Vitamins & Minerals
Botanical names: Plantago ispaghula, Plantago ovata
Psyllium is native to Iran and India and is currently cultivated in these countries. The seeds are primarily used in traditional herbal medicine. Psyllium seed husks are mainly used to treat constipation.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Type 2 Diabetes
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
In addition to its traditional and current use for constipation, psyllium is also used topically by herbalists to treat skin irritations, including poison ivy reactions and insect bites and stings. It has also been used in traditional herbal systems of China and India to treat diarrhea, hemorrhoids, bladder problems, and high blood pressure.
How to Use It
The suggested intake of psyllium husks to treat constipation is 1 teaspoon (approximately 5 grams) three times per day. Alternatively, some references suggest taking 2 to 6 teaspoons (10 to 30 grams) of the whole seeds per day—typically taken in three even amounts throughout the day. This is stirred into a large glass of water or juice and drunk immediately before it thickens. It is best to follow label instructions on over-the-counter psyllium products for constipation. It is important to maintain a high water intake when using psyllium.
Using psyllium in recommended amounts is generally safe. People with chronic constipation should seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Some people with irritable bowel syndrome feel worse when taking psyllium and may do better with soluble fiber, such as in fruit. People with an obstruction of the bowel or people with diabetes who have difficulty regulating their blood sugar should not use psyllium. Side effects, such as allergic skin and respiratory reactions to psyllium dust, have largely been limited to people working in factories manufacturing psyllium products.
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
At the time of writing, there were no well-known interactions with this supplement.
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