What is Isabgol? Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects of Psyllium husk - A Comprehensive Guide

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What is Isabgol? 
3. Ayurvedic properties of Isabgol
4. Health Benefits and Uses 
5. Psyllium Husk for Heart Health
6. Psyllium Husk for IBS
7. Psyllium dosage
8. Side Effects of the Psyllium Husk
9. Frequently Asked Question

1. Introduction

Psyllium husk botanical name is Plantago Ovata, some other common names are ispaghula, isapghul, spogel seeds, ishabgul. It is indigenous to India and has been used extensively in the Indian system of medicine from ancient times.

It was prescribed as a cure for inflammatory and functional derangements of the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary systems.

2. What is Isabgol?

Isabgol Or Psyllium, also known as spogel seeds, is an almost stemless small herb covered with dense and soft hairy growth.

The upper half of its fruit opens like a lid, the seeds also known as flea seeds are boat-shaped and constitute the drug.

The Psyllium seeds contain a large amount of mucilage and a small amount of holo side plateose.

They also show the presence of amino acids, cysteine, lysine, leucine, and tyrosine. Valine, alanine, and glutamic acid are also found in their free form. The Isabgol embryo oil is said to be a good source of linoleic acid.

Psyllium seeds

Psyllium husk (Isabgol ki bhusi) is the dry seed cover of the plant, obtained by crushing the seeds and separating the husk by winnowing. The husk has similar properties to the seeds.

Psyllium husk

It has also the advantage of passing smoothly through the alimentary canal without irritation. The husk can be taken dry and is easier to use than the whole seeds.

The psyllium husk is high in nutrition, it has carbohydrates (84.98%), proteins (6.83%), and ash (4.07%). The husk is eight times more soluble than that of oat’s bran.

Buy Psyllium Husk

3. Ayurvedic properties of Isabgol

Isabgol, also known as Psyllium husk, is a popular natural remedy used in Ayurveda for its digestive and other health benefits.

Ayurvedic properties of Isabgol:

1. Rasa (Taste): Isabgol is believed to have astringent (Kashaya) taste.

2. Virya (Potency): It is cooling in nature (Sheeta Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is sweet (Madhura Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Isabgol primarily balances Pitta dosha and Kapha dosha due to its cooling and astringent properties.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Digestive Health: Isabgol is well-known for its ability to relieve constipation. It has a gentle laxative effect, softening stool and promoting regular bowel movements.

  2. Gut Health: It is used to soothe and regulate the gut, making it beneficial for managing digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea.

  3. Cholesterol Management: Isabgol may help manage cholesterol levels by binding to excess cholesterol and promoting its elimination from the body.

  4. Blood Sugar Regulation: It is believed to have a positive impact on blood sugar levels and is used to support individuals with diabetes.

  5. Weight Management: Isabgol's soluble fiber content can help create a feeling of fullness, potentially aiding in weight management

4. What are the health benefits and Uses of Psyllium husk?

The medicinal properties of the Psyllium husk seeds are primarily due to a large amount of mucilage and albuminous matter.

The seeds are cooling and mildly laxative, they act as a diuretic and have a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes.

Psyllium dietary fiber plays an important role in the treatment and cure of several chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, stomach disorders, and constipation problems.

In Constipation, it is an active natural remedy for the treatment of constipation, it gives relieves the symptoms of constipation. It helps to regularize soft hard stool and reduces pain at defecation.

In Diabetes, it is used in the treatment of high blood sugar levels and diabetes. Its consecutive and regular use reduces sugar levels in the blood and give a long-term effect.

In Obesity, psyllium husk significantly reduced body weight and overcome the issue of obesity among people, especially children, and adolescents.

Here are some health benefits and uses of Psyllium husk

For Abdominal Pain

Benefits – Ispaghula is beneficial in treating frequent griping in the belly caused by stomach ulcers. Its high mucilaginous content forms a covering on the inner intestinal wall.

That protects the lining mucosa and helps in the healing of ulcers, irritation, and gripe also decrease.

Uses – The seeds with husk are soaked in water or milk for a few hours, strained, and taken at night at bedtime.

For Arteriosclerosis

Benefits - The embryo oil of the seeds, having 50% linoleic acid, prevents arteriosclerosis, this oil is more active than safflower oil and has been found to reduce the serum cholesterol level in rabbits.

Uses – Take twice a day after a meal for 20 days.

For Constipation

Benefits – Psyllium is beneficial in the treatment of constipation, due to its soothing effect on the mucous membranes. The seeds are useful in chronic constipation characterized by spasms.

The seeds should be soaked in water before use which helps them disintegrate in the alimentary canal.

A large amount of mucilage in the seeds binds and increases the mass of the stool and smoothing its passage.

Uses – Take two tbsp. of the seeds should be taken with milk or water, twice a day after meal.

For Dysentery

Benefits – Ispaghula seeds are a popular remedy for several kinds of chronic dysentery and diarrhea. It helps to give relief from heaviness in the stomach and ease out the hard stool.

Uses – Take 50 grams of castor oil with milk to ease out the hard stool, when a few motions have cleared the intestine.

Take 12 grams of Ispaghula seeds mixed with about 100 grams of curd, take trice or four times a day.

For slimy Dysentery, take a powder of 180 grams each of Ispaghula seeds and sugar candy, taking thrice or four times a day is an effective remedy.

For Chronic Diarrhea, making seed decoction or infusion of powder with sugar is beneficial in chronic diarrhea.

For Piles

Benefits – Psyllium seeds and husk both are beneficial and effective remedies for piles, they contain high mucilage that cures constipation.

The rich tannin cures inflammation and ulceration in the intestinal tract up to the anus. This double action helps to cure piles.

Uses – Take seeds powder or decoction twice a day after meal or take husk with water after meal.

For Rheumatism

Benefits – Psyllium seeds are beneficial and effective in the treatment of rheumatism; it helps to give relief from pain.

Uses – An emollient poultice made of the seeds with vinegar and oil is useful for rheumatism and gout.

For Whitlow

Benefits – Ispaghula is an effective remedy in whitlow affecting the pulp of the fingertip with an abscess.

Uses – Take 12 grams of Isabgol should be soaked in 45 grams of vinegar and applied to the spot when the whole thing has swollen.

The poultice mixture should be bandaged with a clean cloth and water sprinkled over it.

The bandage should be changed every 3 hours. The inflammation will subside within 3 days.

5. Psyllium Husk for Heart Health

Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Psyllium husk contains soluble fiber, which has been shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, which binds to cholesterol and prevents its absorption into the bloodstream. By reducing LDL cholesterol levels, psyllium husk may help lower the risk of heart disease and improve overall cardiovascular health.

Supports Healthy Blood Pressure

Psyllium husk has been shown to slow the absorption of carbohydrates in the digestive tract, leading to more gradual increases in blood sugar levels after meals. This can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a major risk factor for heart disease.

Promotes Weight Management

Psyllium husk can promote satiety and reduce appetite by expanding in the stomach and delaying gastric emptying. This can help control calorie intake and support weight management efforts, which in turn can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cardiovascular health.

6. Psyllium husk for IBS

Relief Constipation

Psyllium husk is a bulk-forming fiber that absorbs water in the digestive tract, forming a gel-like substance that softens stool and promotes regular bowel movements.

Regulation of Bowel Function

It can help modulate gut motility and transit time, reducing episodes of both constipation and diarrhea and promoting more regular and predictable bowel movements.

Reduces Bloating and Gas

By promoting regular bowel movements and improving stool consistency, psyllium husk may help reduce bloating and gas, common symptoms experienced by individuals with IBS.

Enhancement of Gut Health

Psyllium husk acts as a prebiotic fiber, providing nourishment for beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiota. By promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria, psyllium husk may help restore microbial balance in the intestines and support overall gut health.

7. Psyllium Dosage

Here are some general dosage guidelines for psyllium husk.

For Constipation Relief

The typical dosage for relieving constipation in adults is 2 to 6 grams of psyllium husk (1 to 3 teaspoons of powdered psyllium) mixed with at least 8 ounces of water or another liquid, taken once or twice daily.

For Lowering Cholesterol

To help lower cholesterol levels, the recommended dosage of psyllium husk is usually higher, ranging from 10 to 20 grams per day, divided into two or three doses.

For Weight Management

When used for weight management or appetite control, the dosage of psyllium husk can vary. Some studies have used doses ranging from 5 to 10 grams per day, taken before meals to promote a feeling of fullness and reduce calorie intake.

8. Side Effects of the Psyllium

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based and have no side effects, but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine.

It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues.

Here are some side effects of Psyllium

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take Psyllium without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • Do not take Psyllium if you are suffering from any kind of critical disease.
  • If you are on diabetes or hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Psyllium.
  • If you are above 65 years old and want to start Psyllium, consult the doctor, and talk about your health conditions.
  • If you are on any supplements, vitamins, or herbal medication, consult the doctor before taking Psyllium.
  • Psyllium may interact with other medicines like blood sugar or blood pressure allopathy medicines.

9. Frequently Asked Question

Q - Can I take psyllium husk every day?

Psyllium Husk has dietary fiber and it has rich nutritional value. Anyone can take Psyllium Husk daily as per suggested, it helps to reduce stomach disorders and constipation problems.

Q - Does psyllium husk make you poop?

Psyllium husk is an active natural remedy for the treatment of constipation, it gives relieves the symptoms of constipation. It helps to regularize soft hard stool and reduces pain at defecation.

Q - What is the right way to consume isabgol (Psyllium Husk)?

The right way to consume Isabgol or Psyllium Husk is to soak it in water and take it, you can also take Psyllium Husk with water or mix it with yogurt or a smoothie. 

Q - Is it okay to use psyllium husk daily for constipation?

Psyllium husk is a plant-based herb, that contains dietary fibers, and it has rich nutritional value. It is a natural remedy for the treatment of constipation.

Q - Does psyllium husk help with weight loss?

Psyllium husk significantly reduced body weight and overcome the issue of obesity among people, especially children, and adolescents.

Q - Can I cook with psyllium husk?

Yes, psyllium husk can be cooked and you can use it in cookies, bread, and buns. It can also be used in smoothies, shakes, and ice cream.

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