What is psyllium husk?
Psyllium husk has long been used in herbal and traditional medicine. It is a fiber made up of complex carbohydrates and derived from the seeds of the Plantago Ovata plant, which is native to North Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean. Metamucil is a product made from psyllium husk fiber. It has been shown that about three to four servings of Metamucil a day gives a person enough psyllium husk fiber to have significant benefits where heart and digestive health are concerned.
What are the benefits of psyllium husk?
Psyllium husk has been used for centuries in remedies and has been shown to be important for many reasons. It contains carbohydrates, is rich in soluble fiber and has anti-inflammatory properties. It has mainly been used to treat disorders of the digestive system and ailments of the heart. Following is a list of key benefits of psyllium husk:
– Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used not only as a laxative, but also to relieve the discomforts of diarrhea and ease the pain of hemorrhoids.
– Most commonly used as a cleanser of the colon, it can also be useful in treating stomach and intestinal ulcers. It can also be used to treat inflammatory bowel syndrome.
– It has been used to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels by absorbing cholesterol, as well as an aid in weight loss.
– It is helpful in treating yeast infections throughout the body and also helps to maintain blood pressure levels.
– Psyllium husk has been proven to benefit those who suffer from diabetes. In Type 2 diabetes, it can help improve the control of lipids.
The FDA has also recognized psyllium husk for its use in reducing blood cholesterol levels. They have stated, “3g to 12g soluble fiber from psyllium husk seed, when included as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” Studies have proven it to be effective in lowering low-density lipoprotein, also known as “bad cholesterol,” levels.
How to consume psyllium husk and Metamucil
Metamucil is an excellent source of psyllium husk. It is a supplement that contains 100 percent natural psyllium husk fiber. When consuming psyllium husk it is essential to drink plenty of liquids before and after consuming the powder. Consuming it on its own can cause digestive issues and dehydration. The powder of this herb can be mixed with almost any food. Examples are fruit and vegetable juices, soups, shakes, milk, or water. Psyllium husk is not recommended for women who are pregnant.
American Heart Association
Food and Drug Administration
Brill, Janet. Cholesterol Down: Ten Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in Four Weeks–Without Prescription Drugs. New York, NY: Three Rivers P Publications, 2006.
Rinzler, Carol A., and Martin W. Graf, MD. Controlling Cholesterol for Dummies. Indianapolis, IN: For Dummies Publications, 2008.