Constipation Relief and Other Health Benefits of Psyllium

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I was looking for some good reading on Metamucil today and found this article to be informative. Although you may already be aware of the constipation releiving properties of Psyllium, here is another perspective from a author in Ezine Articles.  Reading perspective gives me new ideas and reinforces my beliefs. I liked this article and hence thought of sharing this with you.  The original article can be found at http://EzineArticles.com/7216714

Enjoy …

Today, we are rushed for time. We tend to focus on something that can heated quickly in the microwave and consumed maybe on the way to work. It’s here that processed food comes to our help. It is so easy to place the packed food in the microwave for a couple of minutes and find it hot and ready to be consumed right away without much effort of making it.

We do not for a moment pause to think the effect these processed foods have on our health. Apart from other health disadvantages, one big problem with these foods is, that they tend to constipate the consumer. The issue starts small but over a period of time develops into a problem with many people not being able to clear their bowels for days.

As you know, constipation leads to many health conditions. Many of the chemically derived formulations in the market today do not relieve constipation. Their effect is only till you keep taking them. The body thus gets addicted to the medicine. However, there is a natural way out. Take psyllium.

Now, most people will say, “Huh?” But if I mention the brand Metamucil, you all know what I’m talking about. Now the fact is, except for a little coloring, some sweetening and flavoring, Metamucil is psyllium, which are the seeds of a widely grown plant around the world.

Psyllium is one of the safest and gentlest laxatives that has been traditionally used in herbal medicine, since ages. Often times, psyllium is called plaintain. However, it should not be confused with plaintain (Musa paradisiaca), a palm like tree that produces a fruit similar to bananas.

Since centuries Ayurvedic and Chinese physicians have used the seeds and leaves of many species of the Plantago plant to treat diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids and urinary problems. Also, in recent times high blood pressure patients have benefitted with psyllium use.

Eventually, European physicians adopted psyllium though initially it’s use was restricted. Today, however, psyllium is one of the most used and popular laxatives in North America, being the active principle in Metamucil, Fiberall, Hydrocil, Naturacil, Prolax, V-Lax and Effersyllium.

Mucilage forms upto 30% of psyllium’s seed coat and it is a water absorbing substance. Once in contact with water the psyllium seeds swell to 10 times their size and become gel like. This mucilage, in effect, eases constipation and diarrhea.

In diarrhea, psyllium absorbs the excess fluid in the intestines and gives bulk to the stools.

In constipation, the bulk forming property of psyllium increases stool volume. The larger volume of stools then trigger the wave-like contractions or the peristaltic movement and “we have the urge to go.” In case of hard and solid stools, psyllium absorbs water to make them less dense and also the mucilage lubricates the passage for easier bowel movement.

Studies have shown that,1 tsp of psyllium seeds, 3 times a day, give significant relief from constipation.

Psyllium also provides relief from the pain, bleeding and itching of hemorrhoids according to a report in “Diseases of the Colon and Rectum.”

The latest is the big discovery that psyllium reduces cholesterol. A study in Archives of Internal Medicine, shows that, 1 tsp psyllium 3 times a day for 8 weeks, appreciably reduced blood cholesterol levels. This can benefit people who are on cholesterol lowering drugs, to avoid these drugs.

One more study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that psyllium reduces cholesterol by 5%. Heart disease experts say that this amounts to a 10% decrease in heart attack risk.

And, above all, psyllium is safer than all those prescription drugs used to reduce cholesterol. Many breakfast cereals today contain psyllium seeds for this reason.

Note:

 

  • Psyllium should not be given to children under 2 years of age. Consult a doctor in case a child under 2 years is constipated.
  • When taking psyllium ensure plenty of water is consumed.
  • For laxative or cholesterol control take 1 tsp of psyllium 3 times a day with meals and enough water.

Article Source:

Today, we are rushed for time. We tend to focus on something that can heated quickly in the microwave and consumed maybe on the way to work. It’s here that processed food comes to our help. It is so easy to place the packed food in the microwave for a couple of minutes and find it hot and ready to be consumed right away without much effort of making it.

We do not for a moment pause to think the effect these processed foods have on our health. Apart from other health disadvantages, one big problem with these foods is, that they tend to constipate the consumer. The issue starts small but over a period of time develops into a problem with many people not being able to clear their bowels for days.

As you know, constipation leads to many health conditions. Many of the chemically derived formulations in the market today do not relieve constipation. Their effect is only till you keep taking them. The body thus gets addicted to the medicine. However, there is a natural way out. Take psyllium.

Now, most people will say, “Huh?” But if I mention the brand Metamucil, you all know what I’m talking about. Now the fact is, except for a little coloring, some sweetening and flavoring, Metamucil is psyllium, which are the seeds of a widely grown plant around the world.

Psyllium is one of the safest and gentlest laxatives that has been traditionally used in herbal medicine, since ages. Often times, psyllium is called plaintain. However, it should not be confused with plaintain (Musa paradisiaca), a palm like tree that produces a fruit similar to bananas.

Since centuries Ayurvedic and Chinese physicians have used the seeds and leaves of many species of the Plantago plant to treat diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids and urinary problems. Also, in recent times high blood pressure patients have benefitted with psyllium use.

Eventually, European physicians adopted psyllium though initially it’s use was restricted. Today, however, psyllium is one of the most used and popular laxatives in North America, being the active principle in Metamucil, Fiberall, Hydrocil, Naturacil, Prolax, V-Lax and Effersyllium.

Mucilage forms upto 30% of psyllium’s seed coat and it is a water absorbing substance. Once in contact with water the psyllium seeds swell to 10 times their size and become gel like. This mucilage, in effect, eases constipation and diarrhea.

In diarrhea, psyllium absorbs the excess fluid in the intestines and gives bulk to the stools.

In constipation, the bulk forming property of psyllium increases stool volume. The larger volume of stools then trigger the wave-like contractions or the peristaltic movement and “we have the urge to go.” In case of hard and solid stools, psyllium absorbs water to make them less dense and also the mucilage lubricates the passage for easier bowel movement.

Studies have shown that,1 tsp of psyllium seeds, 3 times a day, give significant relief from constipation.

Psyllium also provides relief from the pain, bleeding and itching of hemorrhoids according to a report in “Diseases of the Colon and Rectum.”

The latest is the big discovery that psyllium reduces cholesterol. A study in Archives of Internal Medicine, shows that, 1 tsp psyllium 3 times a day for 8 weeks, appreciably reduced blood cholesterol levels. This can benefit people who are on cholesterol lowering drugs, to avoid these drugs.

One more study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that psyllium reduces cholesterol by 5%. Heart disease experts say that this amounts to a 10% decrease in heart attack risk.

And, above all, psyllium is safer than all those prescription drugs used to reduce cholesterol. Many breakfast cereals today contain psyllium seeds for this reason.

Note:

  • Psyllium should not be given to children under 2 years of age. Consult a doctor in case a child under 2 years is constipated.
  • When taking psyllium ensure plenty of water is consumed.
  • For laxative or cholesterol control take 1 tsp of psyllium 3 times a day with meals and enough water.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7216714

Note from Neel – Since Psyllium is the main part from which Metamucil is made, you will also get all the benefits by consuming Metamucil.

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