Psyllium Husks

Psyllium Husks

Common Names of Psyllium : Flea,lspaghua,Spogel,Plantago Psyllium,Isaphgol,Plantago sp., Isabgula,Plantaginis Ovatae Testa
Botanical Names of Psyllium : Plantago Ovata, Plantago Ispaghula

Psyllium Other Name: Psyllii semen, Blond Psyllium.

The husk of Psyllium is the actual coating of mucilage around the seed. It is considered pure dietary fiber and is the only part of the plant used in manufacturing Psyllium products. Its nutritional value consists mainly of glycosides, proteins, polysaccharides, vitamin B1, and choline. Fiber content of  over 80% compared to less than 15% for oat bran and 10% for wheat bran. The husk is composed mostly of a fiber called hemicellulose which is a complex carbohydrate found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Hemicellulose is undigestible, however, it is partially broken down in the colon and feeds the friendly intestinal flora.
Psyllium is mainly used for Water Soluble Polymers, Colon cleansing, KhaKha in Chit Mix, Fiber rich for detoxification, Tackifier, Erosion Control Industry.

Medicinal Applications:
Psyllium has been used in connection with the following conditions :-

  • Constipation
  • Diverticular disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diarrhea
  • Hemorrhoids
  • High triglycerides
  • Ulcerative colitis (to maintain remission)
  • Parkinson’s disease (for constipation)
  • Weight loss and obesity


Soluble fibre (Psyllium) acts as a hypocholesterolemic agent.  Soluble fibre (Psyllium) helps block the synthesis of cholesterol through its fermentation into Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) by the intestinal flora (friendly bacteria in the colon). When soluble fibre reaches the colon, it starts a fermentation process with the gut flora producing SCFA.

Several studies of Fibre Therapeutic Diet are done at New Orleans, at the University Of Kentucky College Of Medicine in Lexington and at Chicago Center of Clinical Research. These studies showed that when soluble fibre (Psyllium) is consumed either with high or low fat diet,it helps decrease total as well as LDL cholesterol.


Psyllium helps control the rise of blood glucose following a meal. It also helps reduce insulin requirement in-patients with diabetes mellitus.


Psyllium treats / prevents constipation or diarrhea. Soluble fibre in Psyllium adds bulk to faecal mass. It increases activity in bowel movement and increases intestinal transit time. It helps keep regularity. Psyllium acts as a detoxifying agent. Through its ability to absorb large amounts of water, it binds with heavy metals and chemical toxins. Psyllium is useful during radiation therapy due to its ability to rid the body of radiation induced toxemia.

Psyllium increases the bulk of the material reaching the colon. It increases bowel movement and reduces the pressure on gastrointestinal (GI) walls. Such control helps decrease symptoms  associated with diverticulosis. It also helps avoid diverticular inflammation (diverticulitis).

Psyllium increases the bulk of the stool and decreases transit time. This dilutes the concentration of potential carcinogens in the stool. It also decreases the exposure of intestinal wall to the toxic compounds found in the stool.

Psyllium mucilage absorbs water and expands substantially. In the stomach, Psyllium expansion produces feeling of fullness. This causes a decrease in food intake. Psyllium has no harmful chemical side effects; it is just a herb that is
loaded with beneficial soluble fibre.

Industrial Applications:

  • Mainly use to prevent landscaping, soil erosion. 
  • Used as thickening agent during capsule formulation in some pharmaceutical industry. 
  • Psyllium can be used in health drinks, beverages, ice cream, bread, biscuits, other bakery products, rice, cakes, jams, instant noodles, breakfast cereals etc., to improve the fiber content of the food as also to  increase the bulk of the food. 
  • It is being used as a thickener in ice cream and frozen deserts. The viscosity of Psyllium mucilage dispersions  are relatively unaffected between temperatures of 68°F to 122°F, by pH from 2 to 10 and by salt (sodium  chloride) concentrations up to 0.15 M. These properties in combination with psyllium’s natural fiber characteristic may lead to increased use by the food industry.
  •  Psyllium Husk may also be added to fresh fruit drinks or flavored drinks to improve the mouth-feel of the drink and make it more rich and impart good consistency to it.

One response to this post.

  1. Psyllium is better at lowering cholesterol than almost all other soluble fibers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: