So after you found out last post about the elusive “perfect poo“, I bet you all want to know how you can improve your poop, don’tcha?
Well aside from, you know, eating better, which I am sure you are all working on anyway… a great tool in your quest for great bowel movements is something called psyllium husk.
Psyllium husk is the shell of the seeds of the psyllium plant. To be honest, I know nothing about this plant, but I do know all about its husks and why you might want to take them.
Psyllium is Just Fiber, Baby
Essentially psyllium is just a fiber supplement. It’s almost always the basis of famous commercial fiber supplements that you’ve probably seen your grandma take, like Metamucil. Luckily if you just buy the straight husks (which you can find in bulk bins and in health stores) and skip the name brand, they are very affordable and last you a good long time.
Psyllium is a perfect soluble fiber… when you consume it, it goes unchanged and undigested through your system, but what it does do is absorb water which causes it to gel up. It’s soft, cushy… your intestines love it because unlike wheat bran and other kinds of scratchy, insoluble fiber that society wrongly tells you you should eat lots of, it doesn’t irritate the gut walls. Taking it will add bulk to your stool, making it big… and that is a good thing because if your poo is too narrow, your intestines have a hard time trying to “grab” it and move it along. It will also soften it up – so it’s in this way that psyllium helps to relieve constipation! Yay!
On the other hand, it can also help to relieve diarrhea if that is your problem, as the water it absorbs can firm up the stool and slow its transit time.
The best thing about psyllium though is that as it gels up, it also absorbs all sorts of toxins, wastes, and bad bacteria off the sides of the intestines and then helps to carry it out of your system. This is something we definitely want!
Things to Remember About Taking Psyllium
Okay so if you want to take psyllium, here are some things you should remember:
- Start slow. 1-3 teaspoons per day is the recommended dosage, and if you jump straight into 3 teaspoons, you may experience gas and bloating, as your body isn’t used to the fiber. If you do experience this, just cut way back and work your way up again.
- Take it by putting your teaspoon or so in a full glass of water and drink ‘er down. If you don’t find that pleasant, you could also just sprinkle it on your food too… but the thing is that when you are taking psyllium, you must remember to drink lots and lots of water and liquids throughout the day. The water it absorbs from your body is fairly significant, and if if you don’t drink enough water, you could get dehydrated or end up constipated again. 6-8 glasses of water or herbal teas should do the trick.
- Don’t take the psyllium at the same time as other supplements or drugs or it may interfere with their absorption into your body! Give yourself an hour or so on each side of taking the psyllium before you take other supplements.
- It is rare, but sometimes people do get significant allergic reactions to psyllium. If you notice any immediate reactions when you start to take it, stop using it!
What do you think about psyllium? Gonna give it a shot?