Information on Psyllium Husk

Latin NamePlantago ovata
Other NamesIspaghula
Part UsedSeeds
Herb FormsTablet, capsule, bulk seed and husk.
AffectsDigestive system
CautionsTake with at least eight ounces of water. Do not use this herb is you have a bowel obstruction. If you are taking any drugs, take them one hour before you take psyllium.
Botanical InfoPsyllium comes from a large variety of plantain species. The seed husks and whole seeds are both used.
DescriptionPsyllium seeds and husks are primarily thought of as a gentle bulk laxative, though they have been found effective for diarrhea as well. They are used for chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, and to lower cholesterol levels. Though smaller, the seeds of the common northern plantains, Plantago lanceolata and P. major can be used similarly to psyllium--harvested from the abundant seed heads, ground into powder, and added to water or food.
Psyllium seeds and seed husks are found in many bowel-cleansing formulas, sometimes with flax seed, fenugreek, burdock, red clover, and other cleansing herbs.

Psyllium Husk has a taste of SWEET and a temperature of NEUTRAL.


Husk1-2 tsp of the husk 1-2 x daily in water

Ailments Treated by Psyllium Husk

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Constipationbowel tonermixed with water
Cholesterol, highcholesterol loweringseed husk mixed with water
Hemorrhoidslaxativeseed or seed husk mixed with water


Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Bradley, P.R., ed. 1992. British Herbal Compendium. Dorset: British Herbal Medicine Association.