What is It?
Rich in soluble fiber, psyllium seeds and their husks have long been enlisted to ease constipation and digestive system upset. During the Middle Ages, Arab physicians regularly recommended a formula for constipation that included psyllium as a principal ingredient. Today, a number of studies suggest that psyllium may also be effective in lowering cholesterol, promoting weight loss (it makes you feel full), and aiding numerous other conditions.
Psyllium seeds are harvested from Plantago psyllium and P. ovata. Commonly called plantain, these plants should not be confused with the bananalike fruit of the same common name (Musa paradisiaca), or with the plantain Herb (P. lanceolata). Psyllium’s reddish brown to black seeds are so tiny that that they are occasionally referred to as “flea seeds.” Odorless and tasteless, they are commonly added to laxatives, other herbal cures, and even to certain breakfast cereals.
Don’t use psyllium within two hours of taking any other supplements or medications; it could delay their absorption into the bloodstream.
Psyllium can make tetracycline antibiotics less effective, so consult your doctor for guidance before taking both drugs at the same time.
Note: For information on interactions with specific generic drugs, see our WholeHealthMD Drug/Nutrient Interactions Chart.
Because psyllium is naturally high in fiber, it can temporarily cause bloating and flatulence. To prevent this type of reaction, start with a small amount of the herb and gradually increase the dose over several days.
Psyllium absorbs water, so be sure to take it with large amounts of fluid: Try to drink an additional six to eight glasses of fluid a day while taking psyllium preparations. Without a large fluid intake, an intestinal blockage can develop.
Don’t exceed recommended doses; taking larger quantities of psyllium can reduce your body’s ability to absorb certain minerals.
In rare cases, psyllium can cause an allergic reaction. This may be signaled by the development of a rash, itching, or even breathing and swallowing problems. If you suspect you are having an allergic reaction to psyllium, seek prompt professional care.
If you are pregnant, have diabetes, or suffer from an obstructed bowel (possibly signaled by persistent constipation, absence of bowel movements, or abdominal pain), consult your doctor before taking psyllium preparations.
Candida Overgrowth Syndrome- 1-3 tsp. powder dissolved in a glass of water or juice (followed by full glass of water) once a day
Constipation – 1-3 tbsp powder dissolved in a glass of water or juice a day
Diarrhea – 1-3 tbsp. powder dissolved in a glass of water or juice a day
Gallstones – 1 tbsp. powder dissolved in a glass of water or juice twice a day
Hemorrhoids – 1 tbsp powder dissolved in a glass of water or juice twice a day
High Cholesterol – 1 tbsp powder dissolved in a glass of water or juice twice a day
Irritable Bowel Syndrome – 1-3 rounded teaspoons, once or twice a day as needed. Mix with water or diluted fruit juice
Weight Management – 1-3 tbsp. powder dissolved in water or juice 3 times a day, before meals
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