What is it?
The seed and the husk covering the seed of blond psyllium (an herb) which is a laxative that helps in constipation. The husk absorbs water and form a mass which stimulates the bowel to move.
Fiber definitely helps people with constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. It helps softens stools hence it helps to relieve symptoms of patients with hemorrhoids. There is some studies that prove that fiber reduced total cholesterol especially in those younger than 60 years old. Some studies also find that it reduces sugar level in diabetic patients and lowers blood pressure in those with hypertension.
Some believe that fiber may help with colonic polyps, some types of cancer and skin conditions, however more research need to be done to really prove its effectiveness in these conditions. Currently there is no strong evidence to prove that.
Possible side effects
Fiber is generally safe for most people even lactating/pregnant women when taken in recommended amounts. Some possible side effects include bloated sensation, flatulence, diarrhea, nausea and stomach upset.
If you have intestinal obstruction you should not take it as it may worsen the obstruction. Also avoid if you have allergy to blond psyllium. As blond psyllium is sweetened with aspartame (Nutrasweet) hence it should be avoided in patients with phenylketonuria.
Diabetic patients should monitor their sugar level as blond psyllium will reduce blood sugar levels.
1. Lithium, digoxin and carbamazepine: blond psyllium contains a lot of fiber and it will reduce the absorption of medications and reduce their effectiveness.
2. Anti-coagulants & anti-platelets: Evening primrose will increase tendency to bleed when used with anti-coagulants and anti-platelet medications.
Remember to take sufficient water with fiber if not it may cause choking sensation. Please follow the instructions on product label and if in doubt consult your doctor first.