Psyllium - Plantago arenaria/ovata/asiatica (in the Plantaginaceae or Plantain family)
Part used: Seed.
Taste/smell: Mucilaginous, bland, no noticeable smell.
Tendencies: Moistening with ingestion of water, drying without ingestion of water.
Dosage: Soak 1- 2 teaspoons of seeds in a cup of water, drink, followed by a second cup of water.
Use: (a) Demulcent, (b) Bulking agent, (c) Soothes gastrointestinal mucosa.
Psyllium is used for both constipation and diarrhea. If constipated, drink 2 glasses of water after taking the herb.
Contraindications: It is contraindicated in bowel obstruction, abnormal intestinal narrowing and esophageal stenosis. It is of utmost importance to drink adequate liquid with the seeds. Oral drugs or herbs taken at the same time as psyllium seeds may have delayed absorption due to its mucilage content.