Isabgol, popularly known as psyllium husk is obtained from the seeds of the plant Plantago ovata. It is an oily and gluey herb with a sweet, astringent taste and has a cooling effect on the body. Being a powerful herb, it promotes digestive health and works as a natural laxative.
Also Read: 5 Herbs For A Healthy Digestive System
The name is originated from the Sanskrit word asw and ghol which means horse’s ear, as the seed’s shape resembles a horse’s ear. It is also clad by other names such as Ispaghula, Isabgol, Ashwakarna, Psyllium, Flea seed and Sand Plantain.
Isabgol, native to India and Mediterranean countries is an annual herb that grows up to 40 cm height. The leaves are linear with several small white flowers and seeds are enclosed in capsules which opens after full maturity. India is the largest producer and exporter of this wonder herb.
The active ingredient Metamucil is the key element used in making dietary supplement which helps to relieve constipation. It is also a commonly used ingredient in the production of breakfast cereals which aids to lower cholesterol levels and promote gut health.
Isabgol goes by several vernacular names like Sheetabeeja, Ashwakarna in Sanskrit, Isabgul in Hindi, Isafghol in Gujarati, Isofgolu in Kannada, Ishagula in Telugu and Iskolvirain in Tamil. Ayurvedic medicine strongly vouches by this wonder plant owing to is a natural coolant, laxative and diuretic properties that render a host of healing health incentives.
Wellness Incentives Of Isabgol
Isabgol works as a bulk-forming natural laxative, as the richness of both soluble and insoluble fibre in the herb adds bulk to stools and ease constipation. The gelatinous substance present in Isabgol forms a gel when soaked in water, the laxative properties of the gel absorb bacteria and harmful toxins in the intestine. It increases the lubrication inside the stomach wall which aids in treating constipation.
Also Checkout: 5 Best Ayurvedic Remedies To Treat Constipation - Infographic
To relieve the symptoms of constipation, mix a teaspoon of isabgol in warm water or milk and drink this on an empty stomach for a few weeks.
Promotes Gut Health
Isabgol is a powerful detoxifier that works well in cleansing the gastrointestinal wall and remove all unwanted toxins. It supports the healthy functioning of the digestive tract by cleansing the passage and allows the food to pass through the intestinal tract. Regular intake of isabgol acts as a digestive stimulant and offers instant relief from stomach ulcers, acidity, colitis and other digestive problems.
Isabgol binds to fats and bile acids which allows the excretion of cholesterol from the body. Isabgol increases bile acids synthesis and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and remarkably increases good cholesterol (HDL). Moreover, it also controls further absorption of cholesterol and triglycerides from the food and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Regulates Blood Sugar
A good source of dietary fibre in the diet helps to delay the gastric emptying time, slow down the absorption of glucose and maintain the blood glucose levels. The goodness of fibre and natural gelatin substance in isabgol is well-known to significantly reduce blood sugar spike and control diabetes.
Promotes Weight Loss
This herb is an amazing natural remedy that can help in losing weight. Isabgol can control appetite and detoxify the system. The dietary fibre forms a viscous compound that curbs the food cravings, increases satiety, reduces body weight, lowers the Body Mass Index and overall fat intake. Thus, isabgol helps in reducing calorie intake and promoting weight loss.
Prebiotics are a source of food and nutrition for the gut’s healthy bacteria, they are indigestible carbs. Isabgol is known to possess potent prebiotic properties and produces short-chain fatty acids- butyrate. A healthy group of good bacteria in the digestive system is vital for strengthening immune health and the gut microbiome. Having isabgol supports the body to combat infection, reduce inflammation and optimise overall health.
The Recommended Dosage Of Isabgol
Isabgol supplements are available in the form of husk powder and capsules and their dosage varies according to the products.
Isabgol Husk Powder: 1-2 tsp powder with a glass of water before meals twice daily.
Isabgol Capsule: 1-2 capsules before meals twice daily with plenty of water.
You can also have isabgol powder mixed with milk, honey, or curd.
Isabgol is well tolerated by most of the individuals, however, if taken in large quantities may have certain side effects like bloating, flatulence and abdominal cramps. If you are sensitive to fiber then isabgol may show some allergic reactions like itching, rashes and breathing difficulty immediately upon consuming it.
Isabgol is a powerful natural laxative and used since ancient times for treating constipation, diarrhoea and controlling blood pressure and diabetes. This amazing fibre supplement can be added to the regular meal plan to reap its benefits.