Psyllium husks


Origin and history 

Psyllium seeds (Plantago psyllium ) are small, elliptical, reddish-brown, shiny seeds and are visually reminiscent of fleas. They owe their name to this appearance. The plants from which psyllium seeds come are native to the Mediterranean region, but today the main producer is India. There and also in China they are known for their traditional medicinal use for digestive problems.  


Using psyllium husks

Psyllium husks are used medicinally as a laxative. The seeds contain fiber, which swells in the intestines, stimulating and speeding up digestion. Psyllium husks have an even stronger swelling effect than whole psyllium seeds. They also contain small amounts of proteins, vitamins and minerals such as potassium, iron and calcium. Especially in the outer layer of the seed coats there are many mucilages that contain xylose, arabinose and galacturonic acid. The soluble fiber binds water in the intestines and swells. This increases the volume of the intestinal contents and stimulates digestion and softens the stool. Which can particularly help with constipation and diarrhea. In contrast to many phytopharmaceuticals that are based on empirical medicine, the effect of psyllium husk as a mild laxative has been confirmed in several clinical studies.  


Other health-promoting effects that have been found in clinical studies when taking psyllium husks include lowering cholesterol levels. Most studies found a reduction in LDL cholesterol, but HDL cholesterol remained unaffected. A possible cause of this observation is the formation of a mucous complex by the seeds in the small intestine, which binds cholesterol and bile acid and excretes them so that they are not reabsorbed into the serum.  


Blood sugar was also reduced in people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes when taking the seeds during a meal. In type 2 diabetes patients, this was also accompanied by weight loss in one study. Due to the possible positive influence of psyllium husks on blood sugar, it can make sense to incorporate this fiber into your diet as a preventive measure.  


Research has also shown that psyllium supplementation can help reduce BMI.  



Growing psyllium is typically sustainable because the plant has low water and soil requirements .  

Possible side effects 

Since the psyllium husks are broken down by some intestinal bacteria and produce hydrogen and methane, increased flatulence can occur in some cases. It is important to drink enough when using psyllium seeds. Without sufficient fluid intake, the mucous substances cannot swell properly and thus lead to digestive problems.  


Dosage recommendations  

For constipation relief, a starting dose of 5 grams is often recommended, which can be gradually increased as needed up to a maximum of 30 grams per day  


Psyllium in the kitchen
Psyllium seeds can be used as a binding agent in baking. Especially when baking gluten-free, where there is no gluten protein, you can alternatively use the swelling effect of psyllium seeds. Psyllium seeds can also be added to mueslis, for example, if an additional portion of fiber is desired. Dough that is too thin can also be thickened with psyllium seeds.  


Which AgilNature® products contain psyllium husks? 





800 mg per 6 capsules (daily ration) 

* * 


*Nutrient Reference Value = Percentage of the reference value according to Appendix XIII of the Food Information Regulation (EC) No. 1169/2011.  

** No recommendation available.  



Belorio M, Gómez M. Psyllium: a useful functional ingredient in food systems. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2022;62(2):527-538. 

A. Hensel et al.: Indian psyllium husks. An old drug for modern diseases of civilization. In: Deutsche Apothekerzeitung 2001, 01/36, p. 55. (Accessed on January 16, 2024)  

Jovanovski, Elena; Yashpal, Shahen; Komishon, Allison; et al. (September 15, 2018). "Effect of psyllium (Plantago ovata) fiber on LDL cholesterol and alternative lipid targets, non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 108 (5): 922–932.  

Everson GT, Daggy BP, McKinley C, Story JA. Effects of psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid on LDL-cholesterol and bile acid synthesis in hypercholesterolemic men. J Lipid Res. 1992 Aug;33(8):1183-92. 

Gibb RD, McRorie JW, Russell DA, Hasselblad V, D'Alessio DA (December 2015). "Psyllium fiber improves glycemic control proportional to loss of glycemic control: a meta-analysis of data in euglycemic subjects, patients at risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, and patients being treated for type 2 diabetes mellitus". At the. J. Clin. Nutr. 102 (6): 1604–14. 

Abutair, AS, IA Naser, and AT Hamed. 2016. Soluble fibers from psyllium improve glycaemic response and body weight among diabetes type 2 patients (randomized control trial). Nutrition Journal 15(1):86. 

Yusof HM, Liew YW, Ali A, Zakaria NS. Supplementation of psyllium husk and selected herb mixture improves cardiovascular disease risk factors in female adults. J Appl Pharm Sci, 2023; 13(11):161–169.

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