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What Should I Know About It?


Updated January 17, 2013

What is Psyllium?

Alternate Name: Plantago ovata

Psyllium seeds contain a type of fiber called mucilage. When in the digestive tract, mucilage absorbs water and swells. This makes stools bulkier, and it triggers contraction of the colon walls, leading to bowel movements.

Why Do People Use Psyllium?


Irritable bowel syndrome

Dosage Information

Many experts recommend one to two teaspoons of ground psyllium seeds mixed with eight ounces of water. It is usually taken one to three times per day. For constipation, psyllium is usually taken in the early evening to stimulate a bowel movement the following morning.

Side Effects and Safety

Psyllium must be taken with adequate water or it may cause obstruct the colon and cause constipation.

Psyllium powder may trigger asthma attacks in people with asthma.

Allergic reactions to psyllium have been reported.

People with diverticular disease should only use psyllium under a doctor's supervision.

Psyllium should not be taken within two hours of taking medication as it may decrease the absorption of the medication.
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