Psyllium husk, commonly known as Isabgol, is a natural plant dietary fibre that forms a gel when soaked in water. A go-to remedy for constipation, it offers many other health benefits, too. “3 problems, 1 solution! Isabgol,” Mansi Padechia, a dietician, wrote on Instagram as she listed the various benefits of consuming psyllium husk.
Aids in weight loss
This fibre not only helps you get leaner, fitter, and feel lighter but its bulk-forming properties give the feeling of fullness which aids in portion control. Hence, it helps all the weight watchers out there. Agreed Dr Jinal Patel, Dietitian, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai, and said, “The husk promotes weight loss as it makes you feel full and discourages overeating.”
How much and when to have? “Take 1 tbsp of Isabgol with water, half an hour prior to lunch and dinner,” Mansi suggested.
Works wonders for constipation and diarrhoea
Isabgol helps treat both, constipation and diarrhoea as it is an excellent laxative. However, it needs to be consumed differently for both conditions. In case of constipation, Mansi suggested having 2 tbsp of Isagbol with warm water before going to bed, and for diarrhoea — 2 tbsp of Isagbol with curd after meals.
According to Dr Patel, consuming psyllium husk also helps manage piles because it makes the stool bulky and reduces constipation. Due to its anti-inflammatory qualities, it also lessens the inflammation in piles. “Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the husk aids in treating acne and pimples when applied to the skin along with aloe vera gel,” the expert said.
Helps with diabetes and high cholesterol
Isabgol prevents heart diseases and also plays an important role in reducing cholesterol levels. Also, it is beneficial for diabetic people as it helps control blood glucose levels, informed Dr Jinal.
Adding, Shilpa Joshi, Head of Metabolic Nutrition, Fitterfly, said that studies have found that the fiber from husks can not only improve the glucose homeostasis, lipid and lipoprotein profile in obese individuals, but also help lower their LDL cholesterol by up to a level that is considered normal (Moreno et al. 2003).
“The husk is a resourceful non-nutritive material that can be very helpful to deal with different chronic diseases such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, low body working efficiency, etc,” added Shilpa.
“Psyllium husks should not be consumed in excess as it could result in issues like diarrhoea, loose stools, and abdominal pain,” warned Dr Patel.