Plantago psyllium (L)
Synonyms: Dark psyllium, Flea seed, psyllion, Spanish or French psyllium
Description: This is annual herb grown in Southern Europe and North West Africa. The seeds are glossy dark brown to black, often with a reddish hue. The plant is found in southern Europe, North Africa and Asia.
Parts used: Dried ripe seed
Collection: When ripe
Constituents: Mucilage, fixed oil, protein, starch
Actions: Demulcent, bulk laxative
Indications: Chronic constipation, dysentery, chronic diarrhoea, cystitis, poultice for furunculosis.
Therapeutics and Pharmacology: Psyllium is used to treat sluggish or irritable bowels. Its non-irritant nature means that it is safe to use in such conditions as Crohn's disease. It may be applied topically for infections and furunculosis.
Combinations: With Ulmus as a poultice
Caution: Adequate fluid should be taken with the seed to ensure that it swells effectively in the stomach.
Preparation and Dosage:
Regulatory status GSL
Seeds: 5-10g (3g in children) after soaking for several hours in water
Liquid Extract: 1:1 in 25% alcohol, 2-5ml
Additional Comments: The whole plant, as well as the seeds, of P.asiatica is used in Oriental medicine.
BHMA 1983 British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, BHMA, Bournemouth.
Mabey, R. (ed.) 1991 The Complete New Herbal, Penguin, London.
Mills, S.Y. 1993 The A-Z of Modern Herbalism, Diamond Books, London.
Ody, P. 1993 The Herb Society's Complete Medicinal Herbal, Dorling Kindersley, London.
Weiss, R.F. 1991 Herbal Medicine, Beaconsfield Arcanum, Beaconsfield.
Wren, R.C. 1988 Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations, C.W.Daniel, Saffron Walden.
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Last updated 27th November 2014 ęPurple Sage Botanicals