Psyllium Plantago Ovata Benefits

Psyllium plantago ovata

Psyllium or Plantago ovata, has been used as a medicinal product throughout the world since ancient times. It has gained much importance in Ayurveda and Unani medicine because of its medicinal properties. Plantago ovata is a popular and well-known remedy for several digestive conditions. Recently, it has gained importance in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries.

What is Plantago ovata?

Plantago ovata is an annual herb that belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. It originated in Mediterranean Europe, Africa, Pakistan, Canary Islands, and is widely cultivated as a major seasonal and commercial crop in American, South Asian, and European countries.

Plantago ovata requires warm climate, dry or moist soil for the proper growth and development. It usually grows like a wild weed with a height of 12 to 18 inches and is completely covered with white, fuzzy hair. It produces narrow, basal, and green coloured leaves with small white colour flower spikes on the top. It has small, brown or reddish-brown coloured seeds.

What are the benefits of Plantago ovata?

The seed husk of Plantago ovata has several medicinal properties and is widely used in the prevention and treatment of the following conditions:


    1. According to some studies,

Plantago ovata

    1. have a high amount of dietary fibers, which bulk up the stools and promote bowel movement.

    2. Taking 7 to 24 grams of Plantago ovata extract daily in two to four divided doses is very effective in treating constipation.


      • Clinical studies indicate that taking 3.5 grams of Plantago ovata three times a day is effective in treating diarrhea.
      • Plantago ovata absorbs water from the stools and increases the thickness. This slows down the bowel movement and treats diarrhea.


      • Fiber supplements present in the Plantago ovata slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates and delays the absorption of glucose.
      • A daily dose of 10.2 to 22 grams of Plantago ovata is beneficial in normalizing blood sugar levels.

Hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol):

      • Research studies showed that the dietary fibers present in the Plantago ovata lower fat and cholesterol levels.
      • Use of 3.4 grams of Plantago ovata extract thrice in a day helps in lowering the cholesterol levels.


    • Seed extract of Plantago ovata has a high amount of fibers.
    • Taking fiber-rich food makes the person feel full and reduce the intake of calories. A daily dose of 6 to 10.8 grams of Plantago ovata extract before meals aids in weight loss.

Traditionally, Plantago ovata is used to treat high blood pressure, digestive discomfort, kidney disease, cancers, and several skin diseases.

What are the medicinal properties of Plantago ovata?

Studies have reported the following medicinal properties:

  • Anti-diarrheal: The leaves extract of Plantago ovata have anti-diarrheal properties.
  • Laxative activity: The seed extract of the Plantago ovata exhibits laxative properties.
  • Hypocholesterolemic: The leaves extract of Plantago ovata have blood cholesterol-lowering activity
  • Antioxidants: The flavonoids present in the leaves and seed extract are responsible for antioxidant activity.
  • Hypoglycemic: The leaves and seed extract of Plantago ovata have blood sugar lowering properties.

What are the side effects of Plantago ovata?

Plantago ovata is safe when used appropriately as recommended for the prescribed duration. Take Plantago ovata with large amount of water to avoid the risk of intestinal obstruction. However, in some people, it may cause minor side effects, such as:


Using Plantago ovata safely:

The typical dose of Plantago ovata in adults is 7 to 24 grams in daily divided doses. However, the dose differs based on age, medical condition, and other medications used by the patients. Caution is advised while using Plantago ovata in individuals having the following conditions:

Colorectal adenoma (gland-like growths in the colon and rectum):

There is some evidence that the risk of adenoma recurrence increases with the use of Plantago ovata in individuals having a history of colorectal adenoma. Therefore, it is advised to avoid its use in people having such conditions.


Plantago ovata reduces blood sugar levels and its use with diabetic medicines may drop down blood sugar levels severely. Therefore, people using diabetes medicines along with these extract should check their blood sugar levels regularly.

Low blood pressure:

Plantago ovata have blood pressure lowering properties, and its use should be avoided in people who have low blood pressure. However, caution is advised in people who are taking Plantago ovata along with medicines to treat high blood pressure.


The herb affects blood sugar levels during and after the surgery. So, its use should be avoided at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Swallowing disorders:

The risk of choking increases if this herb is used in people who have swallowing disorders.



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