Shakespeare may have been right when he described humans as the “paragon of animals”. Nevertheless, even a paragon has a bowel to look after. This is where Psyllium comes in—or more specifically, goes out. Look: fecal fussiness is nobody’s business but yours, but there are some arguably wonderful things we all have in common. For instance, each of us are designed to consume energy (in the form of food), wring the life force out of it, and pass the spent remainder out the back door, so to speak. This whole miraculous (if awkwardly discussed) process takes place within a 30 foot tube called the alimentary canal, which begins at your esophagus and ends at your posterior.
Now, there is synthesized healing that comes from a lab, and then there is the natural material plucked straight from the out-of-doors. The unglamorous-sounding Psyllium Husk does terrific double-duty—it is the jacket that surrounds and protects the Plantago seed, and it is a healing friend to your regularity, your triglycerides, and even your sense of dietary "fullness". The plant genus Plantago is comprised of around 200 species, and they all clothe their precious seeds in fibrous material our gut can really use. The husk of the annoyingly tiny psyllium seed is ground to a fine powder, maximizing exposed surface area and optimizing psyllium for the terrific work it’s going to do in your colon.
Hemicellulose. Plant Magic for Your Caboose
You see, psyllium is a hemicellulose—a fiber that weaves harem-scarem through the cellulose wall of a plant cell to offer it rigidity and structure. Imagine what this means to your watery stool (don't try to imagine this right before sitting down to dinner...). Whether your train is a brakeless diarrheic runaway or a stalled Constipation Express, psyllium will bring the same magic to your poop issue as it does to the plant cell. It’s all about modulating water, baby; the stuff of Life.
So, yeah; Psyllium works magic in your poop nozzle, moving stuff along that would otherwise park there and make you unhappy. But psyllium also binds to fat and bile acids, escorting them to the parking lot (your toilet) via the excretory process. Here’s a cool thing; when these bound bile acids exit your system, your liver senses this (don’t ask) and summons a quantity of the sticky stuff home, pulling it out of your bloodstream to help produce more bile, just possibly lessening the blockages that lead to chest-clutching mayhem in your favorite restaurant.
Psyllium, I say! This humble seed husk does more than add a leg to your stool. Even if you’re getting your daily dose of delicious veggies and consuming a sensible amount of natural fiber—psyllium tops off your system with a 5-star natural mover that scrubs the colon down like a platoon of toothbrush-wielding dockworkers. So the next time you dial up a showing of the Michael Douglas/Glenn Close thriller Fatal Attraction and you’re reminded of your own occasional Fecal Impaction, get yourself a small dose of all-natural psyllium powder. Your poop-chute will thank you. If that’s not too unnerving of a thought.
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