Constipation simply means either your bowel movements are fewer than normal or are tougher. No one is spared of it. Occasionally everyone goes through a constipated stage.
Constipation causes pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen. Your stools turn hard and you may have to strain for bowel movement. In some severe cases of constipation you may get rectal bleeding and anal fissure.
Although everyone has a different bowel movement frequency, medically constipation is defined as having less than three stools per week.
Constipation is generally not a serious condition and home remedies like psyllium can treat it effectively. Even doctors now recommend psyllium husk for constipation.
Table of Contents
- Is Psyllium Natural laxative?
- How Psyllium Husk Relieves Constipation?
- How to Use Psyllium for Constipation Treatment?
- Risks and Precautions
Yes, it is a natural laxative. Psyllium husk is soluble fiber. It absorbs water and softens the stools to ease bowel movement.
If your food habits lack enough dietary fiber than you are more likely to get constipation and other digestion problems.
Psyllium husk act as a dietary fiber supplement in such cases.
According to American Dietetic Association women aged between 19 to 50 should consume at least 25 grams of dietary fiber daily. Men of the same age group should consume at least 38 grams daily. Older women should consume 21 grams and nen 30 grams.
According to the study an average american consumes less than half of the recommended dietary fiber. That is why constipation is a very common problem in the USA and developed world.
There are two types of dietary fiber soluble and insoluble. Both types are required to stay healthy to pass normal bowel movement.
Psyllium husk comes from a shrub called plantago ovata. It is cultivated worldwide but India produces the highest amount of psyllium husk. It is called Isabgol in India.
Psyllium treats diarrhea, reduces cholesterol and helps in weight reduction. It also gives natural relief from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease and other digestive tract troubles.
Psyllium is primarily a soluble fiber which acts as a natural laxative. It also has a small amount of insoluble fiber component which adds bulk to the stools. It comes in various forms of granules, powder, capsules and husk.
Psyllium husk is the most popular form used to treat constipation.
It is the most active component of Metamucil -a popular diet fiber supplement.
In simple terms psyllium husk softens and increases stool size by absorbing water like any other soluble fiber.
It binds the digested food in the small intestine then absorbs water to increase moisture in the stools as it moves towards ractum to exit the body.
In a scientific study (1) it has been proved that psyllium husk taken regularly for couple of weeks can even treat chronic constipation. About 5 grams of psyllium husk taken twice daily for two weeks does this miracle.
Psyllium husk is one of the most tolerated soluble fibers on the planet.
Bottomline is soluble fiber like psyllium husk allows more water to get absorbed in your stool making them softer and larger. This helps the waste to move easily through your intestine and relieve constipation.
There are many different ways to use psyllium husk, powder and capsules to get rid of constipation. Following are 3 effective ways to use it.
This is the most common and easiest way to consume psyllium husk for constipation.
- Add 2 teaspoons of psyllium husk in a glass of water
- Mix well by stirring it for a. Minute for the husk to swell
- Drink it
- Do it twice daily
You can use granules, powder or capsules of psyllium husk in the same manner. However doses should be based on manufacturers recommendations.
Prunes juice and prunes for constipation also act as soluble fiber laxatives. Using it with a psyllium husk helps to relieve constipation fast.
First make prune juice as under
- Remove pits from a cup of dried prunes
- Boil 1 - 1.2 liter of water
- Fill the boiled water in a glass container
- Add dried prunes
- Let them some overnight
- Blend the mix in a blender in the morning
- Strain the juice and keep it in sealed glass container in refrigerator.
You can add 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk in a glass of prune juice and stir it for a minute until the husk swells.
Drink the mix twice daily.
The above prepared prunes juice will last for 4 servings, so prepare prunes juice every alternate day.
Within two weeks your bowel movement will become normal and you will get complete relief from chronic constipation.
If you do not get psyllium husk in the market then buy psyllium husk supplements from the nearest pharmacy or chemist shop.
You can buy metamucil or any other local psyllium husk supplement available in your area.
Follow the instructions for use.
Psyllium husk is one of the components of such supplements therefore you should look at its other components to ensure that they are not comfortable with your circumstances.
Sometimes if you're taking regular medicines for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol or any other chronic condition then you have to be very particular about compatibility of supplements.
Psyllium husk is generally a very safe natural product to deal with various gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, constipation, IBS, Crohn's disease and many other conditions. However all people are not made equal. In some cases psyllium may not be suitable.
Take following precautions:
- Stop using it if it gives you allergic symptoms. Some people are allergic to psyllium. If you are one of them then it is not for you.
- Discontinue it if you feel difficulty in breathing, stomach pain, skin rashes, nausea and vomiting.
- Do not overdo use of psyllium as it is soluble fiber which does not get absorbed by the body. So it takes away many essential nutrients from your body along with it.
You must ensure that you drink enough water and consume other healthy fluids throughout the day. Lack of water consumption causes dehydration and constipation.
Even when you are using a psyllium husk to get rid of constipation, you should continue to drink more water throughout the day.