Botanical name: Plantago psyllium
Other names: fleaseed
Part used: seed
Taste (rasa): sweet (madhur)
Energy (veerya): Cool
Characteristic (guna): unctuous, heavy, slimy
Vipak (post digestive effect): sweet (madhur)
Dosha effect: decreases vata & pitta, increases kapha.
Action (karma): It relieves both constipation and diarrhoea, lowers bowel transit time, reduces cholesterol levels (13 gms per day for 30 days), also used to reduce blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, expectorant for dry coughs (moistens lungs but with expectorant action), drags toxins and worms out of the bowels, and anti-inflammatory for the bowels, soothes ulcers.
Dose: Mix 1 tablespoons of husks in a glass of hot water, taken in the evening. It forms into a jelly that you eat with a spoon.
Contraindication: dampens the digestive fire (agni) when used to excess which can lead to an aggravation of kapha and accumulation of toxins (ama).
Safety: It may slow the absorption of other medication. It is best taken two hours after allopathic or other herbal medication.
Psyllium husk relieves both constipation and diarrhoea, it helps to absorb mucous and bacteria in inflammatory intestinal conditions. It drags toxins and worms out of the gastrointestinal tract. It helps to treat peptic and duodenal ulcers. It can ease dry coughs and facilitates expectoration. It can ease painful urination. It’s soluble fiber content has been used to reduce LDL cholesterol when used at 15 grams per day for 30 days. It has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus, showing potential use in controlling blood sugar levels in hyperglyceamia.
Ref: ‘Ayurvedic Medicine by Sebastian Pole; ‘Ayurvedic Pharmacology & Therapeutic Uses of Medicinal Plants’ by Vaidya V.M. Gogte; ‘Yogi of Herbs’ by V. Lad & D. Frawley; ‘Herbs Are Special’ by Isabel Shipard.