Plantago psyllium

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Image I

psyllium-plantago-1

Image II

psyllium-seeds-isp

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Botanical Name: Plantago psyllium
Common name: Psyillium, psyillium husks, psyllium seed, blong psyllium (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 767)
Family: Plantago (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 767)
Parts used: seed coat and seed (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 767)

 

Constituents:

  • 67-71% fibre
  • 10-30% mucilage
  • iridoid glycosides
  • Alkaloids
  • Steroles
  • Phyto-sterole and beta-sitosterole

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 767)

 

Actions

  • Bulking agent/Bulk laxative (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 767; Bone & Mills, 2012, p. 25)
  • Lipid lowering (by altering cholesterol metabolism) (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 767)
  • Mucilage (Bone & Mills, 2012, p. 25)

 

Indications

  • Constipation: facilitates propulsion of the colon contents, promotes stool that are more frequent and softened and reduces pain on defecation (Bone & Mills, 2012, p. 189; Bone & Mills, 2012, p. 25).
  • Diarrhoea (Bone & Mills, 2012, p. 25)
  • Used to soften stool in cases of haemorrhoids, anal fissures and postrectal surgery (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 768)
  • Constipation-predominant IBS (Bone & Mills, 2012, p. 189; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 769)
  • As a “pre-biotic”, correcting disturbed bowel flora (Bone & Mills, 2012, p. 189)
  • Used in weight-loss to increase satiety between meals (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 768).
  • Management of hyperglycaemia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 768)

 

Preparation & Dosage

  • Seeds should be pre-soaked in 100-150mL of warm water several hours before ingestion
  • Whole seed (blond): 12-40g taken in divided doses daily dependent on individual. Each dose should be taken with 1 (additional) glass of water.
  • Powder (blond): 4-5g/qid. Powder is mixed with 150mL of water and then followed by additional glass of water.

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 770).

 

Cautions

  • Should not be consumed dry as it may cause oesophageal obstruction (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 770).
  • It is common for individuals to experience mild abdominal discomfort (such as bloating or flatulence) with initial psysillium intervention, however symptoms may reduce with long-term use (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 770).

 

Contradictions

  • Contradicted in individuals with bowel obstruction, colonic imaction and stenosis of gastro-intestinal tract (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 770).
  • Contradicted in individuals with difficulty regulating diabetes mellitus (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 770).

 

Interactions

  • May decrease bioavailability of calcium, lithium, coumarin derivatives, and vitamin B12therefore psyllium should be taken at least 1 hour before or after these foods or supplements are administed (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 769).
  • May decrease bioavailability of cardiac glycosides (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 769).
  • Theoretically enhances hyperglycaemic agents, and therefore drug dose may need modification (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 769).
  • May delay absorption of anticonvulsant medication (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 770).
  • May interfere with thyroid hormone medication and lipid lowering agents (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 770).

 

REFERENCE
Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinborough: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2010). Herbs & Natural Supplements: An Evidence based Guide (3rd ed.). Chatswood NSW: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Image I: Argenta, C.M. (1864). http://www.plantillustrations.org. Retrieved from: http://www.plantillustrations.org/taxonomy.php?id_taxon=6738&lay_out=1&hd=0&group=0

Image II: Natural Remedies. (2010). Psyllium plantago. Retrieved from: http://www.naturalremedies.org/psyllium-plantago/

Image III: herbal Extracts Plus (2012). Psyllium. Retrieved from: http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/psyllium.html

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