Black Psyllium is a herb that grows vigorously and occurs widespread across the globe.
This is an annual plant and grows erect upto 60 centimeters in height.Black Psyllium is a native plant of Western Asia and the Mediterranean region. The seeds are narrow, elongated and dark brown in color with a shiny, lustrous coat. This weed is otherwise called as The Englishman’s foot by the North American Indians. The seeds of this plant are used to produce a number of natural medicines and herbal and dietary supplements to successfully treat and cure a multitude of ailments and diseases. This herb is now commercially produced by many countries including Europe, the Soviet Union and India.
What is Black Psyllium used for?
Black Psyllium contains large amounts of fiber content. Hence it is used for persistent and severe constipation problems. It helps in softening the stools in medical conditions like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, anorectal surgery and in case of pregnancy. It has also proved effective in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentry, iritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol and cancer. It is also believed to lower blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus. This is done by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates.
How Does it Work?
By increasing the volume of the stool in helps in relieving constipation, diarrhea and improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In case of constipation it regulates and stimulates intestinal peristalsis and thereby decreases the time needed to pass through the bowels. In case of diarrhea it binds and solidifies the stool and helps in normalizing passage time through the bowels. It works effectively in eliminating excess cholesterol from the body. This is done before it is actually absorbed and enters the main blood stream.
Other Names for Black Psyllium
Black Psyllium is a genus Plantago and the other names by which it is popularly referred to are Plantago psyllium, Psyllium afra, Spanish psyllium, French psyllium, Psyllium seed and Psyllium indica. It is also commonly referred to as the Flea seed, Flea wort, Dietary fiber,Brown psyllium and also as Plantain. Sometimes it is also called as Psyllium Brun, Plantain Pucier, Psyllium Noir, Psyllios, Psyllion, Psyllium Arenaria or even as just Psyllium.
Black psyllium as a dietary supplement has gained immense popularity and prominence because of the abundant fiber content it possesses. High fiber content is essentially known to lower cholesterol levels in the body. It is reported to relieve constipation and diarrhea. Hence it is effective for those who suffer from chronic constipation. It is also acclaimed to act as a stool softening agent to tackle conditions like hemorrhoids, anal cracks, anal fissures and pregnancy. It has also proved efficacious in treating irritable bowel syndrome, dysentery and even certain types of potentially harmful cancers.
Side Effects and Safety Measures
To ensure absolute safety Black Psyllium should necessarily be taken with large amounts of water. Otherwise it will result in choking and blocking of the oesophagus, throat or the intestine as well. Certain cases report of bloating and gas. It might also result in allergic reactions like runny nose, redness of eyes, rashes and asthma. It is also believed that it contains a harmful substance that causes kidney problems. Never use it if you have dysphagia, kidney disorders, intestinal problems such as intestinal narrowing or spastic bowels or if you are undergoing a surgery in a few weeks time.
Interactions with other Medications:
Black Psyllium contains large amounts of fiber content in it. When taken with Carbamazepine it can decrease the amount of absorption of this medicine thereby decreasing its effectiveness. Similar is the situation in drugs like Digoxin and Lithium. The interactions may however be moderate but you have to be very cautious and alert with these combinations. It is advisable to consult a medical practitioner in this regard.
This herb is safe to be consumed during pregnancy. However it is advisable for pregnant and lactating mothers to take Black Psyllium products only under the strict supervision of a physician. There are ample evidences that it reduces constipation and improves cholesterol levels in the body.It is also generally advisable to take it 30-60 minutes after taking a meal or taking other medications.