Written by Dr. Julianna Englund, ND, LAc
Psyllium husks are a viscous, gel‐forming fiber. This quality makes this fiber source very effective for lowering harmful cholesterol,1,3 improving glycemic control in type 2 diabetes2,3 and resolving both constipation and diarrhea.4
The large intestine governs stool consistency. When traveling through the large intestine, fiber must resist fermentation in order to bulk up the stool and must also draw in water content to provide a laxative effect. Large/coarse particles of insoluble fiber, like wheat bran, can have an irritating effect, stimulating the large intestine to secrete water and mucous. Psyllium husks on the other hand, form a nonfermented gel which retains water to provide a stool normalizing effect. This makes psyllium husks very effective for softening hard stool in constipation, firming loose/liquid stool in diarrhea, and normalizing stool form in patients with both (like IBS).4
The Usual Dosages of Psyllium Husks
- Lowering Cholesterol: 5 grams twice daily, before meals
- For lowering blood glucose in Type 2 Diabetes: 3.5-5 grams tice daily, before meals
- For diarrhea: 1 Tbsp. soaked overnight in a 8 oz water and followed by drinking a glass of water
- For Constipation: 1-2 Tbsp. per day
Incorporating Psyllium Into Your Daily Routine
To incorporate psyllium into your daily nutrition, add slowly and start with one-half teaspoon per day and increase as tolerated. Aim to drink eight ounces of water with every one teaspoon psyllium every day.
- Note that some people are allergic/intolerant to psyllium. If diarrhea or constipation worsens after taking psyllium, switch to another fiber source.
- If you have an inflamed colon, such as is the case with conditions like ulcerative colitis, start with very small dosages and be aware that this fiber source may be abrasive on your colon. If your symptoms worsen, please stop taking psyllium husks immediately and consult your health practitioner.
- Check with your health practitioner before taking psyllium husks if you are on medications of if you have any chronic bowel problems.
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