The laxative action of the psyllium is a common knowledge in the traditional herbal lore around the world. For this reason, remedies made from the psyllium are normally part of prescriptions in both conventional as well as herbal medicine, to treat cases of constipation - particularly when the problem results from an over tensed or over relaxed bowel action in the patient. Both husks and seeds of the psyllium herb contain high levels of fiber. When soaked in water, they become highly gelatinous . By maintaining a high content of water within the large bowel, husks and seeds of psyllium can increase the bulk of the stool, helping in easing its passage. Psyllium is a very useful remedy for diarrhea. Psyllium herb is also an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease. In India, psyllium husks and seeds are commonly used to treat dysentery. The herbal action of the psyllium is extremely valuable for individuals suffering from hemorrhoids, in fact, it is one of the most effective medications for this particular disorder - the herbs help in softening the stool and produce a reduction in the level of irritation in the distended vein, resulting an immediate improvement for the suffering individual. When soaked in water, psyllium produces jellylike mucilage which has the ability to absorb toxins within the large bowel and from the intestinal regions. For this reason, remedies based on the psyllium are commonly prescribed and taken for the reduction of auto-toxicity - this is when toxins in the body are expelled from the body along with the husks and seeds in the feces. Thus psyllium has major roles as a detoxification agent. The entire length and breath of the intestinal tract is benefited and affected by the soothing and protective effect given by the mucilage rich husks and seeds of ingested psyllium. The treatment of various stomach and duodenal ulcers is also conducted using the psyllium, and the herbal remedy is also used to alleviate cases of acid indigestion in different individuals. Psyllium also has an effective demulcent action whose effect can extend all the way to the urinary tract of the affected person. The herbalists in India often use an infusion of the psyllium seeds - which is the only way this remedy is used - for the treatment of urethritis in affected individuals. An effective herbal poultice for external use can be prepared by soaking the psyllium husks in an infusion of calendula, this topical herbal remedy can be used as an herbal agent to draw out the pus of infection from boils, to drain abscesses in the body, and also in the treatment of whitlows - which are pus-filled swellings that appear on the fingertips due to physical injuries.
Areas of the world including large tracts of Southern Europe, areas in North Africa, and Asia, especially in India, have seen extensive cultivation of the three species which produce psyllium. The plants are normally propagated from stocked seeds during the spring as they require exposure to plenty of sunlight. Harvesting of the ripened seeds is carried out during the late summer and in the early autumn in most places where the plants are cultivated.
The laxative and anti-diarrhea action of the psyllium was observed during various clinical trials conducted on the herb in the US, in Germany, and the Scandinavian countries during the 1980s. The main property of the psyllium is comparable to many other herbs in that, its main role is in the restoration of normal functioning in the organs of the body.
The dosage normally taken by the majority of individuals is about 7.5 grams of the seeds or 5 grams of the husks, in single doses, about once or twice daily. The herb is always taken mixed in some water or fruit juice. An adequate intake of fluid is very important when using the psyllium in any form.
It is generally safe to use the psyllium in the recommended amounts and dosages. However, all individuals already suffering from chronic constipation should first seek the advice of a professional health care worker to check for other reasons behind the condition. The herb can induce some known side effects, these can include problems such as allergic skin reactions and problematic respiratory reactions to the psyllium dust, though by and large, the occurrence of such side effects has on the whole been limited to the people working in plants engaged in the manufacture of psyllium based herbal products.