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Use of Psyllium in Medicinal World

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General information

Use of psyllium for medicinal purposes has been adopted extensively in the therapeutic sector due to its ability of counteract some physiological alterations manifested in some health complications. Psyllium which is a seed is harvested from a plant whose scientific name is Plantago psyllium but its common name is usually fleawort. Psyllium has also a couple of names which are used to refer to it. Some of these names are ispaghula and isabgol (Saper , Eisenberg &  Phillips ,2004)

Use of psyllium herb for therapeutic purposes can be linked or traced back to Indian traditions. It was used as one of the elements which were utilized during Indian traditional ceremonies (O'Mathúna, 2006). A harvested psyllium is usually soluble in water to form a thin liquid solution which can be utilized by the patient for therapeutic purposes.  However, when these psyllium components are exposed to moist condition, they get swollen with a subsequent formation of sticky mucilaginous compound which might lose its medicinal value if carelessly stored (Karta & Michael, 2009). 

Uses of Psyllium

Psyllium seed husks are not digestible in the alimentary canal of human beings. As a consequence they are used as fibers which are essential in a diet. These seed components are essential in the diet to mitigate constipation effects (Alberts,et al,2000). It is also used in preventing irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea as well as diverticular linked disease. Due to their fiber nature, psyllium seed’s components are essential diet supplement which are used in maintaining a superb alimentary functions in human beings. The non-therapeutic bulk of the husks are essential in providing a constant volume of indigestible material in the alimentary canal irrespective of the type of diet which a person consumes (Tish & Rebecca, 2011).

According to the recent research studies which have been conducted in the United States of America, they have shown that use of psyllium in control of diabetes as well as level of cholesterol can yield recommendable therapeutic results (Russell, 1975).  Psyllium being supplemented with other medicinal components has been also used in detoxification processes. Apart from this, psyllium has been extensively applied in the Chinese medicine in the treatment of stomach base ailments such as intestinal ulcers, stomachaches as well as heartburns (Tish & Rebecca, 2011).

Adverse effects of using psyllium

Use of psyllium has been associated with a number of physiological complications such as allergic reaction. Such complications are usually common in individuals who had prolonged exposure to psyllium dust. In addition, obstruction of gastrointestinal tract may occur in patients who had been subject to GIT surgical procedures. One of the major properties of psyllium which lead to gastronintenstinal obstruction accompanied with of gastrointestinal obstruction asphyxiation is the ability to swell when exposed to wet conditions with a subsequent formation of a thick immobile gum-like substance (Petchetti , Frishman , & Petrillo ,2007).

Nursing complications and drug interactions factors

Use of psyllium has been linked with drug absorption complication especially where used together with other drugs (Blumenthal, Goldberg, & Brinckmann, 2000). Its gum-like nature absorbs the active compound in these drugs hampering the absorption process. Consequently the active drug components which get absorbed through the alimentary canal to the circulation system are significantly reduced (Stewart, et al 1991). The withheld active components are excreted together with other indigestible material in the alimentary canal.

The overall effects of the administered drugs are consequently reduced thus necessitating a further administration of the same drug (Rakel, 2007).Apart from this, psyllium has active compounds which interact chemically with other compounds in the administered drugs to forms which are either insoluble or soluble but with no therapeutic effects in the body. Some of these chemical products may have adverse effects of the physiological functioning of the body (Aggar, 2009).   

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