Psyllium is the husk of the seed of the Plantago and is a top herb that is used by many to assist with weight control and for general intestinal health. It has a fiber in it that creates absorbtion which assits the gut in reducing appetite, improving digestion and cleansing the system which in turn makes it an excellent choice for healthy dieting. Psyllium can provide the fiber that is missing on diets that are low in carbohydrates.
Psyllium husk is an effective bulk laxative mainly used for acute or chronic constipation and colon cleansing. 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. Psyllium soaks up a significant amount of water in the digestive tract, thereby making stool firmer and, under these circumstances, slower to pass. Psyllium also has the additional advantages over other sources of fiber of reducing flatulence and bloating.
Traditionally psyllium has been used topically as a poultice for skin irritation, boils and abscesses, as well as to draw out toxins.
Gastrointestinal tract obstruction may occur, especially for those with prior bowel surgeries or anatomic abnormalities, or if taken with inadequate amounts of water.