Author Topic: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?  (Read 16204 times)

Offline Whiterock

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Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« on: June 19, 2008, 05:49:13 PM »
Alright all you foragers! I wanted to remind you that plantain is going to seed now (it about done where I live --I hope it's no too late for the rest of y'all) so it's time to gather all the psyllium you want.

WR
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Offline SarahLaRae

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Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2008, 02:00:07 AM »
Alright all you foragers! I wanted to remind you that plantain is going to seed now (it about done where I live --I hope it's no too late for the rest of y'all) so it's time to gather all the psyllium you want.

WR

I'm confused.  What does plantain have to do with psyllium.  Am I missing something???

Offline healthybratt

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Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2008, 02:54:44 AM »
Alright all you foragers! I wanted to remind you that plantain is going to seed now (it about done where I live --I hope it's no too late for the rest of y'all) so it's time to gather all the psyllium you want.

WR
I don't know where you live, but it's barely even sprouting here, not even thought about seeds yet.  And yes, what does that have to do with psyllium?

Definitions of Psyllium on the Web:

    * A plant, also known as "fleawort," that is valued for its high fiber content. The powdered seeds of this plant are often used as a laxative.
      www.dietsoftware.org/nutseed.shtml
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Offline Kati*did

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Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2008, 03:25:53 AM »
Alright all you foragers! I wanted to remind you that plantain is going to seed now (it about done where I live --I hope it's no too late for the rest of y'all) so it's time to gather all the psyllium you want.

WR

I'm confused.  What does plantain have to do with psyllium.  Am I missing something???

Found this on wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago

Quote
Plantain seed husks expand and become mucilaginous when wet, especially those of P. psyllium, which is used in common over-the-counter bulk laxative and fiber supplement products such as Metamucil. P. psyllium seed is useful for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, dietary fiber supplementation, and diverticular disease. Recent research is also showing it to be promising in lowering cholesterol and controlling diabetes.

Psyllium supplements are typically used in powder form, along with adequate amounts of fluids. A dose of at least 7 grams daily taken with adequate amounts of fluid (water, juice) is used by some for management of elevated cholesterol. There are a number of psyllium products used for constipation. The usual dose is about 3.5 grams twice a day. Psyllium is also a component of several ready-to-eat cereals.
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Offline healthybratt

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Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2008, 03:57:34 AM »
Alright all you foragers! I wanted to remind you that plantain is going to seed now (it about done where I live --I hope it's no too late for the rest of y'all) so it's time to gather all the psyllium you want.

WR

I'm confused.  What does plantain have to do with psyllium.  Am I missing something???

Found this on wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago

Quote
Plantain seed husks expand and become mucilaginous when wet, especially those of P. psyllium, which is used in common over-the-counter bulk laxative and fiber supplement products such as Metamucil. P. psyllium seed is useful for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, dietary fiber supplementation, and diverticular disease. Recent research is also showing it to be promising in lowering cholesterol and controlling diabetes.

Psyllium supplements are typically used in powder form, along with adequate amounts of fluids. A dose of at least 7 grams daily taken with adequate amounts of fluid (water, juice) is used by some for management of elevated cholesterol. There are a number of psyllium products used for constipation. The usual dose is about 3.5 grams twice a day. Psyllium is also a component of several ready-to-eat cereals.
Common plantain might work for this purpose, but according to this, although closely related, I don't believe that they are in fact the same thing.
Quote

The genus Plantago contains over 200 species. P. ovata and P. psyllium are produced commercially in several European countries, the former Soviet Union, Pakistan, and India. Plantago seed, known commercially as black, French or Spanish psyllium, is obtained from P. psyllium and P. arenaria. Seed produced from P. ovata is known in trading circles as white or blonde psyllium, Indian Plantago or Isabgol. Isabgol, the common name in India for P. ovata, comes from the Persian words asb and ghol, meaning "horse flower," which is descriptive of the shape of the seed. India dominates the world market in the production and export of psyllium. Psyllium research and field trials in the U.S. have been conducted mainly in Arizona and also in Washington state.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psyllium
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Offline Kati*did

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2008, 04:24:14 AM »
Hmmm...it would be cool if common plantain would work for that.  Have you actually tried it WR?  Let us know.
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Offline BJ_BOBBI_JO

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2008, 04:29:45 AM »
So far I have only saw a few plantain plants with the psyllium seeds on them yet and the ones that do have them are still green and too young to eat.


Last summer I would go outside and pick the psyllium fresh from the plantain and eat them like that or put them in other foods. but I don't eat the stem the seeds grow on I just eat them off the stems.

I suppose the stems are also safe to eat?

I figure fiber must be really important the way God made plantain/psyllium so very plentiful and safe to eat.

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2008, 04:56:44 AM »
Yep, psyllium is plantain seed and/or husks.
And yep, even though there are certain types that are most often used for their husks, the seed from common plantain can be used this way also. I'll look up the reference when I get back from my milk run.

WR
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2008, 05:17:26 AM »
So do you harvest, dry and grind before using?  Or eat them green?  Sounds like the making of a good thread.   ;D

My kids already enjoy picking the seeds to play with.  They will be overjoyed to know that they are edible and useful. :o
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2008, 06:49:36 AM »
Here it is.

Quote
Plantain seeds are very high in mucilage and fiber, among other things. The seeds of a closely related species (P. psyllium) are the primary ingredient in laxatives such as Metamucil. Common plantain seeds may be used in the same fashion.
From here Plantago Major (Common Plantain)

I found out about this last year but too late to try it. I hadn't thought about it this year 'till recently and so I'm just now researching the HOW TO of it. So I don't know nothin' yet.

WR
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2008, 07:02:55 AM »
Here it is.

Quote
Plantain seeds are very high in mucilage and fiber, among other things. The seeds of a closely related species (P. psyllium) are the primary ingredient in laxatives such as Metamucil. Common plantain seeds may be used in the same fashion.
From here Plantago Major (Common Plantain)

I found out about this last year but too late to try it. I hadn't thought about it this year 'till recently and so I'm just now researching the HOW TO of it. So I don't know nothin' yet.

WR
Okay, so they are not the same thing, but are close enough that one will sub for the other.  Good to know.  Thanks.
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2008, 07:31:42 AM »
Here it is.

Quote
Plantain seeds are very high in mucilage and fiber, among other things. The seeds of a closely related species (P. psyllium) are the primary ingredient in laxatives such as Metamucil. Common plantain seeds may be used in the same fashion.
From here Plantago Major (Common Plantain)

I found out about this last year but too late to try it. I hadn't thought about it this year 'till recently and so I'm just now researching the HOW TO of it. So I don't know nothin' yet.

WR
Okay, so they are not the same thing, but are close enough that one will sub for the other.  Good to know.  Thanks.

Psyllium is plantain seed husks. The "P." in P. Psyllium stands for Plantain. So it is a type of plantain called Plantain Psyllium. Here's a pic. It looks exactly like the plantain we have around here (Narrowleaf Plantain) only a bit bigger.


There is also another kind that is used too but I don't remember the name of it and it doesn't look much like common plantain at all. But The psyllium above is just another variety of plantain --like narrowleaf vs broadleaf plantain. And it's the one that you are likely to get when you buy psyllium. Common plantain does the same thing as this variety only it's smaller and so, I would imagine, it's just less convenient for commercial production.

WR
« Last Edit: June 20, 2008, 10:14:51 AM by Whiterock »
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2008, 08:12:24 AM »
I just ran across this webpage on uses of plantain and its seed http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new014.html
I have only skimmed it (will read it when I am not trying to divide my attention between so many things) but it seems to have a ton of info, although not organized very well.

WR
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Offline BJ_BOBBI_JO

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2008, 09:04:48 AM »
OK now im all mixed up which  happens easily for me.

We have some of the plantain WR posted above but it is not as plentiful as the below platain in the link. The below type is called broad leaf plantain and Psyllium. That is the one I have been eating and using.

I just pick the seed stems once they are no longer green and eat the seeds or put them in salads and other foods.

Am I still getting a nice amount of Psyllium fiber by eating them from this form of plantain?


 Here is a link with a large sized pic of the plantain and Psyllium seeds I have been using
http://weeds.cropsci.uiuc.edu/images/Broadleafplantain/pages/broadleaf%20plantain.htm

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2008, 09:51:14 AM »
The one you posted a link to (broadleaf plantain) does not grow around here either. Or at least I've never seen it. The only kind we have is like the one in the photo I posted only smaller (narrowleaf plantain).

Here are some pics from my yard (I took them this afternoon).





I'm doing some experimenting with the seedheads from my yard right now.
WR
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Offline AgainstTheGrain

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2008, 07:56:02 PM »
So . . . a few questions:
WHEN do you harvest the psyllium/plantain seeds? When they turn brown because then they are dry and mature?
What and How exactly would you use them?

WR - that site has a LOT of info :o and you're right, not organized very well :-\

I'm just wondering if I should harvest the seeds to use or perhaps plant some more around my garden since that's the only place I have it - and only 2 plants. Weird, I know, because everyone has plantain. We had new sod 4 years ago and last year it started to grow next to my raised beds by my garden.

Here's another site about the Psyllium Seeds:
http://www.psylliums.com/psyllium_seed.htm

« Last Edit: June 27, 2008, 07:58:08 PM by AgainstTheGrain »
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Offline daisey

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2008, 10:41:30 AM »
Am I right to conclude that these 2 types of Plantain are interchangeable?  We only have the broad leaf variety here that I am aware of. 
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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2008, 11:26:28 AM »
So . . . a few questions:
WHEN do you harvest the psyllium/plantain seeds? When they turn brown because then they are dry and mature?
I would think so.
Quote
What and How exactly would you use them?
I've never taken psyllium before so I don't know, but I thought it would be nice to know the what, why, and how of harvesting your own... just haven't looked into it much further than what I've posted in this thread. Sorry, maybe someone else can help.

Am I right to conclude that these 2 types of Plantain are interchangeable?  We only have the broad leaf variety here that I am aware of. 

I think that the broadleaf is the "Common Plantain" that was specifically mentioned in the quote about being able to be used same as the official Plantain Psyllium. The narrow leaf that we have around here works the same as the others in every other way (that I know of) so I believe that it can be used this way too.

WR
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Offline daisey

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2008, 11:54:51 AM »
Thank you WR,  All that info is really helpful.  Our Plantain is just getting a good start so I will have to keep an eye on it and pick when it has the seeds.  Of course I will need to scatter a few of those seeds for the next crop.   ;)
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2008, 10:46:53 AM »
I'm a little slow, but I did figure out that the plantain in my yard (narrow leaf plantain) was just starting to bloom when I posted about all this and that's why the blooms looked sparse --not because it was done blooming.

Anyway, I waited for some seed heads and they are here now so I did my little experiment. I even have photos.  ;D

The short version is that I took some seeds and crushed them and added water to see if the narrow leaf plantain seeds worked like the psyllium variety of plantain seeds. This is what happened...

This is right after I added the water. It's slimy.


These two were taken after about five minutes. It's turned into a glob of goop. Notice the goop stretching between the bowl and my fingers in the first of the two photos.





WR
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 10:55:46 AM by Whiterock »
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2008, 03:59:55 PM »
Now that I've satisfied, for myself, the question of whether or not the Narrow Leaf Plantain seeds from my yard do the same thing as the seeds from Psyllium Plantain, I thought I'd post a little bit more info on psyllium [which is how I'm going to refer to the seeds and husks from the seeds of the plantain plant whether it be psyllium plantain or (common) broad leaf plantain, narrow leaf plantain, etc.].

Here are some quotes from Wikipedia:
Quote
Psyllium seed husks come from the seed stalk of the common plantain. They are soluble in water, expanding and becoming mucilaginous when wet.

Psyllium is indigestible in human beings and is often used as a source of dietary fiber: dissolved in water, they expand and scrape the walls of the intestine. They can be used as a bowel regulator, counteracting diarrhea and reducing constipation[citation needed]. The husks are used whole or placed into caplets after drying and chopping or powdering. They can also be combined with other ingredients. (e.g., Blackstrap molasses is sometimes used with psyllium seed husks for its high mineral and vitamin content, as well as being an excellent carrier.) A typical dose is 1 - 3 teaspoons per glass of water.

Psyllium seeds are very similar to the seed husks and can be used for many of the same purposes, although their use is less common.

Quote
The characteristics of psyllium seed husks make them useful for any treatment that requires improvement or maintenance of transit time in the gastrointestinal tract, because the inert bulk of the husks helps provide a constant volume of solid material irrespective of other aspects of the diet or any disease condition of the gut. Over-the-counter laxatives and fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Serutan, Effersyllium, and Isabgol have psyllium husks as their main ingredient, in finely chopped or powdered form. The husks can be consumed as-is (with plenty of water or other fluid) with much the same effect. Psyllium can also be added to food or drink to boost the fiber content of the diet, and some cereals (Bran Buds, Heartwise) contain it.[citation needed]

Psyllium husks are used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and diarrhea. They are used as a regular dietary supplement to improve and maintain regular GI transit. Some recent research is also showing them to be promising in lowering cholesterol and controlling diabetes.[1]

It's my understanding that Plantago Psyllium and Plantago Ovata have the highest amount of mucilage of all the plantains and that's why they are used commercially, but the other plantains' seeds can be used in the same way.

I thought the following "definitions" were helpful...

Quote
Mucilage is a gooey polar glycoprotein; an exopolysaccharide; a polymer produced by most plants and some microorganisms...

...Mucilage is edible, but tastes rather bland. It is used in medicine for its demulcent properties.

Quote
Glycoproteins are often important integral membrane proteins, where they play a role in cell-cell interactions.

Quote
A demulcent (derived from the word "caress") is an agent that forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane...

...A number of herbs have demulcent properties. These herbs often have a high content of mucilage, and help soothe and protect irritated or inflamed internal tissues of the body.

WR
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 04:18:54 PM by Whiterock »
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Offline BJ_BOBBI_JO

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2008, 05:08:07 PM »
, I thought I'd post a little bit more info on psyllium [which is how I'm going to refer to the seeds and husks from the seeds of the plantain plant whether it be psyllium plantain or (common) broad leaf plantain, narrow leaf plantain, etc.].

OK  am I getting this right? There are 3 different plantain plants? which are
-psyllium plantain
-broad leaf plantain
-narrow leaf plantain

Am I getting that right? I only know of the broad and narrow leaf plantains.

Or are there many types of plantain and but just the broad and narrow leafs ones are the most common and most used?

So if the psyllium plantain plants are the ones the pharmaceutical companies use to make  medications such as laxative drinks then is the psyllium seeds from the narrow and board leaf plantain plants still just as good? And is the medicinal properties of their leaves just as good?

WR you are giving my mind a work out! LOL. Just when I thought I had plantain figured out.

Offline hi_itsgwen

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2008, 05:25:06 PM »
There are about 200 species of Plantago...how's that for mind blowing!  :D
Check out all the different kinds on Wikipedia:
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2008, 06:17:19 PM »
OK  am I getting this right? There are 3 different plantain plants? which are
-psyllium plantain
-broad leaf plantain
-narrow leaf plantain

Am I getting that right? I only know of the broad and narrow leaf plantains.

Or are there many types of plantain and but just the broad and narrow leafs ones are the most common and most used?


As Gwen said, there are over 200 varieties of plantain. Broadleaf and Narrow Leaf are just the two that folks here on WTM are most familiar with. The Broadleaf (also called Common Plantain) seems to grow where most of y'all live but the Narrow Leaf seems to be the only kind some of us ever see. (I've never been able to find any Broadleaf only Narrow Leaf.) So those are the ones I keep referring to. And it's the seeds from the Narrow Leaf that I used for the above "experiment" that I posted the pictures of.

Anyway, there's also Plantago Psyllium and Plantago Ovata among those 200 varieties. And, from my understanding all plantain seeds do the same thing, P. Psyllium and P. Ovata are just the seeds most often used in commercial psyllium products because they have larger seeds and more of the good stuff (mucilage). 


So if the psyllium plantain plants are the ones the pharmaceutical companies use to make medications such as laxative drinks then is the psyllium seeds from the narrow and board leaf plantain plants still just as good? And is the medicinal properties of their leaves just as good?


Yes, the seeds from the Broadleaf and Narrow Leaf Plantain should work too. (See my post with the photos in it.) You would just need more of them. I would also think that the leaves of the different plantains would work similarly to one another.

I hope I haven't been too confusing. I started a Candida cleanse and so I am going thru die-off right now and have muddle-mind.  [but you can read all about that on my blog <shameless plug> ;) ]

WR
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Offline ~esposita~

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2008, 02:29:13 AM »
Has anyone aver heard of using Psyllium hulls to bind 'excess' toxins that the liver is having trouble getting rid of? (A reason why hives could occur.)  I heard that psillium will bind to the toxins in the bile and pull them out letting you excrete them ... naturally.  Then, your skin wont try to get rid of the toxins for you.
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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2008, 02:59:07 AM »
I've heard that it helps remove toxins by binding with them in the bowels and moving them out that way.

Helped me when I was having Herxheimer reaction. But if I had to do it again, I would leave in more husks.

WR
« Last Edit: August 30, 2008, 04:37:16 AM by Whiterock »
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Offline BJ_BOBBI_JO

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2008, 04:30:29 AM »
I eat the seeds from the broad leaf plantain plant.

The seed stems are starting to turn brown now. I figure they are better to eat once they are brown and no longer in their young green stage.

You can also save the seed stems and let them dry to store. I just simply pick the seed stem and eat'em. I think a lot of ppl now a days are lacking in enough fiber. I know I am. I know I have eaten enough fiber when my colon is working good and making its "contents" in a healthy way.


A broad leaf plantain plant from 2007 below. You can see its seed stems or poles or whatever they are called sticking up.


http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u9/BJ_BOBBI_JO6/Summer%20nature%20pics%20CLICK%20HERE/green22.jpg

Offline HappyWifey

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2009, 08:55:19 AM »
Does anyone know of a way to take my store bought Psyllium that doesn't gag me because of its texture... :P Can I take it dry on food and just drink some water after that?

Offline ridgerunner

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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2009, 10:03:56 AM »
I mix mine into yogurt.  It kind of makes the yogurt more like a rice pudding or something.  Since I use all natural plain yogurt, I'll add a little raw honey or maple syrup to it and mix it up and it's a great breakfast.  HTH
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Re: Psyllium: What, Why, When & How Much?
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2009, 10:06:39 AM »
I'm on the anti-candida diet, so no yogurt right now for me.  :'( Plus we just lost our raw milk source! :'( :'( :'( I'll have to try something else out... :) Thanks for the idea though! Once I am to the part where I can have yogurt, I'll have to use that!