I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist that headline!
The subject of my gratitude today is PSYLLIUM HUSK. Whenever I do my seasonal dietary cleanse, I use psyllium husk to keep the peristaltic motion in the intestines grooving along nicely. My dear teacher in Varanasi also recommended the supplement before I started my intensive training with him last year. It’s also been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Risky side effects?
(where the genius headline came from:)
Check out the following articles for more on nature’s laxative:
From I Care About Health:
Isabgol, also known as Psyllium Husk, is a natural vegetable product, which is retrieved from Isabgol seeds by milling process. It is the upper coating of Plantago Ovata, which is purified by sieving and winnowing and mostly comes from India. It is truly a wonderful product with myriad of benefits and no known side effects.
USES OF ISABGOL
Isabgol absorbs water and expands to provide an increase in bulk and moisture content of stool. This encourages normal peristalsis and bowel mobility.
Isabgol is a soluble fiber, which is different from the insoluble fibers that are found in wheat bran and cellulose. Insoluble fibers can provide a laxative effect, but may have no effect on cholesterol. Isabgol on the other hand works by forming a thin layer on the intestines and then preventing the absorption of the cholesterol into the arteries, and excreting it in stool and hence producing moderate but significant improvement in blood levels and of cholesterol.
Food and Drugs Administration , USA has approved the use of claim of cholesterol reduction for Isbagol. Following is the actual extract from FDA publications:
In the Federal Register of May 22, 1997 (62 FR 28234), and in response to a petition filed under Sec. 101.70, the agency proposed to amend Sec. 101.81 by adding psyllium seed husk as an additional source of soluble fiber, thereby providing for health claims on the association between soluble fiber from psyllium seed husk and reduced risk of CHD (the psyllium husk proposed rule). In this proposed rule, FDA considered the relevant scientific studies and data presented in the petition as part of its review of the scientific literature on soluble fiber from psyllium seed husk and heart disease. The agency summarized this evidence in the proposed rule (62 FR 28234).
The psyllium husk proposed rule included qualifying criteria for the purpose of identifying psyllium-containing foods eligible to bear the proposed health claim. The proposal also specified mandatory content and label information for health claim statements and provided model health claims.
Cleans the Colon
Isabgol cleans the Gastro Intestinal tract of toxins by forming a bulk that promotes evacuation of the bowels. This also removes indigestion, intestinal obstruction and flatulence thus removing lethargy and providing a feeling of well being.
Piles, Cardiovascular Diseases, Hernia and Pregnancy
Isabgol is also used in piles, fissures and fistulas to bring down the burning sensation after defecation. It also helps to prevent strain during defecation in those who are suffering from cardiovascular diseases, hernia and pregnancy.
It has no known side effects. Isabgol is not absorbed through the intestines and hence has a purely mechanical action on the body, thus reducing the chances of side effects.
Caution: Do not use the product in case of nausea vomiting fever or abdominal pain. This product may cause allergic reaction in people sensitive to inhaled or ingested Isabgol. Do not take this product within 2 hours of another medicine, as Isabgol is bulk forming and purgative and the desired effect of the other medicine may be reduced.
Nature’s best solution! An age-old ayurvedic remedy for constipation and allied problems.
Most people do not get enough fibre in their diet. This fibre deficiency results in record number of overweight people, above normal cholesterol level, chronic indigestion and greater occurrence of colon cancer. Even health and diet conscious individuals are amazed to find themselves lacking in fibres.
Isabgol forms bulk in your digestive system, which in turn smoothens the way for releasing toxic waste from your body.It helps regulate your daily bowel movement and reduces the risk of heart attacks by decreasing serum cholesterol through proper excretion of bile acids. One or two teaspoon full before meals will reduce your consumption of fat and calories. May be taken with milk, juice or water.
Isabgol has a remarkable effect on the gastro intestinal system.It is a naturally healthy fibre and is not absorbed in the intestine. It has no known interaction with other drugs, and does not interfere with the absorption of vitamin and minerals.
As it forms bulk and has only mechanical properties , it give a sense of fullness and is being found increasing use as a slimming and detoxifying agent.
Isabgol is internationally acclaimed as the best agent that relieves constipation with absolutely no side effects.
What Isabgol does?
- A natural remedy for constipation, regulates bowel functions.
- A bulk forming laxative
- Help reduce risk of heart attack by decreasing serum cholesterol through proper excretion of bile acids.
- Consumed with water prior to meals, reduces constipation of fat and calorie.
- Help reduce risk of heart attack by decreasing serum cholesterol through proper excretion of bile acids
- A slimming agent and detoxifier.
Isabgol is –
Non-habit forming. Contains no artificial chemicals Extremely safe for all ages It has no side effects. It is 100% safe and natural.
As a general restorative, one or two teaspoons with milk or water or any liquid.
In traditional medicine in India, Isabgol has multiple usages and most often indicated for all sorts of stomach disorders. In case of diarrhoea or dysentery it is recommended to take Isabgol with curds ( yoghurt) 2 or 3 times till stomach stabilizes. In case of constipation, it is best recommended to be taken with hot milk at bed time.
Choking is a hazard if psyllium is taken without adequate water and thickens in the throat.
Isbagol is widely available in Indian grocery shops and in various pack sizes. Indian products are pure Isbagol husk usually cheaper and with no additives, colors or preservatives but are sold as food/health supplements.
Isabgol is available in widely available formulations worldwide sold by pharmaceutical companies and prescribed by doctors. However, what is often sold in developed markets is often with various flavors and additives of doubtful health value but cosmetically attractive and commercially more acceptable.
The United States is the world’s largest importer of psyllium husk, with over 60% of total imports going to pharmaceutical firms for use in products such as “Metamucil”. In Australia, psyllium husk is used to make “Bonvit” psyllium products. In the UK, ispaghula husk is used in the popular constipation remedy “Fybogel”. This is also now found in many slimming agents and as bulk additive to foods like ice creams etc.
Some of other uses of Isabgol in traditional Indian medicine are given below.
Catarrh: In pitta nature its husk is useful if swallowed. Take Isabgol in case of phlegm.
Headache: Grind Isabgol with eucalyptus leaves and apply the paste on the forehead.
Earache: In 10 grams of sticky substance add 10 grams of onion juice heat it, when it’s cool pour it in the ears to relieve pain.
Bad Breath: The bad breath stops when sticky substance is used as mouthwash.
Toothache: Soak it in vinegar and apply it on the tooth.
Asthma: Three to five grams of Isabgol seeds should be taken with hot water in the morning to get relief from asthma, breathing problem.
Diseases related to Stomach:
- During indigestion, diarrhoea, dysentery, 2 spoons of Isabgol husk should be added in curds and taken twice or thrice daily.
- Boil three equal parts of Isabgol in 1 litre of water till it reduces to half, remove from flame and make three equal parts of the mixture and consume thrice daily, this will give relief in dysentery, spasm and Diarrhoea.
- Put fresh seeds in the water, when the husk is formed mix it with sugar and consume, this will give relief in amoebic dysentery, dysentery, diarrhea, loose motions and spasm.
- This can be used regularly for the children suffering from constant diarrhea.
- To get relief from pain or burning sensation in the intestines, 100 grams seeds or the husk should be swallowed with cold water or it can be soaked in the water and swallowed.
- The seeds of Isabgol can be roasted and swallowedto get relief from diarrhoea. Medicinal use
To cure Constipation: One to two spoons of Isabgol husk should be consumed with hot milk during night this will be helpful in proper bowel movement.
- Husk of Isabgol and Triphala churna should be taken in equal quantities (three to five grams) with hot water in the night. This will help in free motions. For stomachache and pitta problem this works wonderfully.
- Bleeding piles: If we drink the syrup the bleeding will stop.
- Amoebic Spasm: in case of amoebic spasm add 100 grams of Isabgol husk in 50 grams of aniseed and 50 grams of sugar candy consume two to three spoons twice or thrice daily.
Urinary Problem: In case of mild or very mild urination or burning sensation while urinating or in urinary bladder take 4 spoons of husk, glassful water, and soak it for a while. Add sugar candy as per the taste and consume it. This will give relief in urination.
Rheumatism: Joint pains, poultice of Isabgol should be tied on the joints.
Psyllium husk is an amazing shrub-like herb that is most commonly found in India. It possesses a plethora of health benefits and has proven effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome, colon caner, constipation, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, ulcerative colitis and atherosclerosis among various other health conditions. Akin to flax seed and oat bran, the fiber in psyllium husk is soluble. Soluble fiber is useful in lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) which reduces the risk of heart disease and promotes overall health.
Psyllium husk is a bulking fiber, which means once ingested it expands and forms a gelatin-like mass in the colon by drawing water in. Once this occurs the husks are able to “scrub” the intestines clean and transport waste through the intestinal tract.
Better than pricey weight loss supplements
Although typically psyllium husk is thought of as colon cleansing or regularity supplement it can be very useful as a weight loss tool. Psyllium husk is highly effective when taken about 30 minutes before meals. This way, the husks will have time to expand in your stomach and give you a “full” feeling. This will help you eat smaller meals and thus lose unwanted pounds.
Unfortunately, when the majority of the population buys a weight loss supplement, they don’t question what’s in it or how it works. Many of these so called “weight loss supplements” that will cost you an arm and a leg are simply cheap fiber supplements. Most of them are in the pill form which means you’re getting a miniscule dose and none of them are more effective than whole psyllium husks.
Tips for buying and using psyllium husk
There are many psyllium husk supplements available; however, they are not all created equal. Many manufacturers grind the husk into a fine powder and then add artificial flavors and colors to make it easier and more pleasant to consume. This not only makes the psyllium husk far less effective, it introduces unwanted toxins to your system. This variety is typically the only type you will find in traditional grocery stores.
You will likely need to go to a health food store to purchase whole psyllium husks with no additives. Whole psyllium husks can be difficult for some people to swallow, so be sure to drink your husks with a full glass of water to avoid choking. It is also important to drink lots of water while taking psyllium husk because without sufficient water the husks can begin to create blockages in the intestines.
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
John Mckiernan is a health and fitness writer. He is the owner of Supplement Helper where he writes supplement reviews and more. He also manages CNA Info, a small blog aimed at answering questions for anyone interested in CNA work.