What is Isabgol?: Its Benefits and Side Effects
Are you looking for a natural way to get rid of constipation, lower cholesterol or lose weight? Then Isabgol might be a perfect solution to deal with all the problems naturally. Yes! Isabgol’s benefits are attributed to it being a natural polymer. It is an annual herb that originated in Western Asia. India is presently the world’s major producer and exporter of Isabgol or Psyllium husk.
Compared to men, women reduce less stomach acid, which makes food digestion slower. This process leads to bloating, nausea and constipation. This is why women and men can incorporate Isabgol into their diet and reap all the benefits.
Without further ado, let us go through to learn the Isabgol benefits in detail and how to incorporate them into your diet.
What is Isabgol?
Isabgol looks somewhat like a wheat plant and is a bushy plant. The scientific name of this plant is Plantago ovata, whose ends have earings similar to wheat. The seeds of this plant are called white Isabgol husk. Many health benefits are attributed to the husk, leaves, and flowers of Isabgol. The leaves of this plant are narrow and long and resemble aloe vera. Ayurveda uses this plant in several ways.
Benefits of Eating Isabgol:
There are many medicinal purposes attributed to Psyllium husk or Isabgol. But its utilization purposes aren’t limited to just health. For example, Isabgol is used in ice creams and other frozen desserts as a thickening agent. Let us go through the following section to learn about the benefits of Isabgol in detail:
1. Rich in Fibre:
Isabgol uses are attributed to the rich source of fibre. These fibres help absorb and retain water efficiently. This makes your stool easy to pass by, making it bulky and soft (1). Therefore, incorporating Isabgolenables you to manage chronic constipation, which can lead to piles if left untreated.
2. Helps in Weight Loss:
Psyllium husk is an ideal addition to your diet when you are looking to lose weight. Isabgol for weight loss works efficiently by curbing your cravings, making you feel full for a longer time (2). You can combine Isabgol in a glass of warm water with lemon. Drink the mixture right before your meal to lose weight efficiently. You can also lose weight if you drink the potion first thing in the morning.
Isabgol Dosage for Weight loss:
- Taking Isabgol as a wellness supplement or in foods when taken 10 to 20 grams per day is safe.
- You can increase the dosage to 30 grams daily if you suffer from acute constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.
- Make sure to split the dose throughout the day.
Best Time to Have Isabgol for Weight Loss:
The morning time before breakfast, or at night before or after meals is the best time to consume Psyllium husk or Isabgol for weight loss.
Tip: Ensure not to consume Isabgol right after or before your meals.
3. Controls Appetite:
Isabgol’s uses and benefits are attributed to keeping you full for an extended period since it is a rich source of water-soluble fibres. It also helps suppress your body weight and controls appetite by reducing the level of certain hormones responsible for hunger.
4. Improves Digestion:
Improvement in digestion is one of the prominent advantages of Isabgol because it is packed with soluble and insoluble fibres. Isabgol is also a great colon cleanser that eliminates all the unnecessary toxins from your stomach. This process keeps you healthy by making digestion more effective (3). Moreover, psyllium husk also helps clear out the ama keeping the digestive disorders at bay, according to Ayurveda.
Isabgol with Milk at Night Benefits:
Isabgol helps manage weak digestion and is considered beneficial when taken with milk or with warm water. This provides relief from constipation and acidity by promoting bowel movement. In addition, by consuming Isabgol with warm milk twice a day, you can prevent the condition of bleeding piles.
- Take one to two tbsp of Isabgol powder.
- Take one glass of lukewarm milk.
- Combine the Isabgol powder with the warm milk and combine thoroughly.
- Drink it warm before going to sleep.
5. Treats Diarrhea:
Isabgol helps slow down the colon transit and gastrointestinal emptying time, as per studies. This property of Isabgol helps people with faecal incontinence from liquid stools or can be beneficial to people suffering from diarrhoea. In addition, the water-absorbing properties of Isabgol slow down the passage through the colon by efficiently increasing the stool’s thickness.
Isabgol with Curd Benefits:
Isabgol works as an effective remedy in relieving the symptoms of loose stools when taken with curd. In addition, Isabgol works exceptionally well when you suffer from diarrhoea because the fibres in this plant harden the stools.
6. Remedy for Constipation:
Irrespective of gender and age, constipation affects approximately 27% of the population. And the major cause of constipation is said to be the consumption of a low-fibre diet. Psyllium husk benefits include relieving constipation whether you consume it in your food or as a supplement. This is because the husk acts as a bulk-forming laxative. It eases and fastens bowel movement through the small intestine by forming mucilage (4). Therefore, this process doesn’t harden your stool, preventing you from being constipated.
7. Good for Lowering Cholesterol:
Psyllium husk powder benefits include the reduction of cholesterol in blood with the help of its hygroscopic properties. In addition, it eventually helps lower cholesterol by preventing cholesterol absorption from food. Isabgolhelps your body excrete fat and bile acids which helps decrease blood cholesterol levels by assisting the liver in using cholesterol to produce more.
According to a study conducted on seven Washington State University participants, consuming 21 grams of psyllium husk supplementation per day for three weeks resulted in considerably low total cholesterol (5).
8. Helps with Diabetes:
The effects of dietary fibre on type-2 diabetes have been proven by many studies. The anti-hyperglycemic and anti-diabetic effects of Psyllium husk are attributed to fibre sources. In addition, there is an increase in insulin sensitivity and improvement of glycemic control in the body with the oral administration of about 10 grams of Psyllium husk per day (6).
9. Lowers Blood Pressure:
Isagbol might be able to lower blood pressure along with many other benefits. Therefore, if you are taking anti-hypertensive drugs along with Isabgol, it is advised to monitor your blood pressure regularly (7).
10. Good for Piles:
Piles is a health condition that results when chronic constipation is left untreated. Unfortunately, it is a more common problem than many care to admit. Psyllium Husk’s water-absorbing and water-retaining properties can benefit people with piles. In addition, Isabgol reduces the bleeding associated with piles by making the stool bulky, soft and easy to expel. It also prevents excessive stretching of the anus while passing stool by healing fissures.
You can drink Isabgol right before bed by mixing it with a glass of warm water. Or you can also add it to your smoothie, kickstarting your day.
Read: Benefits of Eating Chia Seeds
11. Benefits for Hair:
Hair health from the inside requires a balanced diet and healthy body functions. In addition, the healthy functioning of the digestive system is a must for good hair health. Isabgol helps promote hair growth by supplying essential nutrients to the hair roots. It also helps boost digestion and eliminates harmful toxins from the body, which can benefit your hair.
12. Benefits for Skin:
The use of psyllium husk or Isabgol for skin healing is attributed to the pitta balancing and sita or cold properties. It helps manage inflammation of the skin while healing wounds efficiently. It also has the Snigdha property, which helps reduce dryness and promotes naturally glowing skin.
Including psyllium husk into your skincare routine helps with acne pimples and unclogs pores, reduces inflammation, treats insect bites and skin irritation, and prevents white and blackheads.
Isabgol Side Effects:
Although Isabgol has many health benefits, it has some side effects. Here are some of the risks associated with the consumption of Isabgol (Psyllium Husk), though there is little supporting evidence.
- If consumed in a large quantity, Isabgol might cause a drop in blood pressure.
- The mucilage formed by Psyllium husk can trap and dampen their effect by interfering with the absorption of certain drugs.
- Although there is not enough evidence to prove otherwise, Phyllium husk is likely safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
- For the first few days, Isabgol might cause gastric discomfort in some people.
Isabgol or psyllium husk is a common folk remedy that benefits digestive issues and constipation. It acts as a natural laxative that cleanses your colon by improving digestion. But remember that Isabgol is not a miracle cure. Along with consuming Isabgol, you must have a regular exercise regimen and follow a balanced diet. As a caution, consult a doctor before adding Isabgol into your diet to rule out any future health issues. Finally, don’t forget to let us know if you found the article helpful!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based purely on research and is not a replacement for professional advice. You can always consult your doctor or health care professional before adding anything to your diet. Furthermore, the website is not responsible for the authenticity and accuracy of the information.
1. What are the names of Isabgol in other languages?
Ans: Here are the names of Isabgol in different languages:
- Sanskrit names: Ashwakarna, Ashwagol, Sheetabeeja, Ashwakarnabeeja
- Hindi names: Isabgol, Ispaghul, Ispagul, Issufgul
- Marathi names: Isapghol, Isabgola
- Bengali names: Esphopgol, Isshopgul, Isabgul
- Punjabi names: Lisapghol, Abghol, Bartang
- Kannada names: Visamagolu, Issabagolu, Isabakolu, Isofgolu
- Telugu names: Isphagula, Isapgaluvittulu, Isapagala
- Kashmiri name: Is-mogul
- Tamil names: Ishappukol, IshappukolviraiIskol, AsIsphagol, Iskolvirai
- Malayalam names: Karkatshringi, Ispaghal, SnigdhaJeerakam
- English names: Psyllium, Blond Psyllium, Spogel Seeds, Ispaghula, Ripple Grass
2. Is it safe to consume Isabgol daily?
Ans: Yes! If you have stomach problems, you can take Isabgol daily, it will benefit you. But it is better to consult a doctor to know the recommended dosage.
3. What are the precautions one must take while consuming Isabgol?
Ans: Here are some of the precautions one must take while consuming Isabgol:
- Make sure you aren’t allergic to Psyllium husk.
- If you have kidney disease or are pregnant, don’t consume Isabgol.
- It is best to start with a low dose of Isabgol to rule out any issues.
- Before taking laxatives for weight loss, always consult your doctor.