Where does the name psyllium come from?
Psyllium belongs to the plantain family. Their small brown seeds are rich in fibre and contain swelling substances that multiply in volume when combined with a liquid. The seeds look like fleas. This is why they are called ‘flea seeds’ in German. The correct name is Indian or blond psyllium.
The purity level of psyllium products is indicated, for example, psyllium husk 95%. What is the remaining 5%?
Psyllium seeds are harvested by winnowing and then cleaned. A part of the raw material is peeled, leaving the psyllium husk behind. Part of it is also ground and sold as a powder. Whole cleaned psyllium seeds have a purity level of 99%. This means that approximately 1% of the remaining parts of the plants or the soil where the plants grow were harvested along with the seeds. This can only be avoided by purchasing a product that has been further processed, such as psyllium husk or psyllium husk powder. There is are also additional processing steps that increase the product’s purity so that less sand or plant material remains in the product.
Which is better: whole psyllium seeds, psyllium husk or psyllium husk powder?
First of all, it depends on the intended use of the product. The powder is the best if you want a particularly high swelling capacity. The addition of a small amount of ground psyllium husk also works well for baking. Whole psyllium seeds are the most suitable for direct human consumption or for feeding animals without swelling time. Most people try psyllium husk once to start with. It can be stirred into a glass of water and consumed after about half an hour.
Are psyllium seeds allergen-free?
Most people tolerate psyllium well. In rare cases, it can cause hypersensitivity reactions of the skin and respiratory organs. People who suffer from asthma and hives or who are allergic to acetylsalicylic acid and rheumatism drugs should avoid psyllium products altogether.
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