Psyllium seed husk which also known as Isabgol or Ispaghula is a part of the seeds of a plant native of India and Pakistan known as Plantago Ovate. The seeds of this plant are hygroscopic (they can absorb and retain water) and when they expand, they become mucilaginous or gluey in their appearance and consistency.
Although Psyllium seed husk cannot be digested but nevertheless they are a wonderful source of soluble dietary fibers. This seed husk is often used as a regular dietary supplement by many living in India and its surrounding countries over ages to improve and maintain a normal GI transit of the food through their intestine.
The inert bulk of the Psyllium seed husk aids in providing constant volume of solid material to pass through our intestine. Thus helping in our bowel movement irrespective of any diseases found inside our gut or other aspects of our regular diets.
Psyllium seed husks is also often used in gluten free baking as ground seed husk helps in binding moisture that aids in less crumbling of the breads.
The Psyllium seed husks are dried and chopped or even used whole in their natural state for the ease of consumption. These husks are also sold in powdered form.
Prior to consumption Psyllium seed husks is mixed with water or similar non-alcoholic fluids and are commonly sold as OTC (over-the-counter) laxative in several places across the globe.
In some nations Psyllium seed husks is also sold in capsules which are ingested along with food.
In US, Blackstrap molasses is sometimes used along with this husk as it provides additional vitamin and mineral contents to this fiber supplement.
Some of the most essential health benefits of consuming Psyllium seed husks regularly after or during our meals are.
As this dietary fiber promotes increase in colonic contents, which in turn stimulates propulsion, Psyllium seed husk, is used for increasing stool weight and promote laxation. It increases the moisture content of our stool and thereby cure symptoms related to constipation.
Psyllium seed husk aids stools function as an emollient and lubricant and is considered more effective than other common chemical laxatives available in the market.
Here are some other benefits of this seed husk.
Lowers LDL cholestrol
It has been clinically established in the recent years that consuming Psyllium seed husk, helps in significantly lowering our LDH cholesterol. Of all the viscous soluble fibers, it has been noted that Psyllium seed husk appears to me the most effective fiber that is capable of reducing bad cholesterols in our body with practically zero adverse effects.
Additional soluble fiber sources that lowers cholesterol are legumes, guar gum, pectin, oat bran, locust bean gum and others.
Non digestible foods such as Psyllium seed husk, which selectively promotes bacterial growth in our colon are known as probiotics. Consuming Psyllium seed husk helps in lowering the pH level in our stool that reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.
Promotes intestinal health
As approximately more than 55 percent of the solids in our faces is considered as microbial biomass. Consuming Psyllium seed husks helps in increasing the population of resident bacteria inside our colon and thus helps in promoting intestinal health.
Helps in weight loss
As Psyllium seed husk is indigestible consuming this fiber supplement helps in losing weight, when it is consumed on a regular basis.
The most common doze of this fiber supplement that helps in cleaning our colon is 3.5 gm dissolved in 250 ml of water or similar non-alcoholic substance.