What are Psyllium Supplements?

Diane Goettel

Psyllium supplements are health care products that are used to help aid in the digestive process, particularly as it relates to the small intestine and the colon. These supplements help to form bulk in the intestines which, in turn, helps to promote bowel movements. Psyllium supplements can be used to cleanse the colon and can also be used to treat diarrhea as well as constipation. Any chronic problems with the digestive tract should be treated by a medical professional, but psyllium supplements can work as at-home remedies for improved wellness and occasional intestinal troubles. The product in these supplements come from the seeds of one of the many plants in the Plantago genus.

Psyllium supplements aid in the digestion done in the small intestines.
Psyllium supplements aid in the digestion done in the small intestines.

Most psyllium supplements are made out of the husks of these seeds, which may or may not be powdered for this purpose. The supplements generally come in two forms. They may come in a loose form or in the form of a capsule. Psyllium supplements that come in a loose form are usually consumed after being mixed into a beverage. The husks can begin to expand quite quickly as they absorb water, so the mixture must be consumed very shortly after it is prepared.

Psyllium powder is used as a dietary supplement.
Psyllium powder is used as a dietary supplement.

Powdered psyllium supplements may be flavored. Some people do not like the taste of plain psyllium, which can be rather bland. The solutions to this include purchasing a supplement powder that is flavored and mixing the supplement in with fruit juice. The mixture can also be flavored with lemon juice.

Some people take psyllium supplements on a regular basis in order to keep their colons healthy while also promoting regularity. Others use psyllium supplements as part of a colon cleansing process. Some colon cleansing systems rely heavily on these supplements. These systems may be used to improve colon health, to lose weight, or both. There have also been some studies that indicate that consuming psyllium can help lower cholesterol which, in turn, can help to reduce one's risk of heart disease.

It is important to drink plenty of water when using any kind of psyllium supplement. The key way that psyllium works is by absorbing water. This allows the fibers to expand and promote movement in the intestines. Without drinking enough water, one runs the risk of dehydration. Furthermore, drinking plenty of water is an important for a healthy digestive system in general.

Psyllium husk.
Psyllium husk.

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