Isabgol (Ispagula) or psyllium husk is a commonly used home remedy, especially in Indian houses to treat constipation, diarrhea and anal fissures. This white colored husk, extracted from the seeds of a herb (Plantago Ovata) has both soluble and insoluble fibres that absorb moisture and binds with stool thereby relieving constipation and anal fissures. Isabgol is also used in Ayurveda for its medicinal properties
This is also used as a food thickener and is also used as an ingredient in breakfast cereals. It also claims to reduce blood cholesterol levels and also improve gastrointestinal function, apart from managing blood sugar (diabetes). The fiber content in the food reduces the glycemic index or the time that it takes for carbs to be broken down and be passed into the blood as glucose. Because of this reason, including psyllium husk along with food can reduce the pace of digestion and also improve the insulin response of the body.
The rich fiber content can also improve satiety, thereby effectively limiting the calories, and preventing weight gain. Isabgol or psyllium can be taken, in doses of 5 – 10 gms every day with meals. It can also be mixed with milk, water or curd and consumed. Since it absorbs water, it is important to take this along with water and also stay well hydrated.