Psyllium Health Benefits

Psyllium Health benefits, Side Effects

What is Psyllium Psyllium is a medicinal herb that has weight loss benefits and also used to treat gastrointestinal problems.
Psyllium Health Benefits Psyllium has been traditionally used to improve gastrointestinal functions, weigh loss, hypertension and heart diseases prevention and treatment


Psyllium Side effects and warnings. Psyllium is considered safe at recommended dosages. May cause side effects such as gas, bloatedness, diarrhea, stomach ache and others.

What is Psyllium

Psyllium husks also simply called psyllium are parts of the seeds of the plant Plantago ovata of the genus Plantago which native to India but can be found elsewhere. Psyllium husks are hygroscopic, capable of absorbing fluids primarily used as bulk forming laxative and a good source of dietary fiber and used commercially to produce mucilage.

psyllium seeds

Psyllium husk is an effective herb used to lose weight and in maintaining general intestinal health. Psyllium husk’s benefits come from its spongy fiber that is not readily digestible presenting a feeling of fullness thus reducing appetite.  The fiber-rich psyllium husk also improves digestion while cleansing the system. Psyllium is an excellent source of fiber for low carbohydrate diets that is effective in weight control programs.

Scientific Studies of Psyllium Health Benefits

Psyllium Benefits for Constipation

In the Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics May 1998, a study has been published detailing the benefits of psyllium husk in the treatment of chronic constipation.
The study found that psyllium absorbs more water and produce more bulk that effects the intestine to contract and help speed the passage of stool through the digestive tract. Psyllium is superior to docusate sodium for softening stools by increasing stool water content, and has greater overall laxative efficacy in subjects with chronic idiopathic constipation.

Psyllium Benefits Against Colon Cancer

In the Journal of Cancer Letters. November 1993, a study was published that investigated the potential synergism of wheat bran and psyllium husk in the inhibition of colon cancer in murine rats. According the study done in the Institute for Disease Prevention, George Washington University, the rats were fed with experimental diets and were given injections of azoxymethan to induce colon tumors. When fed with psyllium husk and wheat bran fibers the results clearly showed that there is a significantly reduced number of colon tumors. This study suggests that diets that include wheat bran in combination with psyllium husk could benefit human population against colon cancer risk who are addicted to high risk western diets.

Psyllium Benefits for Diabetes II Patients

A high fiber diet is widely believed to lower insulin and blood sugar levels and improve cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. It may also reduce the chance of developing diabetes in those who are at risk.

The Journal of Diabetes and its Complications issue Sept-Oct 1998 have reported a study investigating the benefits of Plantago psyllium in type II diabetes and its effects in the blood lipid and glucose levels. The results of the study indicated that patients given 5 grams of psyllium husk three times a day for two weeks showed significant reduction in fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides levels, while the  HDL cholesterol increased significantly with no remarkable side effects. This suggests that psyllium is an effective adjunct to dietary therapy in type II diabetes patients having the benefits of lipid and blood glucose lowering effect.

Psyllium Benefits for Diarrhea

Psyllium is also used to treat mild to moderate cases of diarrhea. Psyllium exhibits a water absorbency effect making the stool firmer and slower to pass.

Psyllium Effects and Benefits for Heart Disease

The Department of Medicine, Mt. Vernon Hospital in New York, USA has released a study as published in the Journal of Cardiology in Review. May 2007, on the nutriceuticals of psyllium husk in cardiovascular disease. The study reported that psyllium husk is a soluble gel-forming fiber that binds to the bile acids in the gut and has preventive effects of reabsorption, similar to the bile acid sequestrant drugs. Moreover, psyllium is useful as an adjunct to dietary therapy in the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia. In combination with other cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins, psyllium provides an added benefit on cholesterol lowering, and is well tolerated and cost-effective.

Psyllium Effects and Benefits for Hemorrhoids

Having soft stool is a great comfort when having hemorrhoids. Psyllium may benefit a hemorrhoid patient by softening the stool for easy passage through the anal cavity.

Psyllium Benefits for High Blood Pressure

The British Journal of Nutrition reported a study done in Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute about the effects of 12-week psyllium fibre supplementation or healthy diet on blood pressure and arterial stiffness in overweight and obese individuals. According to this study, healthy diet is the best way to control or lower blood pressure. Psyllium husk alone did not effect a significant benefit in lowering blood pressure but augmentation of psyllium husk may further improve control and lowering of blood pressure in hypertensive patients.

Psyllium Effects against High Cholesterol

Healthy diet rich in soluble fibers has been found to benefit patients with high cholesterol. According to studies  5 grams of psyllium husk  taken 3 times a day showed a significant reduction of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides levels, while the  HDL cholesterol increased significantly with no remarkable side effects.
Psyllium husk when taken in combination with cholesterol lowering drugs, such as statins provide additional benefits in reducing cholesterol levels.

Psyllium Husk  Benefits to Weight Loss

Studies and clinical reports suggest that psyllium husk is not a readily digestible fiber and absorbs water and bile acids in the stomach and intestine. Because of this effect, there is a feeling of fuller stomach that reduce hunger and cravings while at the same time preventing the reabsorption of fatty acids by the stomach.

Psyllium Availability and Preparation

Psyllium husks are mostly available in health food stores. Psyllium may be bought in standard preparations in dry seed or husk form, to be mixed with water as needed. Psyllium is also an ingredient in some commercially prepared laxatives. Psyllium can also be bought in capsules, tablets, and wafers forms.

Psyllium is also available in herbal online stores. also carries a couple of psyllium husk preparations such as the Psyllium Husk 500mg, 500 Capsules

How to Take Psyllium:

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.


It is best that children should get fiber from their diet. Psyllium supplements may only be given upon doctor's advice.


To take psyllium husk or seeds : Add 1 to 2 tsp of psyllium husks with 8 oz glass of warm water then mixed well. Note that psyllium absorbs water rapidly and the mix should be taken immediately or else it will become too thick to swallow.

When taking commercially prepared psyllium, take as directed in the product label.

Psyllium can be taken 30 minutes before meal for weight loss regimen while for other purposes, psyllium can be taken in the morning or upon bedtime.


Psyllium Safe Dosage, Side Effects and Warnings

Psyllium is considered safe if taken properly. Psyllium should always be taken with a minimum of 8 ounces of water.

Psyllium can be taken even by pregnant or breast feeding mothers.

Psyllium can only be given to young children upon the advice of a doctor.

Psyllium side effects may include gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation and nausea.

In rare cases, psyllium may cause side effects such as head ache, cough and sinus problems.

Psyllium may cause adverse side effects to people who are sensitive to psyllium husk or seeds. Side effects may include sneezing, asthma and hives.

Psyllium may cause choking for people who have difficulty in swallowing.

Do not take psyllium products if suspected of gastroinstestinal narrowing or obstructions or spasms.

Psyllium may affect the absorption of the medications taken. Consult your doctor when planning to take psyllium when under some kind of medication.

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