Origin: Psyllium husk comes from Plantago ovate. This shrub-like herb is found throughout the world but most commonly grown in India. It is believed to have originated in India. Each plant is harvested to give over 15,000 small gel-coated seeds, which are then dried to produce psyllium husk.
This Psyllium husk is high in water-absorbing soluble fiber. This husk is believed to be highly beneficial in laxating the bowel movement and is recommended to treat constipation. Psyllium gently absorbs in the moisture, expands in the colon creating a gelatin-like mass which helps in easy passing of the stool.
India is considered to be leading producer of the psyllium and is the biggest exporter as well. The U.S is famous for psyllium research and field trials. This mainly happens in Arizona and also in Washington.
Scientifically: The genus Plantago has over 200 species. The two species P. ovata and P. psyllium are produced commercially in several European countries, the former Soviet Union, Pakistan, and India. Indian Plantago is also known as Isabgol. This word is derived from the Persian words "isap" and "ghol" which means horse ear.
The seed resembles the horse ear that’s why it is named on horse ear. Plantago ovata is an annual herb that grows to a height of 12 to 18 in. Leaves of this herb are opposite and linear. The root system are well-developed tap root with few fibrous roots. Flowers are small, and white in color. The flowers bloom after 60 days of planting. The seeds are usually enclosed in capsules that open at maturity.
Psyllium husk offers an array of benefits. It is a cost-effective way of improving bowel movements. In fact, over 4 million Americans use psyllium-containing supplements every day.
Usage: The most common use of psyllium husk is to induce regular bowel movements through the passing of smooth and formed stools. It helps in relieving constipation, diarrhea, as well as gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome and hemorrhoids.
Psyllium husk is available in capsule, tablet, wafer, and powder forms. The natural form of the psyllium husk is considered to be the best, however, numerous flavors have been introduced to improve the taste.
Psyllium husk is also used to control blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, decrease appetite and improve blood flow. Psyllium husk is also known to treat skin problems. When applied directly to the skin, it helps to eliminate boils as well as It also works wonders in removing dead skin from the face and body.
Psyllium husk should only be consumed orally and mixed in a liquid.
Below are some DIYs with Psyllium husk:
- Take a tablespoon of Psyllium husk and add a teaspoon of yogurt and some water to make a paste. Apply this paste on the face and gently massage it. This helps in removing the dead skin and moisturizes it at the same time.
- Take a tablespoon of psyllium husk and add some oatmeal to it. Mix it together with water. Apply this mixture as a body scrub, this helps in better circulation of blood and improves the lymphatic system.
- Consuming psyllium husk also helps in removing acne naturally
- Mix a tablespoon of isabghol with some lemon juice and honey. Apply this on the face and neck for 15 minutes. Massage and rinse it later. This helps in achieving clear and plumpy skin.