Isabgol, or Psyllium Husk is a plant based laxative derived from the plant Plantago Ovata. It is the the dietary fiber obtained from the seed husk of Plantago Ovata. One teaspoon of Isabgol gives about 3 grams of fiber.
Rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, Isabgol is used as a magical digestive remedy in many Indian households. Isabgol is available in the form of husk, granules, powder or capsules. It can be incorporated into your daily diet but under the strict supervision of your nutritionist or physician.
There are numerous health benefits of Isabgol-
- Being a soluble fiber, it normalizes bowel function and helps treat constipation. It is advised to eat 2 tbsp of Isabgol with warm milk before going to bed in the night to cure constipation. One can also add honey for flavor.
- Reduces cholesterol, regulates triglycerides and is believed to be good for the heart.
- Isabgol has a high fiber content, it can be combined with other fiber-rich diet. It satiates your appetite, makes you fuller for longer periods of time thus helping in weight loss. Mixing 1 tbspn of Isabgol in warm water with lemon, and drinking it just before your meal, or in the morning on empty stomach can aid in weight loss.
- It can also help control blood sugar levels.
- It may help prevent diarrhea if taken with yogurt. Take 2 tbspn of Isabgol with 3 spoons of yogurt, 2-3 times a day to control diarrhea.
- Isabgol is known to reduce acidity. Take 1 tbspn of Isabgol with half a glass of cold milk after meals.
- Known to be a probiotic, it stimulates the formation of good bacteria in the intestine. It is a colon-cleanser, aids digestion and promotes general health.
- Isabgol softens stools, helps in smooth clearing of bowels. It is, therefore, very useful for people suffering from painful conditions of anal fissures or piles.
Note: As soon as you mix Isabgol with water, it is advised to drink it as Isabgol tends to solidify.
A word of Caution: Sometimes Isabgol can cause cramping in the stomach or bloating, leading to flatulence. It is advised to consult a doctor if these symptoms persist.
How to Buy
Always buy pre-packaged Isabgol, without any flavoring. Avoid purchasing loose husk as it may be contaminated with adulterants and impurities.
How to Store
Isabgol can be stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry place for almost 6 months. Always use a dry spoon to scoop out Isabgol as it tends to swell and solidify in contact with water.
Healthy Summer Drink
If you are having trouble incorporating Isabgol in your diet, you can make a healthy potion that is so soothing in summers-
- Isabgol husk- 2 tbsp
- Sugar- as per taste
- Cold Milk- 250 ml
- Cold water- 1/4 glass
- Pistachios and dry rose petals (optional)- a few for topping
- Saffron (optional)- few threads
- Cardamom powder/rose syrup/Roohafza (optional)- a little, for flavoring
- In a bowl add a few threads of saffron and a little milk. Keep it aside for 30 minutes so that it blends well for color. You can also add a pinch of cardamom powder/rose syrup/Roohafza for strong flavor.
- Take a tall glass. Add milk, water, sugar, Isabgol and above mixture. Mix well.
- Isabgol drink is ready. You can top it up with Pistachios and rose petals. Consume fast as Isabgol may solidify.
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