Flea Seed Shells: Effect And Application

Flea seed husks help with most chronic diseases. Taken regularly in powder form, they regulate blood pressure, blood lipids, and blood sugar levels and at the same time support weight loss. They are also indispensable in the medicine chest for gastrointestinal complaints, because they clean the intestines, promote healthy intestinal flora and help with both diarrhea and constipation. We present the benefits of psyllium husk powder and explain its correct use.

Flea seed shells are well tolerated

Flea seeds are the seeds of an old medicinal plant (Plantago psyllium, also Plantago ovate or indica). It is a species of plantain known as psyllium or psyllium plantain. Their shiny black or dark brown seeds are reminiscent of fleas, hence the name. The second botanical name (psyllium) therefore means flea (from the Greek psýllos).

The husks of the small psyllium are available whole (as fluffy husks) or ground as psyllium husk powder. They are used in the kitchen as a thickening agent or as a dietary supplement with very good health properties.

The flea seed shells are considered to be well tolerated and can be purchased quite cheaply. The special thing about psyllium is its high content of soluble fiber, which forms a gel with water. Most of this fiber cannot be fermented by the intestinal flora, which means that psyllium husks – in contrast to some other types of fiber – hardly cause flatulence. On the contrary, studies have even shown that psyllium husk can reduce bloating (see below (No bloating from psyllium husk).

Flea seed shells against constipation and diarrhea

Flea seed shells also have an enormous swelling capacity. If you mix them with water, they swell up to 20 times their original volume. This forms a gel that loosens the stool in the intestine, increases the volume of the stool, accelerates the passage through the intestine, and can thus relieve constipation.

Flea seed husks are also extremely helpful for irritable bowel syndrome – especially when constipation is prevalent.

In all situations where easy bowel movements are required – such as hemorrhoids, tears in the anal area, or after operations on the rectum – psyllium husks are a simple, effective aid with no side effects.

It is important that a lot of water is drunk with the psyllium husk powder, otherwise, it has a constipating effect. But that doesn’t mean that if you have diarrhea – i.e. if you want a constipating effect – you should take the psyllium husk with as little water as possible. Here, too, you should drink plenty of water with the psyllium. Because flea seed shells also help with diarrhea.

The difference in use is that if you have diarrhea, you take a higher dose.

  • For constipation, take 3 g of psyllium husk powder 2 to 3 times a day (3 g is about a level teaspoon).
  • In the case of diarrhea, take 3 g of psyllium husk powder 2 to 6 times a day.

For some people with diarrhea, twice a day is enough, others need more. As a person affected, you would have to test for yourself what dose you need.

When does the effect of psyllium husks begin?

The effect only sets in after 12 to 24 hours in the case of digestive problems, especially in the case of constipation. Because it is not a laxative drug with many side effects that works immediately, but a naturopathic remedy that does not stress the intestines, but shows a gentle but lasting effect.

With psyllium husks against the metabolic syndrome

An Australian study published in the specialist journal Obesity Reviews in 2012 was able to show that the field of action of psyllium husks includes much more than helping with gastrointestinal problems. The researchers documented numerous positive effects of psyllium husk powder in diseases of metabolic syndrome.

The most well-known civilization phenomena of our time belong to the metabolic syndrome, namely:

  • overweight
  • high blood sugar levels
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood fat or cholesterol levels
  • Elevated uric acid levels are now also included

As a result, those affected usually take numerous medications and are confronted with an equally large number of unfavorable side effects. Natural helpers without side effects – such as psyllium husks – are therefore extremely welcome here. (Of course, ideally combined with a healthy diet and sufficient exercise!)

Flea seed shells against increased blood sugar levels

Psyllium husk (when 3.5g is taken with a meal) causes less sugar to be absorbed from the gut (by an average of 12 percent). As a result, the blood sugar level is lowered (or does not rise so much in the first place) and the need for insulin is lower. This relieves the pancreas, which now has to release less insulin to keep the blood sugar level within the normal range.

The sugar content in the urine of diabetics is also reduced by 22.5 percent thanks to psyllium husk powder – according to a study.

Taking 5 g of psyllium husk powder once a day for 8 weeks reduced the postprandial blood sugar level by almost 20 percent; taking 5 g three times a day reduced it by almost 30 percent after just 2 weeks (with a normal diet: 25 kcal/kg, 50% carbohydrates and 1 g protein per kg body weight).

When higher doses were tried, 12 g of psyllium husk daily showed no benefit compared to 5 g.

A meta-analysis found that psyllium husk powder (3.5 g 3 times a day) was helpful in type 2 diabetes – in diabetics who, despite taking diabetes medication, had high postprandial blood sugar levels and high Hb1Ac values.

Insulin-dependent diabetics should discuss psyllium husk intake with their doctor, as the required insulin dose can drop.

However, psyllium husks only work as long as you take them. So if you stop taking them, the positive effect on blood sugar levels decreases again.

If you want to take psyllium husk powder to regulate blood sugar levels, 5 to 10 g per day is recommended – divided into two to three daily doses.

Flea seed shells against increased blood lipids

The term blood lipids generally include cholesterol and triglycerides. Cholesterol is vital for the structure of our cells, while triglycerides are indispensable as energy sources for our body. However, if there are too many of both substances in the blood, deposits can form on the inner walls of the vessels and cardiovascular diseases can occur.

Flea seed husks help to lower blood fat levels that are too high by binding cholesterol and triglycerides to the mucus and excreting them with the stool, so they don’t even get into the blood.

As far as cholesterol levels are concerned, there is another lowering mechanism through fiber: the psyllium husk powder binds bile acids in the intestine and expels them with the stool. The body now has to form new bile acids, for which it needs cholesterol. When the cholesterol is processed into bile acids, the cholesterol level drops. However, this mechanism also applies to other dietary fibers, such as e.g. B. Bran too.

To do this, take 5 g of psyllium husk powder 3 times a day with meals. In one study, this approach resulted in a 26 percent reduction in triglycerides and a 45 percent increase in HDL cholesterol levels (HDL is considered beneficial, while LDL cholesterol needs to be lowered) after 6 weeks.

However, the triglyceride-lowering effect could only be observed in diabetics, but not in non-diabetics with high cholesterol and blood lipid levels. Here it was shown that only a high dose of 20 g of psyllium husk powder at least lowered the total and LDL cholesterol level – all the more so the longer the powder was taken.

A healthy blood fat level is not further reduced by psyllium husk powder.

If you want to lower your blood lipids or cholesterol levels with psyllium husk powder, you would need to take 15 to 20 g daily – divided into three doses.

Flea seed shells against high blood pressure

Anyone who tends to have a disturbed fat metabolism usually also has to struggle with high blood pressure. Here the researchers of the above Australian study found that taking psyllium husk not only corrected blood lipid levels downwards but also significantly lowered blood pressure.

In an 8-week study, the subjects took 12 g of psyllium husk powder – and their high blood pressure dropped. In another study, overweight participants took 7 g of psyllium husk powder daily and experienced a 7 percent drop in blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) after 6 weeks. The functionality of their blood vessels also improved by 22 percent. However, 4 weeks after stopping the psyllium, the improvements were no longer noticeable, which shows that the powder must be taken regularly.

For anyone who already has healthy blood pressure or low blood pressure and psyllium husks, e.g. B. to improve digestion, no further reduction in blood pressure has to be feared. It only decreases in the presence of psyllium husk powder if it was previously too high.

Flea seed shells against obesity

Flea seed shells are not a miracle cure for losing weight if you are overweight, but they can support a holistic weight loss concept very well. Their high swelling capacity in the stomach triggers a faster feeling of satiety and helps to reduce the feeling of hunger. The low-calorie fibers are digested slowly and therefore keep you full for a long time.

Flea seed husks also stimulate digestive activity and also remove a little fat and sugar from the food, which is now excreted undigested with the psyllium husks. The beneficial influence on the blood sugar level also prevents the dreaded ravenous hunger pangs, which in no time at all put the kilos that you had laboriously starved back on your ribs.

Studies have shown, however, that high doses are necessary (20 g three hours before a meal and then another 20 g directly before the meal – each with 200 ml of water) and that the saturation started well, but ultimately had no effect on the Total calorie intake and weight loss so that in any case other weight loss measures must be used – such as appropriate diet and exercise.

Flea seed husks in ulcerative colitis

As early as 1999, a study showed that psyllium husks can also be used for ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is one of the chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and manifests itself in diarrhea, abdominal pain, chronic fatigue, and weight loss. Colitis patients who had just had a relatively symptom-free phase (remission) took part in the study mentioned. They were given 10 g of psyllium husk powder twice a day, which was just as good at delaying a recurrence as the drug mesalamine.

Colon cleansing with psyllium husks

Flea seed husks are also one of the three components of a colon cleanse. They are taken once or twice a day together with a mineral clay (bentonite or zeolite) and a probiotic. When it comes to cleansing the intestines, the tasks of the psyllium husk are as follows:

  • Regulation of intestinal peristalsis
  • Protection of the intestinal mucosa by the mucilage of psyllium
  • absorbing harmful substances
  • regulation of the intestinal flora
  • Absorption of gases (reduction of bloating)

No flatulence from psyllium husks

Many types of fiber cause bloating because the gut flora can generally ferment fiber, producing gases. Bloating can also occur with psyllium husk, but much less frequently than with other fibers since psyllium husk contains little fermentable fiber. Yes, with psyllium husks it is even the case that – according to some studies – there is no increase in gas development in the intestine.

In another study, participants received 30g of psyllium husk with a meal. Corresponding measurements directly in the rectum showed that there was less flatulence in this group than in the group that had not taken any psyllium husks. Most likely, the reason the flatulence has decreased is that the psyllium husks absorb the gases.

What is the difference between psyllium, psyllium husk, and psyllium husk powder?
Flea seeds are whole seeds. Their swelling ability is good. However, the main part of the effective mucilage is in the shells of the psyllium. Therefore, psyllium husks are more effective than whole psyllium.

The unground psyllium husk is usually very inexpensive but could irritate the intestinal mucosa and also does not release as much mucilage as the psyllium husk powder.

The psyllium husk powder consists of finely powdered psyllium husks. It has the best swelling ability of all three variants, the highest mucilage content, and therefore the best effect.

Flea seed husk powder: Which preparation is good?

In pharmacies, there is psyllium husk powder from Dr. Falk Pharma under the trade name Mucofalk. It is available in pharmacies but without a prescription for 11 to 14 euros per 300 g. However, the product contains additives that you can safely do without.

Each portion (5 g) contains only 3.25 g of psyllium husk powder. The rest – and thus 35 percent – consists of

  • Sugar (500 mg per serving)
  • sweetener (saccharin)
  • Aroma
  • Sodium Chloride (table salt, 225 mg per serving)
  • citric acid
  • two thickeners (sodium alginate and dextrin)

With the maximum recommended dose of 6 daily portions, with Mucofalk alone you are already consuming 27 percent (1.35 g) of the maximum daily recommended amount of table salt (5 g) for an adult. So if you do not want to or are not allowed to consume salt indiscriminately, you should be careful here.

In our opinion, it makes more sense to choose a pure, i.e. additive-free, psyllium husk powder right from the start. This costs slightly more because it contains fewer fillers.

Flea seed shells: the right intake

Pay attention to the following points when taking the psyllium husk powder:

Capsules or powder?

If you are a bit sensitive, it might be better to take the psyllium husk powder in capsules. Because the taste and consistency of the psyllium husk powder stirred in water lead to reluctance and rejection in some people. In our opinion, the effect of the powder stirred in water is better, and it is also better tolerated (because the capsules do not first have to be digested and the contents then mixed with water in the stomach), but all of this is of no use if you use it because of it of the taste no longer want to take.

The right dosage

We recommend combining the psyllium husk powder with a high-fiber healthy diet. In this case, it is usually sufficient if you take 1/2 to 1 whole teaspoon once or twice a day. Start with small amounts, e.g. B. 1/2 teaspoon once a day, and slowly increase this amount to 1 whole teaspoon once or twice a day.

However, if – as described in the studies presented above – you want to achieve certain therapeutic effects, take the dosages given there.

The right time

For intestinal cleansing, the psyllium husk powder is best taken on an empty stomach and about 30 to 60 minutes before breakfast. You can also take the powder in the evening – two hours after a light dinner. So if you z. For example, if you have dinner at 6 p.m., you can take the powder between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. In this way, there is still a gap of one to two hours to the night’s rest.

If you take the powder twice a day, then take it in the morning and in the evening.

However, you can also take the psyllium husk powder with or immediately before meals – especially if you take it to regulate blood sugar or blood fat levels.

It seems that the timing is less important, but it is more important to take the powder at all.

However, if you are taking psyllium husk powder in high doses, we would recommend not taking it with meals, or at least not long-term, as it may also reduce the absorption of important nutrients in some people – see below (Can psyllium husk powder bind minerals?)

The right preparation

Stir the psyllium husk powder (whether 1/2 or 1 whole teaspoon does not matter) in 100 ml of water and drink this mixture IMMEDIATELY and in one gulp so that the powder does not thicken. Flea seed husk powder has a thickening effect and can therefore also be used as a thickening agent in cooking and baking. Then drink at least another 300 to 400 ml of water – also to avoid side effects (constipation).

Drink a glass of water throughout the day to get 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day.

Keep your distance from medication

To be on the safe side, keep a gap of at least 1 to 2 hours between medication and medication. Therefore, if you need to take medication on an empty stomach in the morning, it is better to take the psyllium husk powder 30 to 60 minutes before any other meal (if the last meal was at least 2 hours ago).

In the case of thyroid medication, you should discuss taking psyllium husk with your doctor, as its effect could be impaired even if you have been away from psyllium husk powder for a long time.

What to do if you don’t like the taste of psyllium husk powder?

Not everyone likes the psyllium husk powder and the gooey consistency that results quickly after mixing with water. But this only appears after a few seconds. Therefore, always drink the flea seed-water mixture immediately after preparation.

If you don’t like the taste – which is actually neutral – or the consistency, there are several ways you can still enjoy all the good properties and effects of psyllium husk powder:

  1. Mix the psyllium husk powder with a little water. It then becomes a little more viscous, but “you get over it quicker” and you can quickly drink clear water afterward.
  2. Mix the powder with plenty of water, which will result in a thinner consistency and a less intense taste. But this shake must also be drunk in its entirety immediately, as it also begins to gel quickly.
  3. Drink the powder with juice, which masks the taste but doesn’t change the texture.
  4. Integrate the psyllium husk powder into your breakfast or a snack, e.g. B. in a chia seed fruit pudding or a blueberry pudding or the like.
  5. Fill the powder into capsules. This can also be done without a special device. Of course, the empty capsules have to be bought. For example, these size 0 empty vegan capsules, contain 450 mg of psyllium husk powder per capsule.
  6. Use the psyllium husk powder for cooking and baking (e.g. for fluffy vegetable pancakes or delicious rolls).

Flea seed shells: the nutritional values

Flea seed husk powder contains only 0.3 g carbohydrates and is therefore also often used in low-carb and ketogenic diets (for binding, thickening, and the husks (not the powder) for breading). The powder or shells have the following nutritional values – each per 100 g:

  • Calorific value: 213 kcal/891 kJ
  • Fat: 2.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.3g
  • Sugar: 0.2g
  • Fiber: 85.5
  • Protein: 5.2 g

The relatively high-calorie content is mainly due to the fact that fiber is calculated at 2 kcal per gram. Fiber cannot be digested by humans. However, some fiber is partially fermented by gut bacteria, releasing fatty acids that provide calories. However, the fiber in psyllium husk powder is only slightly fermentable by the intestinal bacteria, so that the powder actually provides fewer calories.

How long do psyllium husks keep?

Unopened, the psyllium husk and psyllium husk powder can generally be kept for 1 to 1.5 years according to the specified best-before date (MHD) – with normal storage, which means in the pantry and at normal temperature. However, since the shells are very dry and extremely low in fat, they can certainly be used beyond this date.

However, once the pack has been opened and maybe used in the kitchen where moisture (steam) got into the pack, we would not use it past the best-before date.

What side effects are possible with psyllium husk powder?

Only small amounts of the fiber in psyllium are fermented by the intestinal flora, so that (compared to other types of fiber) it can lead to flatulence in sensitive people, but less frequently. Flatulence often gets better with psyllium husks.

Even if it should come to flatulence, this will subside after a few days of use.

However, if you do not take the psyllium husk powder correctly, i.e. not with enough water, flatulence, constipation, and even intestinal blockages and the risk of suffocation can increase.

The latter especially if you would take the powder completely dry. It sticks together to the esophagus and can then lead to swallowing difficulties and block the esophagus.

Allergic reactions are possible in sensitive people and are expressed in the typical allergy symptoms: itching, reddened skin and eyes, runny nose, and breathing difficulties.

Can psyllium husk powder bind minerals?

Since psyllium husk powder can absorb pollutants, sugar, and fats, the question naturally arises as to whether the powder can also absorb useful nutrients and excrete them with the stool, such as minerals or essential fatty acids.

In a small study with only 4 participants, almost everyone reacted differently to a daily intake of 25 g of psyllium husk powder for three weeks. One participant experienced a reduced intake of calories, amino acids, and fatty acids, two participants experienced only minimal reductions in nutrient intake, and the fourth participant experienced no reduction in nutrient intake at all.

In dogs and in in vitro tests, the powder could noticeably interfere with iron absorption, but to a lesser extent than other dietary fibers, such as bran.

In a study with children, however, taking 6 g of psyllium husk powder daily for 4 to 5 weeks (to lower cholesterol levels) showed no effect on the mineral balance. The children’s iron, zinc, and calcium levels remained unchanged.

A similar study was conducted with men who took 10 g of psyllium husk powder daily for 8 weeks. Again, zinc and iron levels did not change. When ingesting 14 g, iron levels fell, indicating that high doses of psyllium husk may affect mineral balance while lower doses do not.

Up to 10g of psyllium husk powder per day appears to be safe in this regard, e.g. B. for an 8-week cure.

Can flea seeds be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and suffer from the above If you suffer from symptoms (e.g. constipation), it is better to use small amounts (1 teaspoon twice a day) of psyllium husks instead of laxatives with many side effects.

However, you should not carry out any specific detoxification or colon cleansing in this phase of life, i.e. you should not take large amounts of psyllium husks in combination with other detoxifying products.

How do you dose psyllium husk for dogs?

Dogs can also be given psyllium husks. Since dogs cannot be told that they want to drink a lot after taking the powder, the psyllium husk should be mixed with the right amount of water. It is best to let the bowls or powder swell for 30 minutes before feeding, which significantly improves the tolerability and effect:

  • Small dogs up to 10 kg – mix 2 – 3 g (1 level teaspoon) of psyllium husk powder with 100 – 150 ml of water or meat broth under the feed
  • Medium dogs up to 20 kg – 5 g (1 tsp) with 250 ml of liquid
  • Large dogs over 20 kg – 10 g (2 teaspoons) with 500 ml of liquid

The specified dose can of course also be divided into two, e.g. B. 2 x 2.5g for an 18kg dog. The psyllium husk powder should not be given permanently, but as a cure – for a maximum of 6 weeks.

In dogs – as in humans – the psyllium husk powder has a beneficial effect on digestion and the intestinal flora, which can lead to an improved general condition and a nicer coat. It also reduces the risk of anal gland problems and makes you feel full and reduces appetite, which can be helpful in overweight dogs.

Avatar photo

Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Basic Minerals

Prevention Of Diseases By Omega-3