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Isabgol: Plantago ovata

  • Useful in burning sensation and excessive thirst
  • Increases body strength
  • Useful in management of diarrhea and dysentery
  • Lower serum total cholesterol
  • Enhances formation of urine thus helps in elimination of wastes from the body
  • Reduces the pain and bleeding associated with hemorrhoids
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Common Name:
Spogel seeds

Sanskrit Name:

  • Ishadgola: As its seeds are somewhat like ovum in shape
  • Aswakarna beeja: As its seeds are similar to the shape of the ear of horse
  • Sheetabeeja
  • Ishwargola
  • Isabgol

Lt. Name:
Plantago ovata – Plantaginaceae

Bio energetics:

  • Rasa (Taste) – Madhura (Sweet)
  • Guna (Characteristics) - Snigdha (Unctuous); Guru (Heavy); Pichchhila (Sticking)
  • Veerya (Potency) – Sheeta (Cold)
  • Vipaka (Post digestion effect) - Madhura (Sweet)

Chemical composition of Isabgol Powder:

Psyllium husk Powder contain 30 % mucilage. It also contains xylose, arabinose, galaecturonic acid, Rhanose, galactose, albumin, tannin and acetylecoline. The seeds pulp contains 14.7 % lilonic acid. Besides this it contains 5 % stable oil.

Effect of Isabgol Powder on Tridoshas:

Psyllium husk Powder pacifies Vata and Pitta Doshas so it can be used in diseases which are of Vata/ Pitta or Vata- Pitta origin.

Home Remedial Uses of Isabgol Powder in Ayurveda:

  • Mutrajananam: Psyllium husk Powder helps in cleansing urinary system; enhances formation of urine thus helps in elimination of wastes from the body; an Ayurvedic herb for detoxification and cleansing.
  • Daha Trishnaharam: As said above Psyllium husk Powder pacifies Vata and Pitta Doshas which are responsible for excessive thirst and burning sensation in body. So Psyllium husk is a recommended Ayurveda herb for burning sensation and excessive thirst.
  • Balyam: Psyllium husk Powder increases body strength.
  • Pravahika- Atisarahara: Psyllium husk Powder corrects the working of digestive system and specially benefits in diarrhea, dysentery and other assimilatory disorders.
  • Jwaraghnam: In Ayurveda; Jwara is defined as the health issues causing physical and psychological discomfort so it includes most of the health problems out there. Psyllium husk Powder benefits in all types of physical and psychological discomforts .

Research done on Isabgol Powder:

  • Recent study shows that use in high fiber breakfast cereals containing Psyllium husk Powder are effective in reducing cholesterol. Several studies point to a cholesterol reduction attributed to a diet that includes dietary fiber such as Psyllium husk Powder.
  • Research also indicates that Psyllium husk Powder incorporated into food products is more effective at reducing blood glucose response than use of a soluble fiber supplement that is separate from the food.
  • Psyllium husk is found to lower serum total cholesterol by 8.9%, LDL cholesterol by 13% and all-day and post lunch postprandial glucose where lowered by 11% and 19.2% after 8 weeks of 5.1 gm Isabgol Powder in a randomized controlled study of 34 men with type-2 diabetes. (Pubmed - Anderson 1999)
  • A double-blind trial reported that 7 grams of Psyllium husk Powder, an herb high in fiber, taken three times daily reduced the pain and bleeding associated with hemorrhoids. (Moesgaard F, Nielsen ML, Hansen JB, Knudsen JT. High-fiber diet reduces bleeding and pain in patients with hemorrhoids. Dis Colon Rectum 1982;25:454–6).
  • Decreases in total cholesterol (3.2%), LDL (5.4%) was found at 16.5 gm/day dosage of Psyllium husk for 3 months in study with 83 hypercholesterolaemia patients. (Pubmed - Tai 1999)
  • Chronic constipation was improved by taking Psyllium husk, 15-30 gm/day for 6 weeks in a study of 149 patients (Pubmed - Voderholzer 1997)
  • Alabaster O, Tang ZC, Frost A, Sivapurkar N. Potential synergism between wheat brain and Psyllium husk: enhanced inhibition of colon cancer. Cancer Lett. 1993;75:53–58.
  • Rehydration of children with acute diarrheal diseases was faster than WHO-ORS (5.3 hr, n=117), with 50gm/liter of Isabgol powder and 3.5 gm/liter NaCl (4.9 hr, n=121). (Pubmed - Arias 1997)

Possible Adverse Effects:

  • Possible adverse reactions include allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, especially among those who have had regular exposure to Psyllium husk dust. Gastrointestinal tract obstruction may occur, especially for those with prior bowel surgeries or anatomic abnormalities, or if taken with inadequate amounts of water.
  • The study was conducted on eleven healthy non-anemic adolescent girls of 16 to 18 years of age. Balance studies were conducted in two trials of three weeks each on low and high fiber diets. High fiber diet contained 25 g Psyllium husk in addition to low fiber diet. The mean diet and nutrient intakes of the subjects were approximately the same during both trials. Addition of Psyllium husk to low fiber diet significantly (P0.05) increased fecal excretion of zinc, copper and manganese and lowered their apparent retention. The serum levels of these trace minerals decreased significantly (P0.05). Thus the high level of Psyllium husk has undesirable effect on trace minerals.
    • Asha Kawatra, C. M. Bhat and Asha Arora Department of Foods and Nutrition, Haryana Agricultural University, 125 004 Hisar, Haryana, India

Useful part of Isabgol:

Seed and seed covering

Doses of Isabgol:

Powder: 5 – 10 gm

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