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Common Name: Psyllium husk | Scientific Name: Plantago Psyllium

Family Name: Plantaginaceae


Nobody gets enough fiber in their diet today and that is just a fact. The Psyllium plantain produces a fabulous fiber, which, taken each morning, will give you the fiber you are not getting in your diet. Get yourself on Psyllium fiber and the sooner the better.


Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

Part Used: Seed

In a Word: The Constipation Cure

Uses: Constipation

Being constipated is not normal or natural. You will be hard pressed to find an animal living in the wild with constipation. Animals eat high fibre diets and as a consequence they do not spend time thinking about when was the last time they had a bowel movement! This is a perfect introduction to our next herbal remedy, psyllium husks.

Psyllium husks are the outer wrapping of a plant native to India. These seed husks have a curious nature. When exposed to water, they swell to 10 times their original size. The seed husk is made up of dense mucilage (fibre) which has the capacity to absorb huge amounts of water. When you swallow psyllium husks, they swell in your stomach and form fibre missiles that blast their way through your digestive tract. A tablespoon of psyllium husk contains the amount of fibre you find in 8 plums. It’s a lot easier to take a tablespoon of psyllium than it is to eat all those plums.

You may be wondering why fibre is important to the constipation patient. One of the keys to wellness is understanding what the problem is and what the solution is. We need to talk about bowel mechanics and how psyllium husks factors into normal bowel function. You will soon see why you want fibre missiles scudding through your innards.

The digestive tract has three parts. The stomach, the small intestine, and the large intestine. Food enters the stomach and is broken into small pieces through churning and stomach acids. Once the food has been broken down into tiny bits by the stomach, it sits at the bottom of the stomach. This pressure at the bottom of the stomach triggers the small intestine to open up. Once open, the food drops into the small intestine. The small intestine is largely involved with absorbing the nutrients in the food. The stomach has broken the food into tiny bits, bits small enough to be easily absorbed by the small intestine. So the food winds its way through the small intestine and as it slides, the small intestine sucks the nutrition out. Now, by the time the food makes it to bottom of the small intestine, there is not much left. In fact, all that’s left is fibre. When the remaining fibre sits at the bottom of the small intestine, this triggers the large intestine to open up. The fibre drops into the large intestine. The large intestine is mostly involved with sucking fluid out of the fibre and delivering dryish fibre to the rectum. And you know what happens then! But, the large intestine has a pulse like action that squeezes the fibre through the length of the large intestine. In fact, when the fibre enters the large intestine, the pulsing begins and continues until the fibre is delivered to the outside world. The important fact to hold onto is this pulse like action is triggered when the fibre enters the large intestine.

The problem is that most people have very little fibre in their diets. So, not a lot gets deposited into the large intestine. As a result, the pulse like squeezing motion is not properly set off. When big loads of fibre are deposited into the large intestine, you get nice strong and effective pulses. The items deposited get moved through the gut and deposited where they need to go. So the best solution to the constipation problem is to eat a high fibre diet. But, that is not a reality for many people. The next best thing is to take fibre additives like psyllium husks. The psyllium husks form fibre missiles that get the large bowel pulsing away! Better than just initiating the pulse like squeezing, they absorb toxins as they travel. They absorb toxins and drag them out of the body. Psyllium husks are called a mechanical laxative because they get the normal mechanics moving, triggering the button that turns on the motion that gets things moved out of the digestive tract. For this reason, they take a few days to work. They have to make their way through the digestive tract. But, they work with the bodies natural mechanisms of waste excretion.

Practitioners’ Advice
For chronic constipation, psyllium husks are tops. Rather than damaging the digestive tract, which some laxatives do, they increase the health of the digestive tract. Many cases of long term constipation are cleared up with this herbal medicine. It is less harsh than products like wheat germ and is therefore safe for almost anyone!

History: Long used to resolve constipation.
Science: Contains mucilage, which bulks in the colon
Practitioners’ Opinion: The very best treatment for chronic constipation

Disclaimer: The author makes no guarantees as to the the curative effect of any herb or tonic on this website, and no visitor should attempt to use any of the information herein provided as treatment for any illness, weakness, or disease without first consulting a physician or health care provider. Pregnant women should always consult first with a health care professional before taking any treatment.