Save big on your family healthcare expenses. Become a myUpchar plus member only at Rs. 99 -

Psyllium husk is a type of fibre that is made from the Plantago ovata plant. As the name suggests, psyllium husk comes from the husk of the plant’s seed. India is the largest producer of psyllium husk in the world. In India, it is mainly cultivated in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Gujarat accounts for nearly 35% of the total world production of psyllium husk.

The name “Psyllium” is used for the whole plant, along with the crust and the seed. Psyllium husk is also commonly known as isabgol. Traditional Iranian medicine has been making use of psyllium for ages.

Psyllium husk is known to possess multiple health benefits for both humans and animals. Because of the high fibre content, psyllium husk can help prevent constipation. It is also known to be beneficial for the heart and can help keep diabetes under control.

Psyllium husk can be consumed in a lot of ways. Although some people find the taste of pure psyllium husk unpleasant it is also baked in cookies, biscuits and other confectionaries. Psyllium husk does not have any sugar or flavour. So it is usually recommended to consume it with water or juice. 

Some basics facts about Psyllium Husk

  • Botanical name: Plantago Ovata husk
  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • Common name: Psyllium husk / Isabgol
  • Sanskrit name: Sat Isabgol.
  • Parts used: Psyllium is a form of fibre made from the husk of the psyllium plant's seeds. Plant part is used as the husk.
  • Native region and geographical distribution: It is native to Asia, the Mediterranean region, and North Africa and commercially grown in India. In India, the crop is mainly cultivated in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
  1. Psyllium husk nutrition facts
  2. Psyllium husk health benefits
  3. Psyllium husk side effects
  4. Takeaway

Psyllium husk is primarily rich in fibre. But it also contains other essential nutrients that can be beneficial to the body. Psyllium husk is rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron.

As per the USDA Nutrient Database, the table below shows the nutrient values of psyllium husk per 100 g.

Nutrients Value per 100 g
Energy 375 kcal
Protein 5 g
Fat 6.25 g
Carbohydrate 75 g
Fibre 10 g
Sugars 30 g
Minerals  
Iron 50 mg
Calcium 1.8 mg
Potassium 262 mg
Sodium 288 mg
Fats/Fatty acids  
Saturated 2.5 g
  • For constipation: Psyllium husk is one of the richest sources of fibres and is thus helpful in the management of constipation. Other than having laxative properties, it increases the concentration of water in the stools facilitating their easy removal.
  • For other digestive issues: Psyllium husk is also helpful in the management of diarrhoea, amoebic dysentery and ulcerative colitis by regulating bowel function.
  • For appetite control: Being rich in fibres, psyllium husk helps to control appetite and hunger by enhancing fullness and increasing the time taken for the emptying of the stomach following a meal.
  • For diabetes: A diet rich in fibres is good for diabetic control and supplementation with psyllium husk aided in the reduction of blood glucose levels in those affected with type 2 diabetes.
  • For high cholesterol: The intake of psyllium husk helps to lower total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, while increasing the levels of high-density lipoprotein, which is a good type of cholesterol. It also reduced the absorption of cholesterol by the body.
  • For hypertension: Being a rich source of dietary fibre, psyllium husk also helps lower blood pressure, as divulged by clinical studies reporting a decrease in blood pressure by 55 mm Hg.
  1. Psyllium husk for constipation
  2. Psyllium husk for diabetes
  3. Psyllium husk for appetite control
  4. Psyllium husk lowers cholesterol
  5. Psyllium husk for diarrhoea
  6. Psyllium husk for amoebic dysentery
  7. Psyllium husk to treat ulcerative colitis
  8. Psyllium husk for high blood pressure

Psyllium husk for constipation

Constipation is a condition wherein the bowel movements are either irregular or it becomes difficult to pass stools. This condition is often associated with stomach pain, bloating and loss of appetite. Several studies suggest that psyllium husk can be used to treat constipation.  A clinical study with 170 subjects with chronic constipation revealed that consumption of psyllium husk increased the content of water in the stool and made bowel movement easier.  An older study showed that psyllium husk can be used with fibrous compounds such as pectin and cellulose to improve its laxative potential., Both these fibres are commonly found in fruits such as berries and apples. Adding pectin or cellulose with psyllium husk can also help get rid of the blandness of psyllium husk. Another study indicated that the polysaccharides present in psyllium husk and its  gel-forming abilities can help prevent constipation.

(Read more: How to improve digestion)

Psyllium husk for diabetes

Diabetes is an endocrine disorder in which our body is unable to metabolise glucose causing an accumulation of these sugars in the blood. Although it is not possible to completely cure diabetes, it can be managed by making simple changes to the diet. According to The American Diabetes Association, a diet rich in fibre is useful for to keeping diabetes under control.

A clinical study on 34 men with type 2 diabetes and high levels of cholesterol revealed that supplementation of psyllium husk for a period of 2 weeks showed a significant reduction in blood glucose levels. This indicates that psyllium husk is safe for consumption in people with type 2 diabetes.

Psyllium husk for appetite control

Often we tend to feel hungry between meals. This is when we have the urge to snack on things that might not be healthy. In a research done to evaluate the correlation between stomach emptying and appetite, it was seen that psyllium husk significantly increased the time taken for stomach emptying after a meal. Being rich in fibre, psyllium husk also increases the feeling of fullness, thereby reducing hunger pangs between meals.

(Read more: Balanced diet chart)

Psyllium husk lowers cholesterol

High cholesterol in the blood could mean a higher risk of getting heart diseases. People with high levels of cholesterol are more prone to heart attack and stroke. Studies reveal that psyllium husk could help reduce the level of cholesterol in the body. A study was done on 125 diabetic patients who were asked to consume psyllium husk thrice a day for a period of six weeks. The results of the study indicated that there was a significant reduction in the total cholesterol level (TC), triglyceride level and bad cholesterol (LDL) level. There was also an increase in the level of good cholesterol (HDL). 

A study conducted on 47 obese males aged between 15 - 16 years showed that consumption of fibre rich psyllium husk led to an 8% decrease in the level of bad cholesterol (LDL).

Another clinical study on 20 subjects with high levels of cholesterol indicated that psyllium husk helps lower the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduces the absorption of cholesterol into the blood by stimulating the synthesis of bile acid.

(Read more: High cholesterol treatment)

Psyllium husk for diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is a condition characterized by an abnormally frequent passage of watery stools. Research reveals that psyllium husk can help prevent diarrhoea. A clinical study done on 8 individuals indicated that psyllium husk can delay the emptying of the stomach by increasing the consistency of the meal and reducing the time taken for the food to reach the colon. This was particularly beneficial for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhoea. 

Diarrhea is one of the most common side effects of radiation therapy in cancer patients.  Studies reveal that psyllium husk can help prevent the frequency and severity of diarrhoea in cancer patients after radiation.

Psyllium husk for amoebic dysentery

Amoebiasis or amoebic dysentery is caused by an intestinal parasite  Entamoeba histolytica. Common symptoms of this condition include stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Traditionally, psyllium husk is used as a remedy for amoebic dysentery. A research suggested that certain active compounds present in psyllium husk have inhibitory effects against Entamoeba histolytica and E. diapar. The research further reported that crude extracts of psyllium are effective amoebicidals at a concentration of 1 to 10 mg per ml and thus can be used in the treatment of amoebic dysentery.

Psyllium husk to treat ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a condition that affects the colon or large intestine and it is usually characterized by inflammation and irritation. If this is left untreated, it may lead to colon cancer. Mesalamine is one of the drugs that are being used to treat ulcerative colitis

In a clinical trial with 150 patients with ulcerative colitis, oral supplementation of psyllium husk has been found to be as effective as mesalamine in treating ulcerative colitis.

Psyllium husk for high blood pressure

Blood pressure is the force that the heart uses to pump blood through the body. High blood pressure usually does not have any immediate symptoms. But if this condition is left untreated, it could lead to heart diseases and stroke. Research suggests that a diet low in protein and fibre could be associated with high blood pressure. Psyllium husk is a rich source of dietary fibre.

A clinical study was done on 36 hypertensive (high blood pressure) patients to access if consumption of psyllium husk can control high blood pressure. The results revealed that there was a reduction in the blood pressure by 5.9 mm Hg (5.9 millimetres of mercury). It was further added that the hypotensive (blood pressure reducing) effects of psyllium husk are not affected by gender, age or weight.

On the whole, psyllium husk is associated with very few side effects.

  • Psyllium husk may cause allergy and respiratory disorder 
    Although uncommon, some allergic reactions such as rashes, itching and difficulty in breathing may occur upon consumption and inhalation of psyllium husk. Studies have shown that psyllium dust fumes may cause bronchial distress in some people.
  • Psyllium husk may cause bloating
    Psyllium husk is very high in fibre and is therefore prescribed for constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders. However, excessive consumption of fibre may affect the passage of gas from the gastrointestinal tract to the rectum, leading to gas retention and bloating.
  • Psyllium husk may cause choking 
    It is highly recommended to take psyllium with a full glass of water and drink at least 6 to 8 full glasses of water throughout the day to avoid constipation. Swallowing psyllium powder or husk without water may result in choking. Psyllium husks are nowadays being added to cookies, crackers and similar products to prevent this.

Psyllium husk is a type of fibre that is obtained from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant. Owing to its high fibre content, it is usually used to prevent constipation. But it is also rich in other minerals such as calcium, iron and potassium. Some of the health benefits of psyllium husk are - it prevents diarrhoea, it can help lower blood pressure, it can lower cholesterol levels and also keep diabetes under control. It is advised to consume psyllium husk with plenty of water to avoid choking. Since psyllium husk does not have any flavour or taste, people usually consume biscuits or cookies containing this dietary fibre.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
Dabur Nature Care Isabgol PowderDabur Nature Care Isabgol (Double Action) Powder189.0
Dabur Sat IsabgolDabur Sat Isabgol Powder185.25
Dabur Nature Care RegularDabur Nature Care Regular Powder225.0
Dabur Trifgol PowderDABUR TRIFGOL POWDER 100GM PACK OF 2225.0
Kudos Ayulax CapsuleKudos Ayulax Capsules113.4
Kudos Ayulax PowderKudos Ayulax Powder90.0
Patanjali IsabgolPatanjali Isabgol Husk85.5
Baidyanath Isabbael ChurnaBaidyanath Isabbael Churna137.75
CremadietCremadiet Plus Powder137.7
FybogelFybogel Hi Fibre Isabgol Husk Powder Orange147.25
NaturolaxNaturolax A Powder Orange8.5
Lupin Softovac PowderSoftovac SF Bowel Regulator Powder139.5
Planet Ayurveda Isabgol Husk PowderPlanet Ayurveda Isabgol Husk Powder324.0
Swadeshi Kabjgul VatiSwadeshi Kabjgul Vati 110.7
SoftolaxSoftolax Powder Saunf104.55
SoftovacSoftovac Bowel Regulator Powder288.0
Laxof HuskLaxof Husk Granules247.5
और पढ़ें ...

References

  1. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Full Report (All Nutrients): 45195403, 100% NATURAL PSYLLIUM HUSK. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release [Internet]
  2. Watanabe T et al. Constipation, laxative use and risk of colorectal cancer: The Miyagi Cohort Study. Eur J Cancer. 2004 Sep;40(14):2109-15. PMID: 15341986
  3. Marteau P et al. Digestibility and bulking effect of ispaghula husks in healthy humans. Gut. 1994 Dec;35(12):1747-52. PMID: 7829013
  4. McRorie JW et al. Psyllium is superior to docusate sodium for treatment of chronic constipation. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1998 May;12(5):491-7. PMID: 9663731
  5. Spiller GA, Shipley EA, Chernoff MC, Cooper WC. Bulk laxative efficacy of a psyllium seed hydrocolloid and of a mixture of cellulose and pectin. J Clin Pharmacol. 1979 May-Jun;19(5-6):313-20. PMID: 469025
  6. Singh B. Psyllium as therapeutic and drug delivery agent. Int J Pharm. 2007 Apr 4;334(1-2):1-14. Epub 2007 Jan 21. PMID: 17329047
  7. Washington N, Harris M, Mussellwhite A, Spiller RC. Moderation of lactulose-induced diarrhea by psyllium: effects on motility and fermentation. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Feb;67(2):317-21. PMID: 9459381
  8. Murphy J, Stacey D, Crook J, Thompson B, Panetta D. Testing control of radiation-induced diarrhea with a psyllium bulking agent: a pilot study.. Can Oncol Nurs J. 2000 Summer;10(3):96-100. PMID: 11894282
  9. Robert E. Post, Arch G. Mainous, Dana E. King, Kit N. Simpson. Dietary Fiber for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Meta-Analysis. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine January 2012, 25 (1) 16-23
  10. Anderson JW, Allgood LD, Turner J, Oeltgen PR, Daggy BP. Effects of psyllium on glucose and serum lipid responses in men with type 2 diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Oct;70(4):466-73. PMID: 10500014
  11. Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F, Lazcano-Burciaga G. Lipid- and glucose-lowering efficacy of Plantago Psyllium in type II diabetes. J Diabetes Complications. 1998 Sep-Oct;12(5):273-8. PMID: 9747644
  12. Everson GT, Daggy BP, McKinley C, Story JA. Effects of psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid on LDL-cholesterol and bile acid synthesis in hypercholesterolemic men. J Lipid Res. 1992 Aug;33(8):1183-92. PMID: 1431597
  13. Burke V. et al. Dietary protein and soluble fiber reduce ambulatory blood pressure in treated hypertensives. Hypertension. 2001 Oct;38(4):821-6. PMID: 11641293
  14. Zaman V et al. The presence of antiamoebic constituents in psyllium husk. Phytother Res. 2002 Feb;16(1):78-9. PMID: 11807972
  15. Hall M, Flinkman T. Do fiber and psyllium fiber improve diabetic metabolism? Consult Pharm. 2012 Jul;27(7):513-6. PMID: 22910133
  16. Ayman S. Abutair, Ihab A. Naser, and Amin T. Hamed. Soluble fibers from psyllium improve glycemic response and body weight among diabetes type 2 patients (randomized control trial) . Nutr J. 2016; 15: 86. PMID: 27733151
  17. Bajorek SA, Morello . Effects of dietary fiber and low glycemic index diet on glucose control in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.. Ann Pharmacother. 2010 Nov;44(11):1786-92. PMID: 20959501
  18. Marc P. McRae. Dietary Fiber Is Beneficial for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses J Chiropr Med. 2017 Dec; 16(4): 289–299. PMID: 29276461
  19. Cummings JH, Macfarlane GT. Gastrointestinal effects of prebiotics. Br J Nutr. 2002 May;87 Suppl 2:S145-51. PMID: 12088511
  20. Mehmood MH, Aziz N, Ghayur MN, Gilani AH. Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of psyllium husk (Ispaghula) in constipation and diarrhea. Dig Dis Sci. 2011 May;56(5):1460-71. PMID: 21082352
  21. Roberts-Andersen J, Mehta T, Wilson RB. Reduction of DMH-induced colon tumors in rats fed psyllium husk or cellulose. Nutr Cancer. 1987;10(3):129-36. PMID: 2819829
  22. Cartier A, Malo JL, Dolovich J. Occupational asthma in nurses handling psyllium. Clin Allergy. 1987 Jan;17(1):1-6. PMID: 3829366
  23. Richard Lea, Peter J. Whorwell. Expert Commentary – Bloating, Distension, and the Irritable Bowel Syndrome. MedGenMed. 2005; 7(1): 18. PMID: 16369323
ऐप पर पढ़ें