What other names is Blond Psyllium known by?
Balle de Psyllium, Blond Plantago, Blonde Psyllium, Che Qian Zi, Dietary Fiber, Englishman's Foot, Fibre Alimentaire, Indian Plantago, Ipágula, Isabgola, Isabgul, Ispaghul, Ispaghula, Ispagol, Pale Psyllium, Plantaginis Ovatae Semen, Plantaginis Ovatae Testa, Plantago decumbens, Plantago fastigiata, Plantago insularis, Plantago ispaghula, Plantago ovata, Psilio, Psillium Blond, Psyllium, Psyllium Blond, Psyllium Husk, Sand Plantain, Spogel.
What is Blond Psyllium?
Blond psyllium is an herb. The seed and the outer covering of the seed (husk) are used to make medicine.
Blond psyllium is used as a laxative and for softening stools in people with hemorrhoids
, anal fissures, and after anal surgery. It is also used for diarrhea
, irritable bowel syndrome
), ulcerative colitis
, and dysentery. Other uses include high cholesterol
, high blood pressure
, weight control, and serious renal disease
Some people apply blond psyllium to the skin as a poultice for boils
In food manufacturing, blond psyllium is used as a thickener or stabilizer in some frozen dairy desserts.
Some foods that contain blond psyllium carry a label that claims these foods, when consumed as part of a low-fat diet
, may reduce the risk of heart disease
. The FDA allows this claim if the food contains at least 1.7 grams of psyllium per serving. The key word in this claim is "may." It is true that blond psyllium can help lower cholesterol levels
; but there's no proof yet that taking blond psyllium reduces the risk of developing heart disease
. Despite its effectiveness in lowering cholesterol
levels, blond psyllium has not yet been included in the stepwise approaches to dietary therapy such as the American Heart Association Step I or Step II diets for high cholesterol
. Most clinical studies have used a specific blond psyllium powder preparation (Metamucil
) or food that contains psyllium seed husk, such as cereals, breads, or snack bars.
Is Blond Psyllium effective?
Blond psyllium is a good source of dietary fiber and is effective as a bulk laxative for constipation
. Blond psyllium is also effective for lowering cholesterol
levels in the blood in people with high cholesterol.
Blond psyllium also seems to help for treating diarrhea
and decreasing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
Blond psyllium also seems to help lower blood sugar
levels and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes
and high cholesterol.
- Constipation. Some evidence suggests that taking blond psyllium by mouth, alone or as a combination product, can relieve constipation and improve stool consistency.
Likely Effective for...
- Lowering cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. Taking blond psyllium by mouth reduces cholesterol levels in people with mild to moderate high cholesterol. Blond psyllium seed husk or seed added to food or as a separate supplement in a dose of approximately 10-12 grams daily, in combination with a low-fat or a high-fat diet, can reduce levels of total cholesterol by 3% to 14% and low density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol by 5% to 10 after 7 weeks or more of treatment. Blond psyllium also does not seem to lower other blood fats called triglycerides. Lower doses of blond psyllium (no more than 6 grams daily) may not be effective.
In children with high cholesterol, taking psyllium can further decrease LDL cholesterol levels by 7% to 15% when added to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet such as the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Step 1 diet. Interestingly, taking blond psyllium along with a stricter low-fat, low-cholesterol diet such as the NCEP Step 2 diet may have less of an additional effect in lowering LDL cholesterol.
Psyllium seems to be less effective in older people. There is some evidence that it lowers LDL cholesterol levels to a lesser degree in people 60 years or older compared to people under 60.
Some evidence suggests that psyllium seed might be more effective than the seed husk for lowering cholesterol.
Blond psyllium seems to be most effective when taken with foods at mealtime. Breakfast cereal containing blond psyllium can decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by 5% and 9%, respectively.
There is some evidence that taking blond psyllium for high cholesterol makes it possible to reduce the dose of certain medications used to lower cholesterol. For example, taking 15 grams of blond psyllium (Metamucil) along with 10 mg of simvastatin (Zocor) daily seems to lower cholesterol about as well as taking a higher dose (20 mg) of simvastatin daily. Similarly, a combination of blond psyllium with colestipol (Colestid) at half their usual doses seems to be as effective as colestipol alone. Blond psyllium also seems to reduce colestipol and cholestyramine (Questran, Questran Light, Cholybar) side effects such as constipation and abdominal pain. However, do not adjust the dose of your medication without consulting your healthcare provider.
Possibly Effective for...
- Diabetes. Blond psyllium's maximum effect on the blood sugar levels occurs when psyllium is mixed with or taken with foods. In addition to lowering blood sugar, blond psyllium seed husk also lowers cholesterol in people with diabetes who have high cholesterol. Some studies show blond psyllium can lower total cholesterol by about 9%, and LDL cholesterol by 13%. Blond psyllium does not lower after-meal blood sugar levels in people who do not have diabetes.
- Diarrhea. Taking blond psyllium by mouth seems to reduce diarrhea symptoms.
- Hemorrhoids. Taking blond psyllium by mouth seems to relieve bleeding and pain in people with hemorrhoids.
- High blood pressure. Taking blond psyllium by mouth, alone or in combination with soy protein, seems to lower blood pressure in adults.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While not all studies agree, there is evidence that blond psyllium seed husk can relieve constipation and improve abdominal pain, diarrhea, and overall well-being. It may take up to four weeks of treatment to get the best results.
- Obesity. While not all studies agree, there is early evidence that blond psyllium might reduce body weight and appetite in people who are overweight or obese.
- Treating side effects of a drug called Orlistat (Xenical, Alli). Taking blond psyllium with each dose of orlistat seems to relieve orlistat side effects such as gas, stomach rumbling, stomach cramps, and oily spotting without decreasing the weight-reducing effect of orlistat.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). There is some evidence that taking blond psyllium seeds by mouth might be effective for preventing a relapse of inflammatory bowel disease. Blond psyllium also appears to relieve symptoms of this condition.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Growths in the large intestine and rectum (colorectal adenoma). Taking 3.5 grams of blond psyllium per day does not seem to reduce the risk of colorectal adenoma. There is some evidence that it might actually increase the risk of adenoma recurrence, particularly in people who get a lot of calcium from their diet. However, more evidence is needed to determine the relationship of psyllium and calcium to colorectal adenoma.
- Serious kidney disease.Taking blond psyllium by mouth does not improve serious kidney disease.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
More evidence is needed to rate blonde psyllium for these uses.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).