Ispaghula

Ispaghula

Ispaghula (or psyllium), an annual plant, comprises a branched stem and linear, lance-shaped, serrated and downy leaves. Its flowers are white and grouped into cylindrical ears, and its seeds are oval, carinated, grey or light beige with a convex side marked with a brown line.

Latin name

Plantago ovata

Origin

India – Iran.

Used part

The integuments.

Active components

Mucilages (polysaccharides): act as a binding agent for a laxative effect. These indigestible components can absorb water. This is how they increase faecal volume, soften the stools and gently stimulate intestinal transit.

Usage

Ispaghula (or psyllium) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India and in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years as a gentle laxative. It is also used as a thickening agent in ice cream and frozen desserts. Ispaghula binds to moisture, and so helps in preparing more pliable gluten-free breads. It has also been used to treat skin irritations, bites, insect stings and also to treat diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, bladder problems, irritable bowel and blood pressure. Ispaghula is even used to reduce cholesterol. Scientific studies have demonstrated that ispaghula contributes to intestinal function and intestinal transit.1-9 It also helps to keep the intestines in good health.10-18

Bibliographical references

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The health claims relating to other nutrients or substances contained in our products that feature on our site are compliant with Regulation No. 432/2012 of the Commission of 16 May 2012 which establishes a list of authorised health claims authorised in relation to food products, other than those in reference to the reduction of the risk of disease as well as community-based development and child health (cf. website of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/nuhclaims/).