Isabgol (Psyllium Husk) Benefits, Side Effects and Uses

Dr. Mohammad Azam

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Mohammad Azam


9 min read


A fibre-rich ingredient, isabgol is known to assist digestion. There are many other benefits of isabgol linked to cholesterol and diabetes. Find out how isabgol benefits your gut health in depth.

Key Takeaways

  • Myriad isabgol benefits for health make it an all-season must-have
  • Better digestion and maintenance of cholesterol are a few benefits of isabgol
  • Isabgol is a very healthy ingredient and assists in weight loss too

Isabgol benefits your health primarily by keeping constipation at bay. A very widespread digestive disorder, constipation is prevalent all across the world and almost in every community. The percentage varies from 1% to 80% across communities [1]. The difference is based on a number of factors ranging from the genetic constitution to fiber intake, socioeconomic status, or even fluid intake. Several underlying factors like inadequate mobility and hormonal imbalance can lead to constipation too.  

In Asian countries such as China, Korea, Hong Kong, and India, the dominance of constipation is more as compared to other countries and ranges from 8.2% to 16.8% [2]. So, every Indian is at a higher risk in comparison to others and must look at ways to treat constipation naturally. In this regard, isabgol is a natural elixir helping prevent constipation symptoms. But that’s not all. Isabgol benefits your health in numerous other ways, such as promoting weight loss, helping you maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and even keeping diabetes symptoms in check. Read on to know about these psyllium husks or isabgol benefits in detail.  

Isabgol Nutritional Facts:

The nutritional value of isabgol or psyllium husk comes from the fact that it contains iron, potassium, protein, carbohydrates and more. Given below is the breakdown of nutritional value of isabgol based on a serving of 1 tablespoon (16 mg).

  • Iron – 9% of RDV
  • Calcium – 1% of RDV
  • Potassium – 189mg (5% of RDV)
  • Protein – 2.5g
  • Dietary fiber – 6.9g (28% of RDV)
  • Total carbohydrates – 10g (3% of RDV)
  • Calories – 35
  • Total Fat – 0.7g (1% of RDV)
Isabgol Benefits infographics

Isabgol Benefits For Health:

Isabgol Helps Fight A Range Of Gastrointestinal Issues

In summer, constipation is usually at an all-time high. Isabgol, owing to its fibrous backbone, helps ease constipation as it is known to encourage the passage of stools. Whether you consume it as a drink, by mixing it with warm water or milk, or as an unfermented gel, isabgol has a soothing power and keeps your digestive system at ease. 

It regulates bowel movements and works as a remedy for people suffering from gastrointestinal disorders. It helps them easily defecate without feeling any pain. Moreover, isabgol eases the transit of food particles inside the colon. Due to this, people experiencing diarrhea or inconsistency in bowel movement can feel better by consuming isabgol. Other conditions in which isabgol can be used include ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, piles, and inflammatory bowel disease [3]. 

Isabgol Helps Keep Cholesterol In Check

Isabgol contains both soluble and insoluble fibers, and these are known to significantly lower the LDL (bad cholesterol) and serum cholesterol in the body. This helps maintain a balance and reduces your risk of cardiac disorders or problems. 

Isabgol Benefits Your Health By Keeping Hemorrhoids At Bay

Hemorrhoids or inflammation of veins in your rectum can be painful and often lead to bleeding over time. Since isabgol has fibrous properties, which allows you to deal with constipation, it does not permit hemorrhoids to get out hands. It also keeps inflammation and its severe properties in check. 

Isabgol Aids Those With Diabetes

Among all the benefits of isabgol, it is also known as a great medicine for diabetics. Isabgol contains gelatin, which decelerates the breakdown and absorption of glucose into the body. This, in turn, helps in keeping the blood sugar levels under check. This can be a boon for those who experience spikes and lows.  

Additional Read: What are Gulkand Benefits

Isabgol Helps With Weight Loss

Isabgol benefits those who are looking to shed weight because of a number of reasons. The majority of its weight loss benefits come from its high fiber content which enhances your body's digestive processes. It helps you feel full for a longer period of time while reducing your fat consumption. Apart from this, isabgol is good in controlling food cravings, which serves to reduce your consumption of unhealthy foods. 

Isabgol Promotes Healthy Hair

To have healthy hair, you need to ensure that your digestive system is healthy too. This is because a healthy digestive system means that your body can absorb the essential nutrients and eliminate the toxic and harmful elements from your body effectively. This, in turn, benefits your hair health because your scalp gets the nutrition it needs to protect and grow health, shiny hair. This is why isabgol promotes better hair growth. 

Isabgol Reduces Inflammation And Helps Fight Infection

Isabgol benefits in reducing inflammation across your body and fights infection due to the prebiotics present in it. Prebiotics are essential in maintaining healthy bacteria present in your gut. A good number of healthy bacteria in your gut helps improve your digestive health, which in turn helps improve your immune system. Thus, by strengthening your immune system and supporting your digestive health, isabgol benefits in reducing inflammation and the risk of infection. 

Isabgol Helps Reduce Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a common gastrointestinal condition that many people have either occasionally or chronically. In either case, acid reflux can be unpleasant and leave a burning sensation in your chest or esophagus. This mainly happens due to excess acid that travels up your esophagus causing irritation. Isabgol benefits in this because it adds an extra layer to protect your stomach lining from acidity. Isabgol also regulates the release of digestive juices and reduces the effect of acid in your stomach. 

Isabgol Benefits for health

How to Use Isabgol?

Isabgol's use entirely depends on the problem you aim to tackle with it. From treating digestive issues to simply using it to protect your overall health, there are many isabgol uses. However, it is crucial to make sure that you consume it in the correct way. This makes sure that you get all the isabgol benefits and take better care of your health. Given below are tips on how to use isabgol.

  • Consume 1-2 tablespoons of isabgol with 240ml of water or other liquid
  • Swallow the recommended number of isabgol tablets with 240ml of water
  • Dissolve the prescribed isabgol powder in 240ml of water and drink it immediately
  • In the case of isabgol wafers, completely chew them before you swallow, and make sure you drink at least 240ml of liquid after swallowing. 
  • Mix around 10ml of isabgol with 15ml of curd and eat it after meals
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of isabgol with 120-240ml of cold milk and drink before sleeping

Before you add isabgol to your daily routine, be sure to consult a doctor. They can give you the right dosage and frequency of consuming isabgol to treat your concern. This way, you can avoid any isabgol side effects and address your concerns safely.

Common Isabgol Side Effects

Anything, when consumed in excess, can have side effects. Similarly, isabgol side effects occur when you either consume too much or consume it improperly. This is because isabgol acts as a laxative and forms intestinal bulk, which, when unmanaged, can result in unpleasant side effects. Given below are some common isabgol side effects.

  • Abdominal pain, acidity, or increased bowel movements
  • Intestinal obstruction if your fluid intake is insufficient
  • Nausea, cramps, bloating, or vomiting
  • Insulin sensitivity due to high fiber intake
  • Blockage in the throat or esophagus due to insufficient fluid intake
  • Anaphylaxis or rhinitis (which are rare side effects)

If you notice any signs of isabgol side effects, contact a doctor. They can correctly advise you on what steps to take next and treat the side effects as well as your health concerns. As a general rule of thumb, you should consume at least 240ml of water or any other liquid after consuming isabgol. This can help prevent any isabgol side effects caused due to inadequate liquid intake. 

Isabgol benefits

Precautions Tips For Consuming Isabgol

Despite the many ways in which isabgol benefits your health, there are a few things you need to be mindful of. An important reason to be cautious with isabgol consumption is that it can interfere with certain medications and health conditions. Given below are some precautionary tips you should keep in mind while consuming isabgol.

  • Avoid isabgol if you have difficulty swallowing or other throat problems
  • If you have a heart condition and take hypertensive medicine, regularly check your blood pressure
  • If you take medicines for diabetes, keep an eye on your sugar levels
  • Take isabgol and other medicines separately to avoid interactions
  • Consult a doctor to know the ideal isabgol dosage
  • Consult a doctor if you plan to consume isabgol during pregnancy

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Isabgol 

Loaded with benefits, isabgol is a powerful food, but taking it in moderation or as per the doctor’s direction is important. An important thing to keep in mind when consuming isabgol is that you should take it with ample water or milk. If you try to consume dry isabgol, it may lead to problems in swallowing. It is better to avoid taking isabgol in case you are taking prescribed drugs, as some medicines may react with isabgol.  

Another thing to note is that consuming isabgol without being careful about your doses over a long period is likely to reduce your body’s absorption capacity for copper, magnesium, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and copper. It can also affect the absorption of calcium severely. So, it is smart to consult a doctor and plan your isabgol dosage to get maximum isabgol benefits for your health.  

Now that you know the health benefits of isabgol, you can safely include it in your diet to get maximum advantage. To understand more about it and to take the proper amount of isabgol, schedule a doctor appointment with ease on Bajaj Finserv Health. A general physician, a naturopath, or an ayurvedic doctor available on this platform or app can help you understand how much and when to take isabgol.  

You can book all types of blood tests like a cholesterol test or lipid profile test on Bajaj Finserv Health, too, and enjoy discounts as well as at-home sample collection for safety and convenience. This way, you can get all your healthcare concerns addressed within minutes without having to wait for days to get a doctor’s appointment. Moreover, there are no restrictions on the type of doctor you can consult. Be it an ayurvedic treatment for constipation or an allopathic treatment for piles; you can find it all here! So get started now and make health your priority today.

Published on 9 Jun 2022Last updated on 12 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Mohammad Azam

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Mohammad Azam

, BAMS 1 , MD - Ayurveda Medicine 3


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