ingredient information
Psyllium Fiber
Other common name(s): Psyllium Seed Husk, Isphagula, Isapgol Psyllium comes from the crushed seeds of the Plantago ovata plant, an herb native to parts of Asia, Mediterranean regions of Europe, and North Africa. It is now cultivated extensively in India and Pakistan as well as in the southwestern United States. The seed husks are used in herbal remedies. Psyllium has been used for many years to treat constipation and it may also be effective in reducing cholesterol. Although psyllium and other fiber supplements are useful in treating constipation, fruits and vegetables are considered to be more effective in lowering cancer risk. Psyllium seed husk is approved by Commission E (Germany's regulatory agency for herbs) for chronic constipation. It is also supported by the FDA which has issued a food-specific positive health claim for oats that includes psyllium fiber. The use of psyllium is generally safe. However, excessive amounts can cause abdominal distention, diarrhea, gas, and gastrointestinal obstruction. Not drinking enough water with psyllium can cause choking and obstruction of the esophagus, throat, and intestines. Some people are allergic to the plant, as well as to the psyllium powder. Psyllium may delay the absorption of some medications taken at the same time. Diabetics who are insulin-dependent may need to reduce insulin dosage while taking psyllium products.