Botanical Name: Plantago Psyllium
Common Names: isapghua, isaphgol
What parts of psyllium husk are used?
The white seeds are used and are not quite what they appear. They look like weightless, thin white flakes. However, when you add just a teaspoon of water to these seeds, they form a thick, coagulated mass. The longer these seeds stay in water, the thicker the consistency of the water becomes. This mix is often added to porridge, soups, smoothies and juices to enhance the taste. Nutritionists tout the benefits of this herb for those looking to manage their weight, as having a glass before meals can naturally help reduce hunger pangs—resulting in fewer calories consumed.
How do you identify psyllium husk and where is it grown?
Psyllium prefers a cool dry climate. It is found in a number of European countries as well as India and China. There are more than 200 growing varieties that we know of. This herb grows easily to a height of about 16- 18 inches and blooms with pretty small, white flowers. Each plant produces a staggering 15,000 or so seeds that resemble a cluster of little fleas. As a result, it derives its name from the Greek word “psulla,” which means flea.
Psyllium Husk is utilized in food mixtures, beverages, smoothies, even teas.
Generally one teaspoon of husks are used in preparations. It is best to grind or pulverize the husks first.
Note: One tablespoon of husks is the equivalent of 2/3 tablespoon of the powder.
Psyllium Husk is sometimes used at a rate of 7-30 grams daily divided up throughout the day. Care must be taken.
Usually Prepared With:
Other herbs common to combine with Psyllium are: Cascara Sagrada, Fennel, Fenugreek, Licorice root, Mint, Quassia and Senna.