Finally, 7 Most Asked Questions About Isabgol Answered
Just started the day and already feel the load? It’s time to let it all out!
In India, 22% of the adult population suffers from bowel irregularities. 13% of which experience severe symptoms. And about 6% have this due to comorbid (existing) conditions.
In the land of the 5000-year-old science of Ayurveda, where the gut is given the status of the“second brain”. Where gut health is acknowledged to be the most fundamental aspect of physical and emotional wellness. Where ancient texts talk at great length about ways to not only strengthen ‘agni’ or the digestive fire but also eject waste material or 'ama'.
Should we still be as morbidly hesitant to talk about bowel irregularities as we already are?
Just like Piku’s “Motion Se Hi Emotion” dialogue, we need an emotional enema and bring this taboo topic into the public domain. It is important to acknowledge how not being regular can upset our emotional well-being too. After all, even Akbar himself once told Birbal how taking a good dump is the “mightiest” of all reliefs.
THE PRESSING REALITY
Having to go multiple times with little luck or going on without a single release all week is a feeling that all of us are familiar with.
We already know that varying degrees of bowel discomfort including having hard stools, strained bowel movements, irregular bowel cycles, and the general feeling of being choked.
For some, these symptoms may only be temporary- a result of travel or the previous night’s fiberless meal. But for several, it is a painful reality to live with for years.
Those with 3 or less than three bowel movements per week are said to have irregular cycles. If this goes on at a stretch and lasts several months, the condition is diagnosed as chronic. And the inability to be regular is a risk that may need professional intervention.
We may think that skipping a day is normal.
But is it?
AYURVEDA’S TAKE ON BOWEL IRREGULARITIES!
Our health, happiness, and strength are strongly influenced by how we digest what we take in from mother nature and release it. Ayurveda already states how difficulty in releasing waste, poor digestion and elimination can affect our immune system, memory, and even mood!
Ayurvedic wisdom even talks about how a weak agni might lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body and become a root cause for a lot of gut problems. This may seriously impact our immunity, sleep cycle and the way we feel and look.
Enhancing our agni and ejecting ama is important AND not necessarily difficult! BUT still, most of us struggle with not only digesting but also releasing the matters of the gut.
IS HIGH FIBER THE WAY AHEAD?
Not being regular for a long time could be a risk. A good way to handle it is amping up the intake of fiber.
Wondering how that could help? Here are some quick facts about dietary fiber:
Fiber can be categorised as soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber as the name suggests gets easily dissolved in water and can be broken down into a gel-like substance in the colon.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water but attracts water into your stool, making it softer and easier to pass with less strain on your bowel. Insoluble fiber is also known to promote bowel health and regularity.
Fiber has been used as a dietary aid to digest and eject for centuries since ancient times. Ayurvedic text 'Maha Narayana Upanishad' (5000 BCE) also offers dietary advice by way of 3 diet choices namely Satvik, Rajasic, and Tamasic. The first 2 are focused around fiber-rich veggies and fruits.
A lifestyle built around sedentary work and refined flours and carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, sugar sweeteners, etc. makes getting enough fiber a challenge.
Most adults especially in urban cities and busy lifestyles, do not get enough fiber from their daily diets and as a result suffer from irregular bowel cycles!
The right amount of overall dietary fiber can:
A good way to manage bowel health is to incorporate both insoluble and soluble dietary fiber into our diets.
You may already be aware of a powder, a companion, a supplement, or a load pusher that helps alleviate the feeling of being blocked-
Isabgol or Psyllium Husk
DOES PSYLLIUM HUSK SOUND FAMILIAR? AND DOES ISABGOL RING A BELL?
You’ve seen it with your relatives. Probably have a jar placed on the kitchen shelf or at the dining table. Of course, it is the age-old remedy that never gets old.
However, when it comes to using Isabgol, several new questions still arise and often remain unanswered!
If you are someone new to the world of Isabgol you may wonder if it is to be had with water or milk, mixed with your morning tea or coffee or mixed with curd.
So here are all the what, why, which, when and how’s of Isabgol that you must know about!
1. "Not sure if Isabgol is a brand, a plant or a seed??"
Isabgol is no brand but the common name for Psyllium, commonly known as:
Source: It is a fiber that stems from the seeds of Plantago Ovata- an oily and sticky plant with a sweet taste and astringent flavour, Plantago Ovata contains NEARLY 70% soluble fiber and 30% insoluble fiber.
Benefits: A potent Ayurvedic coolant, it promotes digestive health and has natural laxative properties. What makes it especially effective is its active ingredient- Metamucil that’s used in making dietary supplements that help relieve bowel issues. What’s interesting is how Isabgol’s benefits go beyond just gut health. Psyllium husk is also a potent prebiotic for gut health and immunity. Since a healthy community of good bacteria in the digestive system is crucial for good immune function, Isabgol’s prebiotic properties help fight infection and reduce inflammation.
Isabgol is also used as a supplement for:
Regulating blood sugar
Promoting weight loss
2. “Does Isabgol really do anything!?”
Being rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, Isabgol functions as a bulk-forming natural laxative agent. It adds bulk to stools to ease bowel movements. The gel-like substance absorbs water and loosens the stool. Through this mechanism, Isabgol or Psyllium husk helps regulate and smoothen bowel cleanse.
Here is the step-by-step rundown of how it works:
Initially, it binds to partially digested food that’s in transit from the stomach to the small intestine.
Then the laxative activity of this gel also absorbs bacteria and harmful toxins that are present in the intestine
Then its fiber-rich content helps in the absorption of water
This is what bulks up or increases the size & moisture of stools. The end product is bulkier and therefore a whole lot easier to pass
Isabgol also helps in lubricating the intestine & stomach wall that further helps in relieving bowel movements and related problems.
3.“Isn't Isabgol just a home remedy only recommended in natural life sciences like Ayurveda?!”
Modern science acknowledges Isabgol as being beneficial in the management of bowel movements due to its high fiber content. Isabgol’s ability to absorb and retain water makes the stool soft and easy to pass out. In a clinical study named “Psyllium is superior to docusate sodium for treatment of chronic gut health” it was concluded that when 170 subjects consumed 5.1 grams of Psyllium 2 times a day for 2 weeks, it improved the water content in the stool and made bowel movement easier and more comfortable.
Ayurvedic wisdom calls Isabgol Guru (heavy) and Rechana (laxative). Because of its Guru (heavy) nature, it offers a rich source of fiber that helps bulk up the stool. Because of its mild Rechana (laxative) nature, Isabgol facilitates and eases the natural ejection of stools.
4.“I am confused if I should have it in the morning on an empty stomach or right after dinner or just before sleeping!?“
One of the most recurring and common questions where people like you and I wonder is the right time to have Isabgol so that we can reap all its benefits to the fullest. Another question people worry about is whether it should be soaked overnight and then had early in the morning or should it be the last meal of your day.
Since the exact dosage depends on many variables including age, pre-existing medical condition, and response to treatment, the best bet would be to follow the instructions on the packaging. In case Isabgol is a part of your prescription, ensure you take the recommended dosage only. Consult a healthcare provider or a medical practitioner to understand the recommended dosage for you.
5. “Should I take it with normal water or warm milk? Mix it with curd or dissolve it in tea?”
Because of Isabgol’s rough texture and muted flavours, people tend to wonder about the best way to amp up its full potential while toning down its blandness. The truth is that it can be had with both milk or water depending on what you wish to use it for. For instance,
FOR ACIDITY: Having Isabgol with cold water is said to bring some relief
FOR REGULATING BOWEL MOVEMENT: Have the prescribed quantity with lukewarm milk
FOR DIARRHEA: Isabgol with Curd is recommended
FOR WEIGHT LOSS: A glass of lemon water with Isabgol on an empty stomach is recommended
FOR BETTER DIGESTION: Isabgol along with buttermilk can be had sometime during the day
TO REGULATE CHOLESTEROL LEVELS: Isabgol when added to a bowl of oats is said to have heart-healthy benefits
6. “I have bought Isabgol flakes and not powder, do I need to grind the flakes to break it down?!”
Here are two most popular formats in which Isabgol is commonly available and can be had.
Isabgol Husk or Bhusi: This is Psyllium Husk or collapsed flakes removed from the Isabgol seeds that are ripe and dried up. Because of its flaky texture some people find it difficult to consume and so get into the hassle of grinding the flakes into a paste. The best way to harness the full potential of Isabgol without letting its texture bother you is to look for a better, more convenient and tastier format.
Isabgol Powder: As the name suggests, it is the powder form of Isabgol that is relatively more convenient to consume. However, its unpalatable texture may still bother those who are new to the business of using it regularly. A good way to overcome this hurdle is to get an alternative kind of Isabgol.
7. “I know Isabgol works but I find the powder unpalatable because of its sticky texture & chalky taste,can I make it tastier?”
You must have probably had Isabgol yourself or probably seen the frown on people’s faces when they consume it…. Yes, in the same old powder format that’s hard to gulp down even with water or milk!
What if there was a way to reap its smooth-bowel movement regulating benefits without the unpalatable taste and texture?
What if you could get Isabgol’s effective laxative properties in a convenient ready to eat format?
What if you could get some additional digestion-boosting, bloating-reducing effects of hyper-potent Hingvastak Churna or Asafoetida Churna along with Isabgol? What if you get Isabgol in a functional ‘tear-and-eat' bar format?
What if we tell you, YOU CAN!
Enriched with Isabgol or Psyllium husk, here’s an Ayurvedic bar which has natural laxative activity and helps:
Relieve bowel irregularities
Manage bloating and feeling of ‘fullness’
Boost digestive health
Regulate bowel movement
We have a ready-to-consume bar with all the goodness of Isabgol,that you can enjoy without having to put up with the annoying, frustrating feeling of swallowing the gel-like powder or having an unhappy gut!
Ayuttva’s Eaz Releaz Fiber Bar with the goodness of Isabgol or Psyllium Husk & Hingvastak Churna helps in maintaining a healthy gut! This Ayurvedic bar is a blessing for anyone facing digestive issues as this unique crunchy & chewy vegan delight is not only highly effective but also delicious!