Ayurvedic Isabgol And Its Many Benefits For Better Gut Health

Ayurveda, the OG health guru! For thousands of years, ancient texts have pointed to the wonders of nature as the most accessible and almost always right at our fingertips. A lot of these common ayurvedic cures like ghee and turmeric are suddenly worldwide trends and a hidden ingredient is slowly making its way into the limelight. 

Isabgol, also known as psyllium husk, is a popular herb widely used in Ayurveda. It has been valued for centuries for its numerous health benefits and medicinal properties. The name "isabgol" is derived from two Persian words: "isap" meaning horse and "gol" meaning earlobe, which refers to the shape of the seed.

Isabgol is obtained from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant, which is native to India, Iran, and Pakistan and the husk of the seeds is rich in soluble fibres and mucilage which while not particularly delicious, are an excellent natural remedy for various digestive and gastrointestinal issues. 

By introducing it in small ways into your diet, you can help improve your overall wellness and its especially recommended for people with persistent gastrointestinal issues.

8 Health Benefits Of Isabgol

Relieves Constipation: 

Isabgol is perhaps most renowned for its laxative properties. The soluble fibre in isabgol absorbs water and swells up, forming a gel-like substance that adds bulk to the stool. This helps in softening the stool and easing its passage through the intestines, thereby relieving constipation.

Soothes Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): 

For individuals suffering from IBS, isabgol can be beneficial due to its ability to regulate bowel movements and reduce discomfort. It acts as a gentle, natural bowel regulator, easing both constipation and diarrhoea in IBS patients.

Manages Diarrhoea: 

Despite being thought of as a laxative, isabgol can also be used to treat chronic diarrhoea over time. The soluble fibre in the husk absorbs excess water in the intestines, resulting in firmer stools and reduced frequency of bowel movements due to its Guru (heavy) properties.

Helps in Weight Management: 

Isabgol aids in weight management by promoting a feeling of fullness, which may reduce appetite and curb overeating. By regulating bowel movements, it also helps in proper digestion and nutrient absorption.

Lowers Cholesterol Levels: 

Studies have shown that regular consumption of isabgol can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood. The soluble fibre in isabgol binds to cholesterol, preventing its absorption in the intestines and promoting its excretion.

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels: 

Isabgol can be beneficial for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes. The soluble fibre in isabgol slows down the absorption of glucose, thereby helping to stabilise blood sugar levels.

Relieves Heartburn and Acidity: 

Isabgol's mucilage content helps soothe the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, providing relief from heartburn and acidity.

Detoxifies the Body: 

Isabgol can help eliminate toxins from the body by promoting regular bowel movements, which aids in flushing out waste and harmful substances.

5 Ways To Use Isabgol In Your Diet

Isabgol with Water: One of the most common and straightforward methods of consuming isabgol is by mixing it with water. Take one to two teaspoons of isabgol husk and mix it thoroughly in a glass of water. Drink it immediately before the husk starts to swell and thicken. Follow it up with another glass of water to ensure proper hydration.

Isabgol with Milk: For a more palatable option, you can mix isabgol with warm milk. Heat a glass of milk and let it cool down slightly. Add one to two teaspoons of isabgol husk to the milk and stir well. Drink it before bedtime to help with digestion and constipation.

Isabgol with Dahi: Mix isabgol with yoghurt to create a healthy and soothing probiotic-rich snack. Take a bowl of plain yoghourt and add one to two teaspoons of isabgol. Mix well and consume it either during or after meals to aid digestion.

Isabgol in Smoothies: If you prefer smoothies, you can add a teaspoon of isabgol husk to your favourite fruit or vegetable smoothie. The fibre content of isabgol will add extra nutrition and help regulate bowel movements.

Isabgol in Baking: For those who like to bake, isabgol can be added to bread, muffins, or cookies. Substitute a small portion of flour with isabgol husk to increase the fibre content of your baked goods.