Ispaghula - General Information

General Information

Name: psyllium
Biological Name: plantago ispagula, plantago ovata
Other Names: Ispaghula, Spogel Seeds,Ishabgol, Snigdhajira, Isapghul, psyllium, plantago
parts Used: Seeds
Active Compounds:

psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative and is high in both fiber and mucilage. psyllium seeds contain 10-30% mucilage. The laxative properties of psyllium are due to the swelling of the husk when it comes in contact with water. This forms a gelatinous mass and keeps the feces hydrated and soft. The resulting bulk stimulates a reflex contraction of the walls of the bowel, followed by emptying.


In addition to its traditional and current use for constipation, psyllium was also used topically 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.

Remedies For :

Demulcent, emollient, laxative, diuretic
Useful for:
high cholesterol
high triglycerides
irritable bowel syndrome
weight loss and obesity
Ayurvedic Applications:

Excellent for constipation (with warm water) and diarrhea (with cool water). Seeds swell and thicken (mucilage) when soaked in water. It passes through the small intestine undigested, lining the mucus membrane (demulcifying and lubricating). May inhibit intestinal organism growth. The thickened jelly absorbs toxins and bacteria. It is useful for catarrh, chronic dysentery, intestinal problems, bladder, kidney and urethra problems (including inflammations and burning), digestive disorders, and fevers. Further uses include gonorrhea, gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, cystitis, a demulcent for coughs and colds (especially for children)

1. Ispaghula contains fibre and is usually used to help maintain normal bowel function.
2. It is important to stir the powder or granules into a glass of water (150ml/quarter of a pint) and drink immediately. If left to stand, it will become too thick to drink.
3. Ispaghula must not be taken dry or just before going to bed.
4. When used to relieve constipation, the full effect can take up to three days to develop.
5. Although side effects are rare, you may notice increased flatulence or bloating during the first few days of treatment.

Description: This Ayurvedic herb is found in India and Iran.

1-2 tbs. in warm or cool water, stirred until it thickens into a gel.

Many people take 7.5 grams of the seeds or 5 grams of the husks one to two times per day, with water or juice. Its important to maintain adequate fluid intake when using psyllium.


Using psyllium in recommended amounts is generally safe. people with chronic constipation should seek the advice of a health care professional. Side effects, such as allergic skin and respiratory reactions to psyllium dust, have largely been limited to people working in plants manufacturing psyllium products.
No other information about the safety of this herb is available. Use caution. Ayurvedic herbs are often taken in combination to neutralize the toxicity one herb with the opposing effect of other. Do not take except under the supervision of a qualified professional.

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