include it in your diet: More than 10 centuries before Christ, Egyptian physicians used Psyllium as a laxative and to treat inflammation of the urinary tract. It has also been known for centuries in Europe, Asia and North Africa. In India and China, Psyllium was traditionally used to treat diarrhoea, haemorrhoids and hypertension. Hildegard of Bingen Medicine emphasized the benefits of Psyllium fiber well beyond our intestines. She recognized many of the long-term benefits as early as 1138. Hildegard wrote about the plant’s digestive benefits but also considered Psyllium fiber’s impact in addressing other health conditions, such as elevated blood sugar, impaired fat metabolism, hypertension, inflammatory bowels, and obesity. The healthy hunger-satisfying qualities of psyllium are also why it is recommended as part of Hildegard’s three healthy fasts. In 1998, Psyllium had its moment of glory in the United States, when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised Kellogg to mention the therapeutic virtues of some of its products on its packaging. Food products containing at least 1.7 g of soluble fibre from Psyllium are allowed to state on the packaging: "when used in combination with a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, the soluble fibre from the psyllium seed coatings in this product may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease".

Psyllium is best known for its uses in digestive health but can also help provide health benefits such as helping lower cholesterol and helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The consumption of husk creates bulkiness in the stomach leading to full sensation for longer and discouraging snacking, ultimately controlling the diet intake. It also helps in the prevention of colon cancer by maintaining an optimum level of pH in the intestine along with preventing microbes to produce cancerous substances. Swollen veins in the lowest part of rectum and anus lead to Hemorrhoids which makes bowel movement painful and in adverse case bleeding. it promotes pain-free defecation by absorbing the nourishment from the surroundings of the intestine. It can further reduce the serum total cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Scientific studies on a diet high in soluble fiber has been associated with a number of positive health effects, including lower cholesterol, reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood sugar and insulin levels, and lower blood pressure. Psyllium helps relieve some of these problems over time by removing and preventing the absorption of toxins into the blood. It is most valuable for its ability to stabilize glucose levels, moderate cholesterol, manage appetite, and utilize fat. But that’s not the only benefit of this amazing fiber-rich food. Research suggests that Psyllium is beneficial to many parts of the human body, including the heart and pancreas. Studies have also reported that using Psyllium hulk can lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Another interesting fact about this miracle herb is that Psyllium husk can help relieve both constipation as well as diarrhea. Unlike stimulant laxatives, Psyllium is gentle and not addictive.

Some Psyllium supplements also tend to use semi-synthetic or synthetic active ingredients like polycarbophil and methylcellulose, containing no psyllium. Keep away from psyllium powder with sweeteners or additives, as these can negatively affect the microbiome and possibly trigger side effects. People use Psyllium as a dietary supplement. It is available in the form of husk, granules, capsules, or powder. Manufacturers may also fortify breakfast cereals and baked goods with Psyllium. Psyllium husk is the main active ingredient in Metamucil, a fiber supplement that reduces constipation. Because of its excellent water solubility, Psyllium can absorb water and become a thick, viscous compound that resists digestion in the small intestine. Its resistance to digestion allows it to help regulate high cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels. It can also aid weight management and relieve mild diarrhea as well as constipation. Moreover, unlike some other potent sources of fiber, the body typically tolerates Psyllium well. The husk fiber can be divided into three main components, the highly fermentable, the unfermentable, and the poorly fermentable and bulk-forming composing the highest percentage. The studies have proved the Psyllium is rich in xylose, arabinose, uronic acid, galactose, glucose, rhamnose, mannose, and traces of ribose. The un-fermented part is responsible for effective gel formation and formation of fecal after Psyllium supplementation. The studies even suggest consumption of Psyllium husk on a daily basis is safe and promotes earlier termination of meals leading to reduced intake of fat.

Psyllium has taken the keto world by storm. Psyllium husk is a naturally occurring soluble fiber source that breaks down in water and promotes healthy bowel movements. Psyllium husk contains the type of soluble fiber that absorbs water to form a gel. 50 grams of Psyllium husk powder has around 5.5 grams of net carbs, making it keto-friendly. Since it’s more concentrated, one-half tablespoon (5 grams) of the powder form has the same nutrient profile as one tablespoon of whole Psyllium Husk. A tablespoon (~9 grams) constains: 30 calories, 0 fat, 8 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams dietary fiber, 1 gram net carbs, 0 protein. This is part of the reason why psyllium husk powder is often used as a fiber supplement and recipe ingredient on the keto diet. That being said, not all psyllium-based products are made in the same way. Before we use this popular keto staple, it is crucial that we know how to find the right one. You can consume from 1 to 3 tablespoons of Psyllium Husk every day, depending on your needs. It’s best consumed with around 8 ounces of water, or mixed with fruit juice.

Improves Digestive Health:

Psyllium husk is known to improve the function of digestive system. It actually helps in enhancing the contraction of stomach so as to help in movement of food through the intestine and also aid in improving bowel mobility. Any fibrous food is good for your digestion. Fiber cannot be absorbed by the body. So, when mixed with water, it transforms into a gel-like substance that moves slowly through the digestive system trapping more waste and toxins. Thus, helping the body pass waste more easily. Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative. This means it soaks up water in your gut and makes bowel movements much easier and can help promote regularity without increasing flatulence. It can be used as a one-off to ease constipation, or it can be added to your diet to help promote regularity and overall digestive health. Used in this way, it can prevent complications of constipation, such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Above all, it helps in excessive water absorption, which keeps the body super-hydrated. It is an amazing remedy for stool thickness and diarrhoea. Psyllium is a prebiotic, a substance needed for healthy colonies of probiotics to grow in the gut. A healthy colony of good bacteria in the digestive system is essential for healthy immune function and mental health. Your body is better able to fight infection, reduce inflammation, and maintain healthy tissue and cells. These probiotics are bacteria that fight off foreign and undesirable bacteria, improving your immunity as well.

Psyllium is a great prebiotic too that works amazing for your gut. It further protects your stomach lining from acidity. You can take 2 tsp of Psyllium in a glass of buttermilk and consume it before bed. Psyllium in a glass of water daily can help in better digestion naturally. Make sure you are taking it soon after your meal.

Digestive Issues:

Psyllium is important to improve the functionality and efficiency of the digestive system by binding with water in the gut. If you are suffering from diarrhea, Psyllium can help to bulk up your stool and normalize your bowel movements. If you struggle with constipation issues, it can also help reduce that discomfort, as it can stimulate peristaltic motion and keep your bowels moving smoothly. It can also help reduce straining and inflammation, which can help eliminate hemorrhoids and gastric ulcers. When combined with liquid in the intestinal tract, Psyllium husk swells and produces more bulk. This stimulates the intestines to contract and helps speed the passage of well-formed stool. These properties promote both bowel movement frequency and size, making it an effective treatment for diarrhea and constipation. Clinical studies have also found it to aid in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.

In fact, treatment with Psyllium for four months was found to help reduce digestive symptoms by 69% in patients with ulcerative colitis. When taken together, Psyllium husk and probiotics were discovered to be highly effective for reducing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

You can take up to 30 g of Psyllium seeds per day in divided doses. The FDA recommends a full glass of water with each dose. Commercial products normally have clear instructions about the quantity of water that should be consumed. You could also take a teaspoon each of dried Plantain leaves and dried Lemon Balm leaves. Combine the two herbs in a tea ball or cup, and pour a cup of boiling water over the leaves. Let it steep for about 5 minutes, and then drink the tea. This will help soothe and ease an upset stomach.Lemon Balm also has the ability to calm the digestive tract.

Relieves Acidity:

Most people suffer from acidity. Psyllium husk or Isabgol is a wonderful home remedy for acidity. In acidity condition when Psyllium husk is consumed, it coats the stomach lining with a protective layer and thus in turn safeguards it from the irritation due to acidity. Moreover, as it aids in proper digestion and secretion of stomach acids, Psyllium also reduces the number of acidity episodes on might suffer from.

Take 2 teaspoons Psyllium husk along with ½ cup of cold milk after your meals to help to get rid of acidity naturally.

Natural Bowel Movements:

Healthy bowel function is essential for optimal health and to avoid gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and subsequent haemorrhoids. Not only are these damaging to our health but they can also impact our performance or make exercise impossible altogether. To this end, Psyllium has been demonstrated to provide a clear laxative effect and help to improve the regularity of the bowel and is highly recommended for those suffering with chronic constipation. When compared with other dietary fibre sources, Psyllium appears to be one of the most effective for bowel-related issues whilst also being associated with fewer side-effects such as bloating and gas. Furthermore, Psyllium supplementation is also gluten-free.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

Irritable bowel syndrome is a big problem with digestive health pertaining to modern lifestyle eating habits. Due to psyllium’s high fibre content, it can help with IBS. It softens the stools and can also alleviate the pain related to hemorrhoids. Irritable bowel syndrome causes an array of digestive symptoms. The exact cause of IBS is unknown. In people with this condition, soluble fiber is believed to be better than insoluble fiber. It eases your irritable bowel syndrome.  Its use is also helpful for many people to keep bowel movement regular and avoid painful stools. It is also beneficial for those suffering from hemorrhoids. Psyllium husk is an excellent probiotic which is a substance responsible for the healthy formation of colonies of good bacteria in the intestine. Good bacteria in the gut ensure the smooth passage of bowels and also, are a key factor to put up a fight against inflammation. People with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease are all too familiar with bowel irregularity. The results of studies on Psyllium’s effectiveness in treating these conditions are still mixed.

Studies suggested that Psyllium has improved IBS symptoms in double-blind trials. Ayurvedic doctors found that 3.25 gr of Psyllium husk two times per day can regulate bowel activity in some people with IBS.

Psyllium is minimally fermented, which means that gut bacteria produce less gas from it, making it suitable for patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Psyllium is considered to be globally effective for IBS symptoms according to a 2017 study. 

A 2014 meta-analysis evaluated dietary fiber supplementation in 14 randomized controlled trials, studies in which, by chance, half the group is given the treatment being investigated and half is not, that included 906 people with IBS. The results showed fiber supplements (especially Psyllium) reduced IBS symptoms.

Mix 10 g of Psyllium seeds in about 100 ml of water. After having this, drink at least 200 ml of water. Without sufficient water, these seeds can choke you when they swell up and block your throat, or cause an obstruction in your bowels. Some fermentable dietary fibers, like inulin and other FODMAPs, can worsen the symptoms of IBS because they cause digestive gases when metabolised by gut bacteria. Simple Ayurvedic tip to treat Irritable bowel syndrome at home is to take 10 g, 2 to 3 times a day.

Ulcerative Colitis:

Add 1 tablespoon of ground Psyllium seeds to 1 cup of tepid water and then consume the solution before it becomes too thick. Use this remedy every day until this disease is improved. For people not familiar to this treatment, start with half a teaspoon of this powder and then increase the dosage gradually. To prevent constipation, remember to drink plenty of water during the day after using this treatment.

Treating Gallstones:

To cure gallstones firstly, take 1 tbsp. of Psyllium powder and then mix it with a glass of tepid water. Mix them thoroughly and have it twice per day. Follow this remedy regularly until the problem is treated completely.

Constipation:

Psyllium is mainly used as a viscous, soluble dietary fiber that is not absorbed by the small intestine. The purely mechanical action of Psyllium mucilage is to absorb excess water while stimulating normal bowel elimination. Although its main use has been as a laxative, it is more accurately regarded as a dietary fiber and as such can help reduce the symptoms of both constipation and mild diarrhea. The laxative properties of psyllium are attributed to the fiber: it absorbs water and subsequently softens the stool. It increases flatulence (gas) to some degree.

Psyllium husk, being rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre is known to be a great remedy for constipation. It actually expands in the stomach when consumed and aids in pushing its contents out of the body. Moreover, being hygroscopic in nature, it absorbs water from the digestive tract of the body, enhances the consistency of stools and thereby relieving constipation. First, it binds to partly digested food moving to the small intestine. Then it helps it absorb water, which increases the size and moisture of stools, results in large stools that pass quickly. This aids in smoother bowel movements promotes regularity and improves digestion without increasing flatulence. Since the Psyllium benefits leave a therapeutic impact, Ayurvedic experts recommend its use for constipation and diarrhea. Dietary change is the primary line of treatment, therefore including Psylium for constipation provides you with immense relief.

Incorporating soluble fiber, like Psyllium, into your diet has been shown to improve constipation, which in turn can improve your quality of life. However, one placebo-controlled study of Psyllium showed no significant benefit.

In other trials, Psyllium was less effective than other nonpharmacologic agents for treating constipation, such as prunes.

Psyllium husk fiber is a soluble fiber that absorbs water, creating a gel-like texture that softens stools and relieves the symptoms of constipation. It's important to drink enough fluids while taking Psyllium. Not drinking enough water may worsen constipation or cramping fiber is meant to relieve. It can also lead to a bowel obstruction, which causes severe pain and cramping. Drink at least one 8-ounce glass of water with the supplement and at least six to eight glasses throughout the day. Being physically active also helps reduce the risk of constipation when taking Psyllium. Besides keeping your bowel movements regular and managing a chronic condition, Psyllium has the ability to soften your stool provided you drink enough water. This can come in handy with short-term ailments, such as constipation. Preliminary research shows that Psyllium may help with the painful symptoms associated with these conditions. In addition to easing bowel movements in constipated patients, psyllium husk benefits the gut microbiome, an essential ecosystem of bacteria inside the colon. A number of studies have conclusively demonstrated the efficacy of Psyllium husk in relieving constipation. Since there is no real scientific consensus, talk to your doctor to see if Psyllium could help you.

A study concluded that Psyllium fiber had a more significant impact on the texture, total weight and moisture of stools than wheat bran.

Another study showed that taking 5.1 grams twice a day for two weeks significantly increased the water content and weight of stools, as well as the total number of bowel movements, in 170 individuals with chronic constipation. For these reasons, taking Psyllium supplements promotes regularity.

A 2021 systematic review (summary of medical literature on a specific topic) concluded there's moderate evidence to support using Psyllium for constipation. More high-quality research is needed, though.

According to a small 2019 study, ground Psyllium husk powder was particularly beneficial for the gut flora of constipated participants. In this study, Psyllium husk increased the abundance of three key types of bacteria (Lachnospira, Roseburia, and Faecalibacterium) that produce butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that promotes gut health and combats inflammation. Researchers also found that Psyllium powder was correlated with higher water content in stool, faster colonic transit time, and looser stools.

One older randomised, double-blind study published in 1998 compared the laxative effects of Psyllium powder (metamucil brand) to docusate, a sodium-based laxative. It found that psyllium was better at softening stools by increasing water content than the traditional medicinal laxative.

Mix 2 spoons of Psyllium husk in a glass of lukewarm milk and drink it just before you go to bed. This would help you relieve from constipation. You can also take 2.5 to 7.5 g, 3 times a day, with a large glass of water (at least 30 ml per gram of Psyllium). Start with the smallest dose and increase until the desired effect is achieved. It may be necessary to continue the treatment for 2 to 3 days before an optimal laxative effect is achieved. If diarrhoea occurs, it may be necessary to increase the dose to 40 g per day (4 doses of 10 g each). Consult a doctor if diarrhoea persists beyond 3 days.

Chronic Constipation:

Constipation is a very common health issue. Chronic constipation is especially common in adults older than 60 years, and symptoms occur in up to 50% of nursing home residents. Additional fiber intake in the form of Psyllium is recommended by scientific studies to improve symptoms and provide natural constipation relief. Psyllium is recommended over magnesium-based laxatives, which should be avoided due to potential toxicity. When combined with water or another liquid, Psyllium husk swells and produces more bulk, which stimulates the intestines to contract and helps speed the passage of stool through the digestive tract. Psyllium has also been found to be superior to docusate sodium for softening stools by increasing stool water content and has greater overall laxative efficacy.

Ayurvedic doctors recommend 5 grams of Psyllium husks one to two times per day. It can be taken with a glass of warm milk or water before bed. Studies further revealed that Psyllium husks can work effectively in treating people with chronic constipation.

Diarrhea:

Psyllium husk or Isabgol is also known as an excellent home remedy for diarrhea. It is consumed with curd usually that relieves upset stomach by adding bulk to stool. It does this by acting as a water-absorbing agent, which can increase stool thickness and slow down its passage through the colon. Psyllium fiber is an effective treatment for mild-to-moderate diarrhoea. When Psyllium comes into contact with water, it absorbs the water, which has several benefits for diarrhea: improving the consistency of loose and watery stools, slowing colonic transit, reducing urgency to defecate and lowering the frequency of bowel movements. Psyllium husk and irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that affects people differently, causing constipation, diarrhoea, or both. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. Research shows that Psyllium can relieve diarrhea. It does this by acting as a water absorbing agent. It can increase stool thickness and slow down its passage through the colon.

One older study showed psyllium husk significantly decreased diarrhea in 30 patients who were undergoing radiation therapy for cancer.

In another older study, researchers treated eight people who had lactulose-induced diarrhea with 3.5 g of Psyllium three times daily. Doing so increased their stomach emptying time from 69 to 87 minutes, with accompanied slowing in the colon, which meant fewer bowel movements. So, Psyllium can both prevent constipation and reduce diarrhea, effectively helping to normalize your bowel movements if you are having problems.

For diarrhea, take 1 tsp of Misri powder with Psyllium in 50 ml of water three times daily. Mixing 2 spoons of Psyllium husk with 3 spoons of fresh Curd and taking the mixture immediately after your meal can help you get relief from diarrhea. Kindly keep it noted that you need to take it for two times in a day for effective results.

Satiety:

Soluble fiber is believed to help you feel full after eating (satiety) and feel less hungry between meals. This may keep you from overeating. Despite these effects, research has not found Psyllium to help with weight loss.

A 2020 meta-analysis concluded Psyllium supplementation had no favorable effect on body weight, body mass index (BMI), or waist circumference.

Prebiotics:

Is psyllium husk a prebiotic? Psyllium mainly supports gut microbiome health by encouraging healthy bowel movements. It is only mildly fermented by gut bacteria. Prebiotics are non-digestible compounds that nourish intestinal bacteria and help them grow. Psyllium is considered to have prebiotic effects. Although Psyllium is somewhat resistant to fermentation, a small portion of Psyllium fibers can be fermented by intestinal bacteria. This fermentation can produce short -chain-fatty-acids (SCFA), which have been linked to health benefits.

One study showed that 10 grams twice a day for 12 months increased the production of the SCFA butyrate. Also, because it ferments more slowly than other fibers, it doesn’t increase gas and digestive discomfort. In fact, treatment with Psyllium for 4 months helped reduce digestive symptoms by 45% in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) compared to the placebo.

Furthermore, a combination of Psyllium and probiotics seems to be particularly effective at treating ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Psyllium husk powder is found in over-the-counter laxatives. It can also be added to baked goods, water, or smoothies to increase your daily fiber intake. Psyllium husks can absorb 20 times their weight in water, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Psyllium husk capsules are an alternative way to increase fiber content. Capsules can be swallowed with a large glass of water and may be preferable for people who do not like the texture of ground Psyllium husk powder.

Promotes Healthy Bacteria:

Psyllium husk has effects similar to prebiotics, which promote bacteria growth in the intestines. It resists fermentation, but sometimes the bacteria ferment the psyllium husk and creates short-chain fatty acids to relieve digestive distress.

Patients in a study consumed 10 grams of Psyllium twice daily for 12 months. It boosted the production of short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate, which may improve colon and skin health. The fermentation process is typically slow, meaning there’s no gas increase or digestive discomfort along the way.

Daily Fibre Recommendations:

A third species of Plantain (Plantago ovato) is where psyllium comes from. Psyllium is a popular dietary supplement used to treat mild constipation and promote regularity. Psyllium husk is a main ingredient in Metamucil, but can also be used on its own as a fiber source to promote healthy digestion. Each teaspoon of Psyllium husk contains a staggering 5g of fibre, which is around 15% of your daily fibre requirements and the equivalent of 200g steamed broccoli. Given that the average fibre intake within the UK is 10-15g lower than recommended values (Institute of Medicine recommends 14g per 1000 kcal), especially for those consuming low-carbohydrate diets, it’s important to keep on top of daily fibre intake.

As low-fibre diets appear to be a risk factor for heart and gastrointestinal issues, amongst others, it is clear that this low intake must be addressed. Whilst these benefits can be achieved through a range of whole food sources, the addition of 1-2 teaspoons of psyllium husk each day can help to provide a quick and efficient fix to fibre deficiencies within our diets.

Supports Cardiovascular Health - Heart Health:

Psyllium husk has some real heart health benefits when taken regularly. High fiber and low fat content in diet is essential in improving conditions in various heart diseases. The fiber content aids in reducing cholesterol levels and this in turn helps in protecting your heart. Fibre-rich compounds like Psyllium husk prove excessively beneficial for heart health. They control the triglyceride levels in the blood, which reduces the risks of cardiac issues. They improve the lipid profiles in the body, controls blood pressure and strengthen the heart muscle reasonably. It also acts as a protective food that regulates your cholesterol levels to also prevent the blockage of arteries. All types of fiber can be good for the heart. The American Heart Association (AHA) say that dietary fiber can improve cholesterol, and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Water soluble fibers, including psyllium, could help reduce blood triglycerides, blood pressure, and the risk of heart disease.

Research has shown that regular use of soluble fiber help to manage cholesterol levels. Proper cholesterol regulation is essential for everyone, but vital for people over the age of 50. Research shows that at least six weeks of daily Psyllium intake is an effective way for people who are obese or overweight to lower their cholesterol with very few side effects. If you’ve been told that you need to watch your cholesterol, ask your doctor if adding Psyllium to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet will help you.

You can take Psyllium husk immediately after meal or immediately after you wake up in the morning.

Cardiovascular Diseases:

Adding high-fiber foods like Psyllium seed husk to your diet can help to lower heart disease risk. More specifically, a diet high in water-soluble fiber like psyllium husk is associated with lower triglyceride levels and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Numerous studies have shown that fiber like Psyllium, taken as part of a healthy diet, can help lower a person’s risk of heart disease. Psyllium can affect your heart by lowering blood pressure, improving lipid levels, and strengthening heart muscle. It can promote a healthy heart by reducing blood pressure, strengthening the heart muscle and improving lipid levels.

A review of 28 trials found that taking a median of 10.2 g Psyllium per day could effectively improve markers of heart health, including lowering LDL cholesterol. This can helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

One study shows that at least 6 weeks of daily Psyllium intake is an effective way for people who are obese or overweight to lower their cholesterol with very few side effects.

Another study confirmed that 5 grams of Psyllium three times daily for six weeks reduced triglycerides by 26%, compared to the placebo.

Moreover, in 40 patients with type 2 diabetesused a Psyllium treatment with a controlled diet. After two months, their overall health improved significantly, including their triglyceride levels, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Researchers suggest that Psyllium may help reduce the risk of heart disease. The study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluated the effects of Psyllium in type II diabetic patients and found that Psyllium not only improved blood sugar, but also reduced the risk of coronary heart disease.

Furthermore, a diet with an additional 12 grams of fiber from Psyllium supplementation resulted in a reduction of 5.9 mmHg of systolic blood pressure in 36 people with high blood pressure.

Lastly, another study in obese individuals showed that a 7 gram daily dose of Psylium for 12 weeks led to a 7% decrease in blood pressure in the first six weeks of treatment.

High Blood Pressure:

Psyllium husk is a soluble fiber that supports heart health by reducing cholesterol and improving blood pressure in people with hypertension. Psyllium is one of the few compounds that are consistently shown to reduce blood pressure in those who frequently consume it. Soluble dietary fiber also has a positive impact on blood pressure in people with hypertension. Although you can’t call it a vasodilator, Psyllium can certainly ease the tension on blood vessels and arteries of the heart.

Psyllium also has been shown to improve hypertension or high blood pressure, which has a direct negative effect on hearth health. Hypertension affects 30% of the population and is a preventable condition.

One main way to prevent hypertension is through a healthy diet. In a randomized clinical trial, 6 months of supplementation with Psyllium fiber significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in overweight people with hypertension.

According to a 2020 meta-analysis of studies investigating the effect of psyllium husk on blood pressure, taking 10-15 g of Psyllium per day significantly lowered blood pressure. The effect was strongest on people with the highest blood pressure.

Another 2020 review of 11 trials reported that Psyllium could reduce systolic blood pressure by 2.04 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The authors recommend using Psyllium to help treat hypertension.

Cholesterol Levels:

Cholesterol is not a matter to be taken lightly. It is caused by an increase in LDL levels in your blood, which is bad for you. Cholesterol presents no symptoms and warning, and hence it can be a silent killer. When not treated, it could lead to stroke and heart attack. Psyllium is a soluble fibre, and can help reduce cholesterol levels. It is especially effective for those above the age of 50, or for people who are battling obesity. By incorporating Psyllium in your daily diet, you can reduce the risks of high cholesterol.

High cholesterol is merely one way a bad diet can affect your heart. Numerous studies have shown that fiber like Psyllium, taken as part of a healthy diet, can help lower a person’s risk of heart disease. Psyllium can affect your heart by lowering blood pressure, improving lipid levels, and strengthening heart muscle. Increasing soluble fiber consumption, in general, has been found to be a heart-healthy choice. The soluble fibers found in psyllium fiber have been shown to be particularly beneficial. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even authorized a health claim that soluble fibers from psyllium husk, beta glucan in oats, and beta-glucan in barley can reduce the risk of heart disease. This mostly due to the fact that these soluble fibers have been consistently shown to lower blood total- and LDL-cholesterol levels.

Psyllium helps reduce cholesterol by accelerating the liver’s production of bile. During digestion, Psyllium husk fibers bind to bile acids in the stomach, ensuring their excretion. This process creates a healthy renewal cycle, where the production of new bile acid is stimulated and old toxic bile is excreted. The liver (where bile is produced) removes cholesterol from the body by converting it to bile salts. Bile salts ultimately get deposited into the bile, and eliminated in the feces. This process results in lower cholesterol levels in the blood and fresh new bile acid. Research has shown Psyllium husk powder benefits in controlling cholesterol. A low fat diet containing psyllium can reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol levels by nearly 7%, while having no significant effect on good (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides. Along with the reduction of negative blood lipids comes a significantly reduced risk of heart disease.

The gel-like fibre created when Psyllium absorbs water may also play an important role in lowering our “bad” LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol without having any effect on our “good” HDL (high-density lipoproteins) cholesterol via a similar mechanism to that of cholesterol-lowering drugs. This mechanism involves Psyllium binding to bile acids in the gut and preventing their re-absorption. This has important implications for our health as studies have suggested that high LDL cholesterol is associated with various cardiovascular diseases.

One study reported an increase in bile acid synthesis and lowered LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in 20 individuals treated with 15 grams of Psyllium daily for 40 days. In the process of replacing these lost bile acids, the liver uses cholesterol to produce more. As a result, blood cholesterol levels decrease.

In one study, 47 healthy participants experienced a 6% reduction in LDL “bad” cholesterol after taking 6 g of Psyllium each day for 6 weeks. Furthermore, Psyllium can help increase HDL “good” cholesterol levels.

In another study, taking 5.1 g twice a day for 8 weeks resulted in a decrease in total and LDL cholesterol, as well as an increase in HDL levels in 49 people with type 2 diabetes.

Lastly, one study treated 125 type 2 diabetics with 5-gram doses of Psyllium three times a day for six weeks. Participants experienced increases in HDL cholesterol up to 45.7%.

Interestingly, a review of 21 studies reported that reductions in total and LDL cholesterol are dose dependent. This means greater results were observed with treatments of 20.4 g of Psyllium per day than 3.0 g per day.

Clinical studies on Psyllium husk supplementation have also discovered significant benefits for specific conditions: reduced blood total- and LDL-cholesterol levels in those with high, cholesterol levels, increased HDL levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, decreased LDL levels for healthy subjects, substantially decreased blood triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, and significantly improved blood pressure levels in hypertensive, overweight, and obese patients. Altogether, these results indicate that psyllium husk can help reduce the likelihood of heart disease from multiple angles in a significant portion of the population.

According to The National Lipid Association, eating 5–10 grams of soluble fiber daily can lower your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by between 5 and 11 points. If you're taking statin drugs to manage your cholesterol, adding Psyllium fiber to your diet may help improve its cholesterol-lowering effects.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study, all subjects maintained their usual diets, which provided less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day and approximately 20% of energy from protein, 40% from carbohydrates and 40% from fat.  The study found that 8 weeks of treatment with Psyllium reduced serum total cholesterol levels by 14.8%, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 20.2% and the ratio of LDL cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 14.8% relative to baseline values. The reductions in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol became progressively larger with time, and this trend appeared to continue at the 8th week.

Another study published in The Journal of The American Medical Association examined the effectiveness of Psyllium seed husk as an adjunct therapy for people with mild to moderate high cholesterol levels. This study found that compared with placebo, psyllium achieved a 4.8% reduction in total cholesterol level and an 8.2% reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, clearly displaying psyllium husk’s ability to lower cholesterol naturally.

A 2021 systematic review found foods high in soluble fibers, such as Psyllium, resulted in moderate LDL cholesterol reduction.

A 2018 meta-analysis (statistical analysis of multiple scientific studies) found that 10 grams of Psyllium daily significantly lowered LDL cholesterol levels.

Increasing soluble fiber intake by 5 to 10 grams daily usually leads to a 5% decrease in LDL cholesterol. A 2012 study shows that Psyllium supplementation led to a 6% decrease in LDL cholesterol.

A 2010 study showed that overweight or obese volunteers who took 12 g of Psyllium supplement three times per day had siginificantly lower total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol at 6 and 12 weeks. Taking a Psyllium powder supplement while eating a healthy diet had the greatest effect on cholesterol.

In 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim on food labels for dietary psyllium as a soluble fiber, if consumed regularly, that would reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol. Clinical research demonstrated that 7 grams or more per day of soluble fiber from Psyllium seed husk would sufficiently lower total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol in people with hypercholesterolemia, two accepted biomarkers for risk of coronary heart disease. The findings were later confirmed in a meta-analysis that incorporated more evidence. To be eligible for the FDA-allowed health claim, one serving of a manufactured food or dietary supplement must contain at least 1.7 g of Psyllium as soluble fiber. Whole oats, barley and foods containing beta-glucan soluble fiber were included as eligible sources for the label claim.

An older study found that taking Psyllium for at least 6 weeks can effectively lower cholesterol in obese people with very few side effects. A 1997 study found that 10 grams of Psyllium taken daily can lower cholesterol levels by 5% and LDL by 9%.

For hypercholesterolemia take 10 g to 20 g of Psyllium per day in 2 or 3 doses.

Supports Weight Loss:

Maintaining a healthy weight is a concern for many people, especially those with a chronic condition like diabetes. Besides being good for your heart and blood sugar levels, Psyllium may help you lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight fast and looking to control overeating at meals, you can take Psyllium husk shortly before or with a meal. Dietary fiber which is found abundantly in Psyllium helps to create the feeling of fullness. That sense of satiety is very important for people looking to cut down on their weight. By preventing between-meal snacking, psyllium supplements can keep your energy levels up without adding on the pounds. Oat bran often consists of Psyllium, and is a popular choice as a healthy snack. Since Psyllium is potent enough to absorb water almost 10 times its weight, Psyllium for weight loss is an ultimate solution. It suppresses hunger pangs and leaves you feeling full. The seed of psyllium husk benefits to clear toxins.

Psyllium Husk or Isabgol is the seed and husk found from the plant of Plantago. The husk surrounding the Psyllium seeds contains soluble fiber. So when you mix this in water, it absorbs water and forms a gel. Apart from this, it is also used in food preparations. Psyllium powder which is made by powdering the husk is often added to the food. One major health benefit of this powder is faster weight loss. It is said that drinking Psyllium husk water can slim down the waist in just a few weeks. Psyllium husk is popularly used as an ingredient in weight loss supplements. This is because increased fiber intake can make you feel full for longer after eating, potentially reducing your food intake. Studies show that the addition of functional fiber, like Psyllium husk, should be considered as a tool to improve success in weight-loss diets, although research is conflicting.

One study involving 141 patients showed that 3.5 grams of Psyllium husk twice a day before lunch and dinner promoted sustained weight loss over a 6-month period.

Another study found that taking up to 10.2 g of Psyllium before breakfast and lunch led to significant reductions in hunger, desire to eat, and increased fullness between meals compared to a placebo.

One study had 12 healthy participants consume 10.8 grams of Psyllium immediately before a meal. They experienced significantly delayed stomach emptying from the third hour after the meal and prolonged sensations of satiety in the sixth hour after the meal.

Another study explored the effects of two, 20-gram doses in 17 healthy participants. One dose was consumed three hours before a meal, while the other dose was consumed immediately before a meal. Results indicated increased feelings of fullness at one hour after the meal and reduced total fat intake during the day, compared to the placebo. However, studies investigating a direct relationship between Psyllium and weight loss seem to show mixed results.

A study found that 16 weeks of a calorie-restricted diet paired with three grams of Psyllium either twice or three times daily resulted in an average weight loss of 9.9 pounds (4.52 kg) and 10.12 pounds (4.60 kg), respectively.

Furthermore, another study showed that Psyllium supplementation on its own, as well as paired with a fiber-rich diet, resulted in a significant reduction of weight, body mass index and percentage of body fat. In contrast, other studies did not report significant effects on body weight.

It’s most commonly used as a GI laxative. However research shows that taking Psyllium is beneficial to many parts of the human body, including the heart and the pancreas. Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative mainly due to soluble fibre action. This means it soaks up water in your gut, increases stool content and makes them softer and hence makes bowel movements much easier. It also helps promote regularity without increasing flatulence. It can be used as a one-off to ease constipation, or it can be added to your diet to help promote regularity and overall digestive health. Besides keeping your bowel movements regular Psyllium has the ability to soften your stool. This can come in handy with short-term ailments, such as constipation. Used in this way, it can prevent complications of constipation, such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Preliminary research shows that Psyllium may help the painful symptoms associated with these conditions. Since there is no real scientific consensus, talk to your doctor to see if Psyllium could help you. Remember, weight loss is aided by eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking part in regular exercise.

A 2020 review of 22 trials reported no overall effect of Psyllium on body weight, BMI, or waist circumference. Researchers need to do more studies before knowing the true effects of Psyllium on weight loss.

A study from 2011 showed that Psyllium supplementation on its own, as well as paired with a fiber-rich diet, resulted in a significant reduction of weight, body mass index, and percentage of body fat.

Soluble fiber is able to increase satiety (the feeling of fullness) by slowing digestion, which may support healthy weight loss. According to a 2010 study, Psyllium husk can promote sustained weight loss. This study, involving patients with metabolic syndrome (a collection of symptoms including blood lipid and glucose imbalances), demonstrated that participants given Psyllium husk powder lost 3.3 kg over a 6-month period.

A study published in Clinical and Experimental Hypertension in August 2007 found that psyllium supplementation for a six-month period led to a decrease in body mass index.

Psyllium husk can work as a great source for reducing weight. When taken with warm water before meal it makes you feel full for a long time and curbs cravings. To have the beneficial effects in reducing weight from Psyllium husk, mix it in warm water with lemon and drink it just before taking your meal. It can also be taken at first in the morning once you wake up from bed.

Ayurvedic doctors say that consuming Psyllium powder blended with water and Lemon juice helps in weight loss. It is best consumed in the morning on an empty stomach for weight loss benefits.

Appetite Management:

Feelings of hunger after meals are all too common when dieting and can completely ruin a well-structured programme in an instant. Whilst a sustained negative energy balance (sustained periods of time eating fewer calories than used by the body) is fundamental for weight loss, the high fibre content of the Psyllium husk can be a great tool to have in your weight loss belt as its addition has been demonstrated to help slow the digestion of food within the stomach and increase feelings of fullness following a meal. Psyllium forms a gel that covers the walls of your stomach. This tells your body that your stomach is full, making you not feel the urge to snack between meals. This is an excellent supplement to use when you’re on a diet, and have a hard time being disciplined.

Appetite management is one of the toughest hurdles for people who are in a weight management program. However, the fibre forming vicious compounds like Psyllium husk is known to induce satiety in the body and aid in weight loss. It significantly brings down the body fat percentage and helps in weight management. Not only can its gelling properties help manage type 2 diabetes, but psyllium can help control appetite and boost weight loss results as well.

Studies on healthy subjects found Psyllium husk supplementation to decrease hunger and desire to eat, as well as increase their feeling of fullness relative to placebo. This effect may help us feel satiated from fewer calories, eat less food throughout the day, and lose weight without fighting against hunger.

Some research indicates that Psyllium’s appetite-reducing properties can contribute to a decrease in BMI, an increase in fat loss, and a reduction in calorie intake throughout the day. However, other studies have found no significant impact on weight loss. These contradictory results reflect the complex nature of changing body composition and how important it is to find what works for each individual.

Also worth noting is that the combination of low-carb foods (which are already highly satiating) and psyllium husk supplementation has yet to be tested. It is likely that adding psyllium husk to your low carb or keto diet will only boost its weight loss potential. One of the most famous benefits of Psyllium is its efficacy in aiding weight loss. Fibers that form a gel-like substance in the gut are helpful in controlling appetite and weight loss. Psyllium is one of those fibers that aid appetite control. Slowing down the digestion helps in reducing the appetite aiding in weight loss.

Obesity:

In our society, obesity is the most prevalent health issue affecting all age groups, and it leads to many serious health problems, including diabetes and chronic heart disease. So, is Psyllium husk good for weight loss? Psyllium husk is among the list of medicinal plants that have been shown to significantly decrease body weight. Psyllium husk can be very helpful in maintaining and achieving a healthy weight since it encourages a feeling of satiety when it is consumed. Since we naturally eat less when we feel full, adding additional fiber to our diets in the form of Psyllium husk can help us not overeat and can treat obesity naturally.

In addition, Psyllium husk’s ability to improve the body’s natural elimination process positively affects weight as waste matter is removed more quickly and regularly from the body. It can help achieve and control healthy body weight by making the stomach empty more slowly to feel full faster. Adding extra fiber like psyllium can help prevent overeating.

A study in 2007 found that taking Psyllium supplements for 6 months resulted in lower body mass index (BMI) in overweight individuals.

To naturally increase soluble fiber intake, include fiber-rich foods in your diet, such as legumes, citrus fruit, seeds, nuts, steel-cut oatmeal, lentil soup, dates, apples and prunes.

Veins Health:

Hemorrhoids (Piles):

The presence of fiber in Psyllium husk is great for people who suffer from painful conditions like the anal fissures and piles. It is the innate nature of Psyllium to improve bowel movement. Therefore, Psyllium benefits even patients of piles by having a healing effect. It softens your stools and cleanses the intestines. It not only aids in clearing the bowel but also helps in softening the stools by absorbing water from the surrounding parts of the intestine and thus making the passage of stool smooth and free from pain. Apart from this, Psyllium husk also helps in protecting the anus from excessive stretching while the person passes motion and prevents the rupture of healing wounds.

You can drink Psyllium husk along with a glass of warm water before going to bed. This will aid in regularizing and softening the stools.

Diabetes:

About 1 in 10 Americans has diabetes, a chronic condition that affects blood sugar levels. People with diabetes are constantly watching their diet to maintain a healthy balance of insulin and blood sugar (glucose). Research has suggested that fibers like Psyllium can help people maintain a healthy glycemic balance. Because Psyllium absorbs liquid in your body, it can help give you a feeling of being full. This can help you control the amount of food you eat. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking Psyllium if they have suggested you lose weight. Psyllium husk has a great benefit in controlling diabetes. It actually forms a gel-like substance when ingested. It is very much effective in the process of breakdown and absorption of glucose in to the body; which helps in a fair control of diabetes.

Research found that taking 5 grams of Psyllium twice a day can help patients with type 2 diabetes controls their blood sugar.

Another study of men with type 2 diabetes found similar results, but stressed that Psyllium therapy should be tailored to the individual. Researchers have found taking psyllium before meals can significantly improve your fasting blood glucose (sugar) when you have this condition.

Several studies have shown that Psyllium is a safe and well-tolerated remedy for people with type 2 diabetes. It aids in improving blood glucose and cholesterol levels in the body. This is due to the fact that Psyllium slows down the digestion of food and slows the absorption of glucose in the blood. It also stimulates insulin secretion in the blood.

Another study examined its efficacy on people suffering from type 2 diabetes and constipation. Participants took Psyllium twice a day and they reported improved blood sugar levels and reduced discomfort due to constipation.

In another study, adding 10 grams of Psyllium daily helped improve blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

When researchers gave people with diabetes 5.1 grams of Psyllium 20 to 30 minutes before breakfast for eight weeks, they discovered that their fasting blood glucose levels decreased by 52.6 milligrams per deciliter. They also reported a 1.6% decrease in A1C levels.

Another study found that when male type 2 diabetics consumed 5.1 grams of Psyllium twice a day for eight weeks, their glucose levels after meals reduced by 11%.

In teens and children with altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, Psyllium husk intake lowered their post-meal blood glucose levels by between 12.2 and 20.2%.

In a 2017 study, people with diabetes consumed 7 grams of Psyllium husk powder on a moderate-carbohydrate diet. Their insulin sensitivity increased significantly, which is good news because the more insulin the body detects, the better it can control glucose.

Another study in 2016 found that fasting blood glucose levels decreased by 43.6 milligrams per deciliter. In the survey, people with type 2 diabetes took seven grams of Psyllium husk 15 minutes before their midday meal and 3.5 grams 15 minutes before supper.

In 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a qualified health claim for Psyllium as a possible benefit for people with diabetes, requiring FDA-approved wording on a product label: "Psyllium husk may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, although the FDA has concluded that there is very little scientific evidence for this claim".

A meta-analysis published after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision reported that Psyllium provided before meals improved fasting blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin, but that the larger effect was seen in people diagnosed with and being treated for type 2 diabetes, and only a modest improvement for people classified as pre-diabetic.

Psyllium husk or Isabgol is taken after meal along with water or milk for getting rid of symptoms of diabetes. Keep a note not to take it with curd in case you are treating your diabetes.

Blood Sugar:

Diabetes is a fast growing disease. It is caused when the sugar levels in your blood rise up. Symptoms include frequent urination, hair loss and loss of weight. Diabetes can affect the functioning of your internal organs, which could lead to more permanent damage and can also be fatal. Controlling blood sugar levels is accomplished with a combination of things, such as diet and exercise. Research has suggested that high fibre foods, such as Psyllium can help you maintain a healthy glycemic balance. Psyllium can help current diabetics as well as people trying to prevent diabetes since the dietary consumption of fibers like Psyllium husk can assist in maintaining healthy glycemic balance in the body.

In one study, researchers gave 51 people with type 2 diabetes and constipation 10 g of Psyllium twice per day. This resulted in reduced constipation, body weight, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol.

Because Psyllium slows down the digestion of food, people should take it with food, rather than on its own, so it has a greater effect on blood sugar levels. It seems that a daily dose of at least 10.2 g can promote lower blood sugar levels.

One study treated 56 men with type 2 diabetes with 5.1 grams of Psyllium twice per day for 8 weeks. It reduced their daily blood sugar levels by 11%.

In another study in people with type 2 diabetes, a higher daily dose (5 grams consumed 3 times per day) for 6 weeks resulted in a 29% reduction in blood sugar levels within the first two weeks.

A meta-analysis of 35 randomized and controlled clinical studies found that Psyllium husk taken before meals was highly effective for type 2 diabetics. More specifically, they showed significant improvement in both fasting blood glucose concentration and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) after multi-week supplementation. Subjects with pre-diabetes also experienced an improvement, albeit modest. No significant glucose-lowering effect was observed in subjects without blood sugar related issues. Although there is no research on the impact of carb restriction and Psyllium husk on type 2 diabetes, it is likely that the combination will only enhance the effect that each one already has on improving blood sugar regulation.

One study evaluated Psyllium seed husk fiber’s effect on lipid and glucose levels as an adjunct to dietary and drug therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes. The study found that taking psyllium daily can help patients with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar without negative side effects.

Another study obtained similar results, indicating a beneficial therapeutic effect of Psyllium in the metabolic control of type II diabetics. Psyllium husk certainly looks like a wise choice in the daily task to keep blood sugar levels in check, as well as a natural treatment for diabetes.

Adding Psyllium to the diet prescribed for you can be helpful if you have diabetes. Do check with your doctor before taking Psyllium supplements, especially if you are on medication to control your blood sugar. Supplement use should be individualized and vetted by a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, pharmacist, or healthcare provider. No supplement is intended to treat, cure, or prevent a disease.

Fiber Supplementation:

Fiber supplementation has been shown to reduce insulin and blood sugar levels after meals. Psyllium husk fiber is particularly effective at this because it gells and swells in the digestive tract, slowing the digestion of food. The body’s glycemic index comes under control with regular consumption of fibre supplements like Psyllium Husk. It is one of the significant sources of fibre. Daily consumption of approximate 10.2 g of Psyllium husk can successfully reduce the risk of higher blood sugar levels. Taking fiber supplements can help control the body’s glycemic response to a meal, such as reducing insulin and blood sugar levels. This is particularly the case with water soluble fibers such as Psyllium. In fact, Psyllium works better for this mechanism than other fibers, such as bran.

Supplementation with 10.5–15 grams of Psyllium fiber daily for six to eight weeks has been shown to significantly reduce blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. Additionally, Psyllium husk has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. Psyllium husk should not be used to replace other treatments. Instead, it may be used along with other methods to help regulate blood sugar levels. Take 10 g to 20 g per day, with meals.

Water-soluble dietary fibers can lower blood sugar levels after a meal by slowing down carbohydrate absorption. One study observed that when men with type 2 diabetes took 5.1 g of psyllium twice a day, for 8 weeks, it improved their blood sugar levels.On the other hand, certain commercial black psyllium products sometimes contain added sugars, undermining its ability to lower blood sugar levels. So choose carefully.

Self-medication in diabetes can lead to serious problems. When taking any treatment that changes your blood sugar levels, you should monitor your blood sugar levels very closely. It is also necessary to inform your doctor so that he or she can adjust the dosage of conventional glucose-lowering drugs if necessary. Talk to your doctor to see if using Psyllium to aid in blood sugar regulation is right for you.

Liver Health:

Detox the Body:

Although Psyllium mucilage is often called a laxative, it is just a highly efficient type of dietary fiber. However, it does effectively detoxify the body, as cleansing out the gastrointestinal system can also be very cleansing and beneficial for overall gut health.

Chronic Arsenic Toxicity:

Since Psyllium husk benefits as a natural cleanser for the body, it alleviates chronic arsenic poisoning and better secretes the arsenic compounds.

Cancer - Treatment and Prevention:

Leukemia:

Psyllium uses for leukemia are quite helpful. It prevents the occurrence of yeast infections to reduce white discharge as well as other related discomforts.

Skin Care:

Psyllium helps to get rid of harmful fungi and bacteria in the body that may result in various skin disorders such as acne or pimples.

Try an Psyllium massage for your skin. It acts as an emollient to get rid of dryness, rashes, itching, burning as well as other irritations. You can either consume a herbal decoction or simply apply a paste over the affected areas for quick relief. Consume a glass of tepid water mixed with Psyllium and honey before going to sleep. This removes toxins from your body, which gives your skin a glow. Honey also moisturizes and softens your skin.

Women's Health:

Pregnancy:

Psyllium husk-based fiber supplements are excellent in relieving the ordeals of pregnancy. It is considered safe during pregnancy and Ayurvedic doctors often recommend it to pregnant women to fight constipation, heartburn, indigestion, piles, and other common pregnancy problems. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor before starting Psyllium husk in pregnancy.

Respiratory Health:

Throat Disorders:

Itchy throat? Make use of Psyllium benefits and take it with sugar. This not only treats a scratchy throat but also cures the symptoms of dry cough and inflammation. Psyllium lubricates your throat to provide immediate relaxation.

Boosts Immune System:

Fibre-rich food boosts immunity in the body as it can bring down cholesterol levels in the blood. It helps in weight management and protects the body from several cardiovascular risks. It is a prebiotic that takes care of gut health and enhances digestive health.

Improves Cognitive Function:

Psyllium husk powder helps think clearly by lessening the impact of dementia. It helps to improve concentration by reducing fatigue and boosting energy levels to perform any activity. It can improve the cognitive functioning of the brain which aids in thinking, problem-solving, planning, judgment, and organizing. It is also effective in reducing the gluten adverse effect which may cause neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even Autism.

Reduces Inflammation:

Research has shown the mucilage of Psyllium to reduce inflammation in the gut and colon. This is due to the fibrous activity found in this unique mucilage, as it can ease the stress and strain on the colon.

Easy to Add to Your Diet

Psyllium Husk is ingested. It is widely available in a variety of forms. Psyllium husk can be added to food, mixed with water or other liquids, or taken by capsule. The most common way to take Psyllium husk is in it’s powdered form. Psyllium Husk powder is finely ground Psyllium Husk that has been prepared such that it will dissolve in liquids. Most Psyllium Husk powder is mixed into a glass of water and drank. Your lifestyle and reasoning for using Psyllium will influence how much and how often you include Psyllium in your diet. Psyllium can be mixed into water, juice, smoothies, porridge or any other meal throughout the day. Some people want to use it as a natural laxative and prefer to take it as a pre-made drink. Psyllium can be consumed in the following forms:

  • Desserts:  A standard way to use Psyllium is to put a teaspoon or two on top of natural yoghurt and frozen berries. As the berries defrost and form a berry juice the Psyllium soaks it up and makes a berry jelly that mixes in well with the natural yoghurt and tastes great.
  • Psyllium Husk Water: With hot water, you can take Psylium powder with hot water. With milk and juice, you can eat 2 teaspoons of Psylium in 1 glass of milk or juice and smoothie. With curd, you can take 2 spoons of Psylium and 1 bowl of curd. It will also help in your weight loss. 
  • Gluten-free Baking: Because each teaspoon contains 4 g of fibre, Psyllium is useful for gluten-free baking to increase the fibre content, especially as fibre is known to be low in many gluten-free foods. Adding Psyllium to gluten-free bread dough can improve the texture and help it to rise, acting as a replacement for gluten. Psyllium content of around 5% is reportedly the best. This equates to approximately: 3 teaspoons Psyllium husk to 1 ¼ cups of flour or 2 ½ teaspoons Psyllium husk per 1 cup flour.
  • Keto-friendly Baked Goods: The allure of bread, pizza, bagels, breadsticks, and other baked goods can become irresistible when you cut them out of your diet. At a certain point, willpower just can’t compete with the desire to gorge on these goodies. Fortunately, Psyllium husk can be used to help you recreate keto-friendly, gluten-free versions of these and other high-carb favorites because of its unique properties. In fact, it is one of the most versatile ingredients you’ll come across on keto. Other than being used as a dietary supplement, Psyllium husk is an essential ingredient in many gluten-free, keto, and low-carb recipes as well.
  • Low Carb Bread: This loaf wouldn’t be as good as it is without the help of Psyllium husk powder. It helps hold the ingredients together and creates the hearty consistency of whole-grain bread. It also helps make dough easier to handle, shape, and roll out. Altogether, these properties are what make psyllium husk powder one of the best alternatives for gluten. This is one of the most satisfying ways to add more fat and fiber to your keto diet.
  • Acts as a Thickener: You can also add some of the powder to smoothies, shakes, and sauces to give it a thicker consistency or incorporate a small amount into your dough if it is too runny.

Replicates the texture and flavor of wheat-based baked goods. When used in gluten-free bread, tortillas, pizza, donuts, pie crust, and other baked goods, Psyllium husk powder replicates the texture and flavor of the conventional carb-ridden varieties without adding any net carbs.

Incorporate Psyllium fiber supplements into your diet slowly so that you can monitor how the supplements affect you and to give your body time to adjust the fiber. You may experience minor bloating as your body adjusts to much fiber. This is normal and should go away within a few days of starting as your body gets used to the increased fiber.

Psyllium Husk Substitutes

If you don’t have any psyllium husk powder or don’t like using it, try replacing it with:

  • Chia seeds or Flaxseeds: Use a 1:1 substitution ratio for both seeds. For example, when a recipe calls for 1/3 cup of psyllium husk fiber powder, use a 1/3 cup of ground Chia seeds or ground Flaxseeds. Make sure you take into account the extra calories and macronutrients from the seeds you use if you are tracking your macros.
  • Xanthan Gum: For those who are not fond of the taste or texture of the previous option, Xanthan Gum is a great alternative. You can use a 1:1 ratio to replace Psyllium husk powder with xanthan gum as well.

When using these replacements, keep in mind that they may not add precisely the right texture or qualities to some recipes that you might expect. You may need to experiment with different substitutions and/or different amounts until you get it right.

Psyllium Husk commonly known as Isabgol is a common household product. It grows on a small herbaceous plant called planovate whose seeds are arranged in the same way as that of wheat. Its leaves resemble aloe vera are narrow and long. Its husks are a very important component of Ayurveda.

Fiber is more than just a regulator, it’s also vital to deliver essential nutrients to the entire body. We obtain fiber most abundantly in our diets from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. But what if we don’t manage to consume enough fiber-rich foods on a daily basis, or our personal health concerns, like constipation, could benefit from a fiber boost? Many popular commercial brands of fiber supplements on the market today are loaded with artificial flavors, colors and fillers. Why take a product that possibly helps you in some way but might negatively affect you in other ways? The best fiber supplements are 100% natural and 100% pure. Psyllium husk is a perfect natural way to step up your fiber intake on a regular basis. And reduced likelihood of constipation is just one of many potential Psyllium Husk benefits.

The primary benefit of Psylium is that it is a brain tonic and improves memory and intellect. Besides that it can be used to treat epilepsy and headache. It also controls vomiting. Dietary fiber found in Psyllium Husk may help with the following conditions: constipation, diarrhea, IBS, colitis, obesity, hemorrhoids, diabetes, peptic ulcer, hypertension, heart disease and many more. One tablespoon of whole Psyllium husks contains about: 18 calories, 0 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrates, 3.5 grams fiber, 5 milligrams sodium, 0.9 milligrams iron (5% DV).

Psyllium is typically processed into one of three forms: whole Psyllium Husk, Ssyllium Husk powder, and Psyllium Seed powder. Although each supplement is derived from the same raw seeds, they will contain different amounts of soluble fiber which will change the product’s properties. The husks are small, grain-like particles that are packed with roughly 70% soluble fiber. When the whole husks are used in recipes, however, they will add a grainy texture that can be unpleasant. This is when Psyllium Husk powder can be helpful.

By grinding the whole husks into a fine powder, we can reduce its graininess and pack twice the soluble fiber, and possibly more health benefits into each serving. Because of its enhanced fiber content and superior texture, Psyllium Husk powder (which is also known as whole psyllium husk powder) is the most widely used psyllium product, as a dietary supplement and as a gluten-free, keto-friendly culinary staple. This is not to be confused with Psyllium Seed powder, which consists of the husk and seed ground together. This form of Psyllium has a lower soluble fiber content and will not provide the same health benefits or properties as Psyllium Husk powder. In general, 100% Psyllium Husk powder is the most often used form of Psyllium. It is the active ingredient in many brand-name fiber supplements like Metamucil, has been studied extensively, and plays a crucial role in making the perfect keto baked good, including cookies and bread. Other Psyllium products are best avoided unless they are explicitly called for in a recipe or prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Bile acids have a detergent action on particles of dietary fat, causing fat globules to break-down (emulsify) into microscopic droplets. Emulsification is not digestion on its own, but is important. In effect, it increases the surface area of fat, making it available for digestion by lipases, the digestive enzymes specific to fat. Bile is also responsible for the transportation of lipids, including cholesterol and other waste products. The transportation of lipids is essential in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K).  The transportation of lipids also reduces excess cholesterol. The unique properties of bile as a carrier fluid allow for the elimination of waste products through the digestive tract. This is the primary reason fiber, such as Psyllium Husk powder serves as a detoxifying substance.

Traditional Uses of Psyllium:

  • Psyllium has been used as a safe and effective laxative for thousands of years in Western herbal medicine.
  • Both the dried seeds and the seed husks are demulcent, emollient and laxative.
  • They are used in the treatment of dysentery, catarrhal conditions of the genito-urinary tract, inflamed membranes of the intestinal canal etc.
  • They are used as a demulcent and as a bulk laxative in the treatment of constipation, dysentery and other intestinal complaints, having a soothing and regulatory effect upon the system.
  • Their regulatory effect on the digestive system means that they can also be used in the treatment of diarrhea and by helping to soften the stool they reduce the irritation of hemorrhoids.
  • It is effective in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • It is used to treat constipation and diarrhea.
  • It is a good herbal cure for stomach problems like bloating and flatulence.
  • It is favorable in curing high blood pressure and blood sugar level.
  • It helps in improvising bowel movements and thus treats constipation.
  • It treats the problem of anal Fissure and piles.
  • It alleviates dehydration and diarrhea.
  • It expands the cervix at the time of childbirth.

Culinary Uses of Psyllium:

  • Young leaves are used raw or cooked.
  • Mucilage contained in the seed coat is used as a stabilizer in ice cream, chocolate etc.
  • Seed is sprouted and eaten in salads.

Other Uses of Psyllium:

  • It is a common source of psyllium seed husks, a material used as dietary fiber.
  • Mucilage found in the seed coat is sometimes used as a starch to stiffen linen.
  • 1,000 seeds weigh less than 2 grams.
  • Plants flower about 60 days after planting.
  • Psyllium fiber dietary supplements are used in veterinary medicine to treat sand impaction in horses to aid in elimination of sand from the horse's colon.

Industrial Uses of Psyllium:

  • The uses of Psyllium Husk are dominant in food manufacturing industries as it serves as a great thickener for ice cream and various other desserts like moose. It is a solid source of dietary fibre and stimulates normal bowel movements.
  • It is a great remedy for constipation and mild diarrhoea. The fruits of the plan are significantly used for sericulture. The leaves are also used as one of the primary ingredients in the health, pharmaceutical and beauty industries.
  • Cholesterol: Mix 2 tbsp of Psyllium seed husk in some water. The husk will swell quickly. Eat it quickly. Drink a glass of water. Take it first thing in the morning. Continue for as long as it takes to reduce Cholesterol.
  • Constipation: Take 2 tsp of Psyllium seed husk in a cup. Add little water and a little sugar. Mix well. Eat it. Follow it with one glass of hot milk. Consume it at night just before going to bed. Repeat for 7 days or till evacuation becomes regular.
  • Diarrhea: Take 3 tsp of Psyllium seed husk in a cup. Add water and a little sugar. Mix well. Eat it. Follow it with half a cup of yogurt. Repeat thrice a day. OR Instead of yogurt you may take a glass of lime water.
  • Digestive Disorders: Mix 1 tbsp of Psyllium husk in a glass of water and drink before retiring.
  • Gastroparesis: Mix 1 tbsp of Psyllium husk in a quarter glass of hot milk. Have it and drink the remaining milk.
  • Hemmoroids: Add 1 tsp of Psyllium seed husk in a cup of water and drink it.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Add 1 tsp Psyllium husk in 20 ml yogurt. Take it after dinner.
  • Laxative: Take 3 tbsp each of Psyllium husk, Chia seeds and Flax. Soak overnight in a cup of Black cherry juice. Eat and drink in 3 portions throughout the next day.

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