- Kristen U et al, 1981, The Ligule of Isoetes lacustris: Ultrastructure, Mucilage Composition, and a Possible Pathway of Secretion Annals of Botany
- Hadley, Elbert H, Mucilage Access Science
- Mucilage properties Botanical Online
- Ramkumar D et al, 2005, Efficacy and safety of traditional medical therapies for chronic constipation: systematic review PubMed
- Gartlehner G et al, 2007, Drug Class Review: Constipation Drugs: Final Report [Internet] National Center for Biotechnology Information
- Lever E et al, 2014, Systematic review: the effect of prunes on gastrointestinal function PubMed
- Woolery M et al, 2008, Putting evidence into practice: evidence-based interventions for the prevention and management of constipation in patients with cancer National Guideline Clearinghouse
- Chouinard LE, 2011, The role of psyllium fibre supplementation in treating irritable bowel syndrome PubMed
- Pal S et al, 2012, The effects of 12-week psyllium fibre supplementation or healthy diet on blood pressure and arterial stiffness in overweight and obese individuals PubMed
- Hall M, 2012, Do fiber and psyllium fiber improve diabetic metabolism? PubMed
- Sierra M et al, 2002, Therapeutic effects of psyllium in type 2 diabetic patients European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- Anderson Jw, 1999, Effects of psyllium on glucose and serum lipid responses in men with type 2 diabetes and hypercholesterolemia The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- Psyllium Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings Drugs.com
- Bernstein AM et al, 2013, Major Cereal Grain Fibers and Psyllium in Relation to Cardiovascular Health PubMed Central
- Soluble fiber from certain foods and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD [21CFR101.81], Revised as of April 1, 2014 US Food and Drug Administration
- Muehlbauer PM et al, 2009, Putting evidence into practice: evidence-based interventions to prevent, manage, and treat chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-induced diarrhea National Guideline Clearinghouse
- Pittler MH et al, 2004, Dietary supplements for body-weight reduction: a systematic review The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- Rogovik AL et al, 2009, Should weight-loss supplements be used for pediatric obesity? PubMed Central
- Ke F et al, 2012, Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis PubMed Central
- Cavaliere H et al, 2001, Gastrointestinal side effects of orlistat may be prevented by concomitant prescription of natural fibers (psyllium mucilloid) PubMed
- Psyllium husk powder NutritionData
- Anal Fissure University of California, Los Angeles
- Salwen W et al, 2004, Effect of four-day psyllium supplementation on bowel preparation for colonoscopy: A prospective double blind randomized trial PubMed Central
- Psyllium Husk (Plantago Ovata,Ispaghula) Psyllium Labs
Psyllium Husk Mucilage
What is mucilage?
Mucilage (from Latin mucilago = a musty juice) is a thick substance naturally occurring in plant seeds, roots or leaves . Purified mucilages from food additives and supplements are indigestible polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates), made of glucose, galactose, arabinose, other monosaccharides and uronic acid . Mucilage is a soluble fiber; it cannot be digested in the small intestine, so it passes to the large intestine, where it is broken down (fermented) by beneficial large intestinal bacteria into gases and substances, which can be absorbed . When mixed with water it forms a viscous fluid.
Herbs and Other Plants High in Mucilage
Common sources of mucilage include Aloe vera leaves, ambrette, arnica, balsam fir, basil, borage, cactus, celery, chia seeds, evening primrose, fenugreek seeds, fig, flaxseed, hibiscus, Irish moss or carrageenan (a seaweed), kelp (a seaweed), lemon, linseed, liquorice root, mallow, marshmallow root, mustard seeds, nettle, nutmeg, okra, parsley root, plantain (a herb) seeds, potatoes, psyllium seed husks, quince seeds, sage, slippery elm inner bark [2,3].
- Natural mucilage is used as a thickener and stabilizer in dairy products and other commercial foods.
- Synthetic mucilages may be used as emulsifiers in medicinal suspensions.
- Mucilages in the form of lozenges, capsules, tinctures or syrups are used as a soothing agents (demulcent) are used to relieve irritated throat or gut.
- Mucilage can soften the stools.
Psyllium Husk Mucilage Supplements Health Benefits
Blond psyllium husk supplements are available over-the-counter (OTC) as tablets, capsules, powder, ground or whole husks. 10 g of psyllium husk powder contains about 5 g of soluble and 2 g of insoluble fiber [21,24].
Psyllium husk is POSSIBLY EFFECTIVE in:
- Treatment of chronic constipation [4,5,6] but may not be effective as a laxative in cancer patients 
- Lowering blood total and LDL cholesterol (4-7% decrease), fasting and post-meal glucose levels (~15% decrease) in individuals with diabetes type 2 [11,12]
- Lowering the risk of coronary heart disease when taken in doses 7 g/day . US Food and Drug Administration allows a health claim for psyllium products that contain at least 1.7 grams of soluble fiber per serving, when consumed in doses 7 g/day or greater along with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol: “may reduce the risk of heart disease” .
- Prevention of diarrhea caused by irradiation treatment 
- Reducing side effects of orlistat (a cholesterol-loweing drug) 
- Some health centers suggest psyllium as a stool softener may be appropriate for individuals with hemorrhoids and anal fissures .
There is INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE about effectiveness of psyllium husk in treatment of constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C) in adults and children [4,8]., lowering high blood pressure , weight loss [17,18] or ulcerative colitis .
According to one study, psyllium husk is NOT EFFECTIVE for bowel preparation before colonoscopy .
Doses for constipation range from 7 to 40 grams for adults, but ask your doctor for a dose appropriate for you.
Mucilage may reduce the absorption of iron and certain drugs (check the products information leaflets).
Pregnancy. Not enough studies have been made to evaluate the safety of psyllium supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding .
Who should avoid taking psyllium husk? Anyone with swallowing difficulties or bowel obstruction.
Be sure to take psyllium with sufficient amount of water to prevent choking.
Psyllium husk in large doses can cause abdominal bloating, pain, cramps, excessive gas (flatulence), obstruction of the esophagus or colon and anaphylactic reaction (severe allergic reaction) .
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Latin name for blond psyllium?
2. Is psyllium husk gluten-free?
3. What are gums?
Gums is a collective name for water-soluble, gel-forming indigestible carbohydrates derived from cereals, fruits, herbs or seaweeds. Gums are used as food additives or dietary fiber supplements. Examples: psyllium husk powder, pectin, acacia gum, carrageenan.
- Soluble dietary fiber
- Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH)
- Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)
- Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
- Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO)
- Isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO)
- Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS)
- Raffinose, stachyose, verbascose
- SOLUBLE FIBER:
- Acacia (arabic) gum
- Beta mannan
- Carageenan gum
- Carob or locust bean gum
- Fenugreek gum
- Gellan gum
- Glucomannan or konjac gum
- Guar gum
- Karaya gum
- Psyllium husk mucilage
- Resistant starches
- Tara gum
- Tragacanth gum
- Xanthan gum
- INSOLUBLE FIBER:
- Chitin and chitosan
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
- FATTY ACIDS
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Arachidonic acid (AA)
- Linoleic acid
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
- Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)
- Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs)
- Long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs)
- Very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs)
- Vitamin A - Retinol and retinal
- Vitamin B1 - Thiamine
- Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin
- Vitamin B3 - Niacin
- Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine
- Vitamin B7 - Biotin
- Vitamin B9 - Folic acid
- Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin
- Vitamin C - Ascorbic acid
- Vitamin D - Ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol
- Vitamin E - Tocopherol
- Vitamin K - Phylloquinone
- Flavanols: Proanthocyanidins
- Flavanones: Hesperidin
- Flavonols: Quercetin
- Flavones: Diosmin, Luteolin
- Isoflavones: daidzein, genistein
- Caffeic acid
- Chlorogenic acid
- Tannic acid
- Alcohol chemical and physical properties
- Alcoholic beverages types (beer, wine, spirits)
- Denatured alcohol
- Alcohol absorption, metabolism, elimination
- Alcohol and body temperature
- Alcohol and the skin
- Alcohol, appetite and digestion
- Neurological effects of alcohol
- Alcohol, hormones and neurotransmitters
- Alcohol and pain
- Alcohol, blood pressure, heart disease and stroke
- Women, pregnancy, children and alcohol
- Alcohol tolerance
- Alcohol, blood glucose and diabetes
- Alcohol intolerance, allergy and headache
- Alcohol and psychological disorders
- Alcohol and vitamin, mineral and protein deficiency
- Alcohol-drug interactions
- Moderate, heavy, binge drinking
- Alcohol intoxication
- Alcohol poisoning
- Alcohol and gastrointestinal tract
- Alcoholic liver disease
- Long-term effects of excessive alcohol drinking
- Alcohol craving and alcoholism
- Alcohol withdrawal