Botanical Name:Isapgaluvittulu / Isapgaluvittulu / Plantago ovata Forsk
Common Name:Psyllium seed husks, also known as ispaghula, isabgol, or simply as psyllium
Synonyms: Bran Buds® cereal, Effersyllium®, Fiberall®, flea seed, Fybogel®, Heartwise® cereal, Hydrocil®, I-so-gel®, ispaghula, ispaghula husk, ispaghula seed, isphagula, Konsyl®, Lunelax®, Metamucil®, Minolest®, natural vegetable laxative, Plantago arenaria , Plantago psyllium , Prodiem Plain®, psyllion, psyllios, psyllium husk, psyllium seed, Regulan®, Serutan®, Vi-Siblin®, Yerba Prima® psyllium husk powder.
Genus : Plantago
Parts Used : Husk from spikes and seeds
Habitat : Native of India and Pakistan.
Description & Cultivation :It is an irrigated crop, which grows well on light soils; soil with poor drianage is not conductive from good growth of this crop. Asiltry-loam soil having pH from 4.7 to 7.7 with high nitrogen and low moisture content is ideal for growth of plants and high yield of seeds. Isabgol thrives well in warm-temperate regions. It requires cool and dry weather and is sown during winter. Sowing during first week of November gives best yields. Early sowing makes the crop vulnerable to downy mildew disease, whereas late sowing enhances early growth in winter along with the possibility of scattering of seeds due to summer rains in April-May. At maturity, if the weather is humid, it seeds scatter resulting in the reduction of yield. Heavy dew or even a light shower will proportionately decrease the yield, at times leading to even total loss of the crop. The temperature requirement for maximum seed germination is reported to be 20 to 30’C.
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Chemical Constituents : Fatty acids.
Uses:Psyllium seed husks are indigestible in human beings and are often used as a source of dietary fiber. They are used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and diarrhea. They are also used as a regular dietary supplement to improve and maintain regular GI transit. The inert bulk of the husks helps provide a constant volume of solid material irrespective of other aspects of the diet or any disease condition of the gut. Some recent research is also showing them to be promising in lowering cholesterol and controlling diabetes.
The husks are used whole in their natural state, or dried and chopped or powdered for easier consumption. In either of these forms, one takes them by mixing them with water or another fluid. They are also available in capsules. Over-the-counter laxatives and fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Serutan, Fybogel, Bonvit, and Effersyllium have psyllium husks as their main ingredient. They may be combined with other ingredients (e.g., Blackstrap molasses is sometimes used with psyllium seed husks for its high mineral and vitamin content, as well as being an excellent carrier). A typical dose is one to three teaspoons per glass of water.
It helps to improve burning sensation, habitual constipation, stangury, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery, colonalgia, dry cough, erysipelas, gout, gonorrhoea, bilious fever, nephropathy, duodenal ulcers, haemorrhoids, emaction and general debility.
Psyllium seeds are very similar to the seed husks and can be used for many of the same purposes, although their use is less common.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.