Do you know that Psyllium Husks, made from Indian Flea Seeds, bind water and swell in the intestine? They have nothing to do with fleas, as their name implies, but they help to combat constipation.
Psyllium Husk, known in Latin as Plantago psyllium, is a commonly used medicinal plant. It relieves constipation but the right application is necessary.
In the outermost layer (epidermis) of the seed shells, large amounts of mucous substances occur which are composed of the sugars xylose, arabinosis and galacturonic acid. You can also find plenty of oil in it. The seed itself is an effective herbal medicine.
The mucous substances contained in the flea seed shells belong to the soluble fiber and are not absorbed by the body, but excreted again via the intestine. When the mucus enters the intestine, they bind water there and swell. This increases the volume of the intestinal contents, which stimulates digestion and has a mild dispersing effect. At the same time, the chair becomes softer and gets a better consistency, which facilitates the emptying of the bowel. In addition, the mucus substances exert a lubrication effect, which improves the intestinal passage of the stool. Through these effects, flea seeds help against constipation.
If the bowel movement is painful or difficult, for example, due to fissure, hemorrhoids or after certain examinations, Psyllium Husks facilitate the emptying of the bowel.
The effects on digestion and bowel movements can also have a positive effect on chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis. The same applies to irritable bowel complaints.
It can take one to three days for the effect to become noticeable. How much you need and how often you need to use Psyllium Husks to stimulate digestion varies from person to person.
Be sure to start at a very low dosage, 1/2 teaspoon in 400ml water. Otherwise, the intestine can react with increased intestinal noise and bloating and even constipation. Increase slowly 1/2 a teaspoon every 5 days until you reach a place that gives you some good bowel motions. Don’t take more than 1 Tablespoon at any given time. It is better to take less more often during the day.
Psyllium Husks are preferable to the whole seed. Because the seeds often pass through the gastrointestinal tract in an unchanged form and cannot develop their swelling capacity.
It is very important to drink a lot. Otherwise, the mucus can not swell up properly and even lead to constipation. You can leave the Psyllium Husks in a glass of water or fruit juice and then drink. You can also mix and drink it directly in water or juice.
If you do not consume enough fluid, the mucus swells insufficiently. In the worst case, they can stick to the intestinal wall which can lead to intestinal obstruction.
Psyllium Husks can hinder the absorption of other medicines via the intestine. Therefore, do not take medicines together with the Psyllium Husks, but leave at least one-hour distance.
If you already have an intestinal obstruction, you have constrictions of the esophagus, stomach or intestines or if you have acute inflammation in the gastrointestinal area, then you must not use Psyllium Husks. The same applies to swallowing problems. Even if you are not allowed to drink excessively due to certain heart or kidney diseases, you should discuss with your doctor whether Psyllium Husks are suitable for you.
Some people are allergic to Psyllium Husks, which is noticeable with typical allergy symptoms.
Sources: European Medicines Agency (EMA): Psyllii semen. Online: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/herbal/psyllii-semen (Accessed 12/2019)Wichtl M: Tea drugs and phytopharmaceuticals. Scientific Publishing Company mbH Stuttgart 2002
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